(WiiWare)

Game Review

The Incredible Maze Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Alex Knox

This WiiWare maze game certainly is incredible - incredibly bad, that is

Let's cut straight to the chase here - The Incredible Maze follows in the tradition of virtual labyrinth adaptations like Super Monkey Ball and Kororinpa, but utterly lacks any of the creativity or polish that make those games fun and rewarding. At a mere 500 points this should provide some cheap, throwaway fun, but sadly it stumbles in executing all the necessary fundamentals. In fact, everything about this WiiWare release from the unreliable controls to the rudimentary presentation lets it down. A legitimate mess, the only thing "incredible" about this one is the bare-faced cheek of Digital Leisure to brand it as such when it is anything but.

The idea is so simple in concept that it’s hard to believe the developers managed to screw it up so severely. Using either the Wii Remote or the Balance Board to carefully tilt the stage, you merely attempt to direct a marble through a variety of mazes to reach the goal. Unfortunately even this most basic function is flawed. The Wii Remote controls are downright atrocious due to twitchy, unforgiving sensitivity. Fortunately, the Balance Board is much more serviceable thanks to less finicky (yet still unstable) tilting controls. Additionally, flicking the Wii Remote or pressing A while standing on the Balance Board causes the marble to jump, but this mechanic is so inconsistent that we have to wonder why they even bothered to add it in. On the occasions where jumping actually works to your benefit it undermines the whole maze concept because you are just able to jump a few walls en route to an easy goal. So what we’re left with is a game that is practically unplayable with a Wii Remote alone and otherwise moderately broken.

For what it’s worth there is a modest selection of levels. However, even if the gameplay was sound this collection of poorly-designed stages wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Part of the problem is that they are haphazardly strung together with little consideration for difficulty progression, resulting in a game that wildly jumps from ridiculously easy to seemingly impossible before abruptly screeching to a halt after the 30th stage. At that point you’ll unlock a Time Attack mode which challenges the player to use efficient jumping to complete the stages in a given time, but since jumping is so unreliable it is hardly worth the bother.

If all that isn’t enough, the amateurish presentation is sure to turn off even the most tolerant of gamers. The graphics, in particular, have to be some sort of bad joke. Some of the backgrounds look like the developers drew rudimentary shapes and symbols on some coloured graph paper and glued it all together. Even worse, the stages themselves rely on a collection of the most generic textures imaginable, making for probably the dullest looking game on WiiWare to date (and that is saying something). To its credit there is a collection of computer motherboard-inspired levels that drag The Incredible Maze out of the mire into the realm of respectability, but these levels are overshadowed by incredible dullness. To cap it off the soundtrack consists of one half-decent electronic tune repeated over and over again until your ears bleed. You'll be thankful for your TV's volume control, put it that way.

Conclusion

There's no two ways about it - this is an embarrassing WiiWare release that lacks any of the fundamental elements of enjoyable, rewarding gameplay. By all rights this should be at least a decent little download for anyone to enjoy, but the blatant lack of effort or care put forth by the developers has left us feeling swindled even at the low asking price. All told, The Incredible Maze is a tragic example of a developer’s intent to pollute the service with toxic gameplay masquerading as cheap entertainment. Avoid at all costs.

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User Comments (62)

Ricardo91

#4

Ricardo91 said:

Ha! I knew this game was shovelware!

This has to be the grossest misuse of the word "incredible" I've ever seen in my life. :P

Objection

#5

Objection said:

I was actually considering getting this with World of Goo. Thanks for the save.

wesleyh

#7

wesleyh said:

Oh man, and in the press release they said they were gonna release more "exclusive" wiiware games.. Looking forward to that..

The concept was good though, I hope a capable developer capitalizes on it.

Twilight_Crow

#8

Twilight_Crow said:

What a shame, I hoped that at least the controls were fine, thanks for the review, I'll save my points for now.

Kawaiipikachu

#9

Kawaiipikachu said:

Maybe we should place the devolopers in a mazelet them believe that there is an exit route meanwhile there is no exit meaning that they are stuck forever & ever mahahahaha .

Oh wait just ignore what i said i was just talking out loud & back on subject this game looks like a big smelly soft & sticky brown poo to me .

bboy2970

#10

bboy2970 said:

Ummmm.....I guess this answers my earlier question from a previous post on if i should buy this game. That would be a big NO!

Clayfrd

#13

Clayfrd said:

I was one of those people that was thinking, "C'mon, give it a chance," but since this review, any lingering doubt has been vanquished. I will not be squandering my points on this garbage.

