Want to go on an a-maize-ing adventure? Love the fresh outdoors? Fond of older buildings? Well I have just the thing for you! Through the cornfields, around the lake, and a quick ride on a mighty fine tractor will get you there. The all-inclusive tour around an uninhabited farm with all the coolest activities awaits. This could be the journey of your dreams. Just don’t go near that futuristic door or this voyage may get a bit corny! Now that I have run out of corn puns, let the review and adventure begin!
Maize is a first-person point and click adventure title developed and published by the dudes (and dudettes?) at Finish Line Games. It tells the story of an unnamed silent protagonist as he wakes in the middle of a cornfield, unaware of where he is or how he even go there. Exploring the nearby farm reveals that it is not as abandoned as it seems and there is this strange door that seems to go nowhere. You soon learn that two scientists misread a letter from the United States Government and created sentient corn (I kid you not!). This sends you on an adventure though a so-called abandoned underground laboratory to uncover the mystery of why you awoke here. There are weird things going on around here and the talking corn is just part of it.
The gameplay mechanics of Maize were rather unique as I have not seen many point and click adventure titles that are played through the first-person perspective. This perspective gave the game the feeling of a walking simulator mixed with a point and click adventure, which allowed me to become more immersed as I was the protagonist instead of some outer-worldly observer like most games in this genre. The main premise of this title is to traverse the abandoned farm and underground facility, solving puzzles and having unique interactions to advance from area to area. Almost everything that is interactable in this title has some sort of purpose in the game. That old drum you find in the corner, yeah we can use it. What about this old English muffin sitting on the table? I’m sure it will be useful. What about that crumpled up piece of paper under the table? Oh, it’s just a set piece…Ok! Whether it is bypassing a security system or just unlocking the door to the next room, all of the puzzle are unique and wacky at the same time.
The first-person perspective does bring the farm to life and I did feel immersed into the game, but the visuals did have some flaws. The graphics seemed to stutter every once in a while, especially in sections that required constant movement. There are a few maze sections in the game that require you to move fast and the motion blur while taking corners could be a bit much. However, it did not take away my enjoyment from exploring every nook and cranny for collectibles and other useful items. While the visuals are pretty to look at and some of the vistas can be breathtaking, they are nothing compared to the soundtrack and dialogue of this wacky title.
The sounds and dialogue present in Maize are over-the-top and hilarious at the same time. From the sentient corn spewing utter nonsense to your sassy teddy bear sidekick belittling you with comedy, there is always something going on that gets at least a little chuckle. I found myself laughing at this game constantly throughout the entire endeavor. Vladdy, your Russian teddy bear sidekick, will constantly talk about how stupid the world is around him and he isn’t completely wrong. He is not a fan of nonsense and the actions that you take throughout your adventure are very strange. Vladdy openly expresses his distain towards you