Rawk_Hawk

#14

Rawk_Hawk said:

After watching the video, I was thinking the same thing. It looks like a Ps1 game. I still take it over Pong toss

Starwolf_UK

#15

Starwolf_UK said:

How did they get this to 127 blocks yet still be so bare in the graphics...when you see something like Cubello which is also bare graphics but voices be about a third of that it makes you wonder...

Sad to hear it controls badly...I hope this isn't a case of samba de amigo with everyone going back and fourth about the issue (seriously the first review poeple were like get the batteries changed it must be them) until eventually settling down and agreeing that they would have been better with motion plus...would this be better with motion plus is something i'm going into...

SRPirate

#16

SRPirate said:

Woah, i thought this game will be better than a 2, oh well, saves me 500 ponts!

Crazynoodle

#17

Crazynoodle said:

Wow, i was seriousley considering getting this game, b/c i love these kind of things, but after that reveiw...
I wanted to give it a chance but know i know it is absolute crap

deadbattery

#22

deadbattery said:

It would be nice if Nintendo had SOME quality standard for releasing games. Considering this game's sub-top-20 sales, though, it seems that people are finally getting smart about reading reviews, since they're all buying Tetris Party, World of Goo and Mega Man 9. But Midnight Bowling remains hot... probably not for long.

wanderlustwarrior

#23

wanderlustwarrior said:

Yeah, at the low price, I was thinking about this too... not anymore.

October: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

KnucklesSonic8

#24

KnucklesSonic8 said:

Too bad. I was considering giving it a chance. The only saving grace about this would have been BB Support but oddly enough, after reading the review, it seems like it's just not worth it in the end. reading about a broken control scheme is not always the best news but I'm glad it was said.

Kororinpa 2: Marble Sage is gonna be great, though! :D
I just thought MAYBE this would be a good diversion till then. Guess not. There's always next time.

WeeGee

#25

WeeGee said:

I now DON'T regret spending those 500 points on the Internet Channel.

Supermarioman

#27

Supermarioman said:

Ah, well this is my decision to officially wait for reviews on most games, except Nintnendo published and true games, 3 2's werid, avoid:
Pong Toss, Midnight Bowling, and now this, i don't count Plattchen, i actually want it!

Serpent

#28

Serpent said:

Knew this wasn't going to be worth it. It looked like a really old computer game.

SRPirate

#29

SRPirate said:

IS anyone's wii shop channel down like mine, its really getting me mad, b/c i got a wii point card right when it goes down.

graitu

#30

graitu said:

@SRPirate:
I'm having that problem right now. I've already downloaded Tetris Party, so that's not a problem, The problem, however, is that Megaman 9 is also affected by this. I beat Hero mode and wanted to download SuperHero Mode, but now I have to wait longer.

As for Incredible Maze, I knew it was going to suck.

megacody

#31

megacody said:

Wow. Tough Biscuits, Digital Leisure. These horrible games are what inspires me to become a game designer when I grow up. Seriously, this is one of the most unoriginal ideas for a game...even the title lacks creativity. The Incredible Maze? Ugh...

WiiMan192

#32

WiiMan192 said:

And most were expecting to be an unknown gem, like Orbient... I really like these games, enjoyed SMB: Banana Blitz, but this looks terrible! :(
It's only a matter of time until we see a 1/10 :| ;)

Yasume

#34

Yasume said:

That's like the 3rd 2! Let's hope that this game doesn't come to Europe too.

Tizoc

#35

Tizoc said:

I am a little bit surprised by this review. Maybe this is an age thing. Did any of you ever in his life played the real wooden maze game? Do you realize that the controls in the WiiWare game are as sensitive as the real ones? OK the graphis are very basic but I enjoyed playing this game very much. A 2 is really not giving the game the credits it deserve. A 5 would have been a better option. But this might just be a personal taste thing.

DazzaAdmin

#36

Dazza said:

@Tizoc – You make a good point there. As a child of the late 70s I fondly remember those wooden games along with finding a Satsuma in my Christmas stocking. Yes they were frustrating but given the physical nature of tilting it in a way they were sort of fun. Also I didn’t have the Atari 2600 or Scaletrix I really wanted at that time.

However in 2008 a accurate simulation of this type of puzzle isn’t a whole lot of fun. Monkey Ball and Kororinpa show exactly how this game can be done and be made to be great fun. Twitchy controls as found in The Incredible Maze just aren’t much fun. It’s a pass from me!

Sassy_Cc

#37

Sassy_Cc said:

Good review & thank you for saving me memory blocks & 500 wii points :) ~ Prior to reading this, I was thinking about getting The Incredible Maze since I mastered Tetris Balance Board Mode ~ I am disappointed that they couldn't put a simple game together, better than this ~ We need a lot more game options for the balance board on & off Wii Ware! ~

ACK

#40

ACK said:

Believe me when I say I hold no bias against this game... In fact, I like a good maze game as much as the next guy. Of course I would have preferred recommending a decent WiiWare adaptation, but I've played through all 30 frustrating levels and found absolutely nothing rewarding about the The Incredible Maze.

So, I agree that for 500 points this one should have some value, but how many points are 127 blocks of poorly designed, nearly broken shovelware worth to you?

@Tizoc: For what it's worth, I don't even consider this mess to be a faithful representation of those old wood box, steel marble labyrinths because many of the tougher levels require you to make incredibly annoying jumps which are nearly impossible to pull off with any consistency due to the unpredictable jumping mechanics. Honestly, I'd rather play one of those primitive contraptions than The Incredible Maze any day.

Ricardo91

#41

Ricardo91 said:

SRpirate & Graitu. It's not just my Shop channel that's down, my Wii's entire internet connection is down. Did that happen to you guys too?

It's a shame too. I was just about to DL Mega Man 9. :(

Wiiloveit

#42

Wiiloveit said:

I must say that I had a good level of anticipation for this title, but clearly I was mistaken.
@Mr Cheez: try getting the new system update (if applicable to the US), and delete any mods or homebrew you may have on your console. My Shop is as fine as ever.

wiiwarefreakster

#43

wiiwarefreakster said:

Hey ACK! -- Have you ever thought that maybe you aren't supposed to jump around everywhere? I've been playing through the game and only jumping when completely nessessary and the controls seem perfectly fine....they may be on the sensitive side...but still overall this really is more of a 5/10.

CorbsAdmin

#45

Corbs said:

I think after Kororinpa, we're all a bit spoiled with this type of gaming idea. If there's one aspect of the game that absolutely has to be perfect, it's the motion controls. If that doesn't work to perfection, there will be problems. There's just no room for error.

JoshZTP

#47

JoshZTP said:

Gee... who couldn't see this coming?! :(

I swear there are more and more bad reviews coming from all over the place?! Can't we just STOP WITH THEM COMPLETELY!!!! >:(

Sigh! :(

I didn't like this game to begin with... being I could play the actual game Labyrinth on an old wooden toy I used to have... yet seems to be missing and gone all of these years!

PHANTOM93

#48

PHANTOM93 said:

And this is exactly why I DON'T buy games with the word "incredible" in them.... nine times out of ten they're CRAP :-(

Starwolf_UK

#49

Starwolf_UK said:

The Terrible Maze" 2/10 in their review!
I can't beleive I didn't think of a terrible twos joke until now. Thanks for jump starting my mind...

AlexSays

#51

AlexSays said:

but I haven't paid for it so.... that's why I'm not so harsh I guess.

So games are better when they're free?
Well no kidding.

Twilight_Crow

#56

Twilight_Crow said:

Well, a friend send me this game, I talked a lot about wanting it before I read the review.:P
Actually it ain't that bad, I tried it and found myself playing 28 levels in a row and enjoying, of course is not the game of the year, I think the problem is that you need an excessive amount of patience to make the tiny movements needed to avoid a fall, but, having played the real version of this game a lot, I belive that's pretty similar to real life; of course that doesn't make it funnier, but it gave me the sensation I was nostalgic about and that's the sole reason I like this game. :)

Big_A2

#58

Big_A2 said:

When people learn to look up games before they buy them.
aka: NEVER.

I think giving this game 2/10 is being generous. If something is so bad that it needs to be "avoided at all costs", then it sould be 1/10, and nothing more.

edward1224

#61

edward1224 said:

I agree with most everyone else. This sounded like it could be a great game but instead it just sucked! Maybe it'll be better with a Motion Control Plus sensor but right now it's just lousey. I understand that there are like thirty levels but I could only reach #6. My fiancee actually got to level #11 somehow before she finally got fed up with it. I think the game was designed very poorly. It's one thing to create obsticles to keep the game interesting, but it's another thing to create ones that are virtually impossible to get past. One of the holes in level #6 was in such a position that it's almost impossible to get past it. You can't even jump over it either because you'll fall off the side of the maze. So either you fall through the hole or off the side. What's the point? I would've given it a 2 or 3 also.

Ed

wiiwareaddict

#62

wiiwareaddict said:

I actually liked this game alot but only when playing with Wii Balance board.However, once you get up to level 25-30 it seems impossible to pass.I sort of gave up on it.wish they had a code to unlock the rest of the levels.

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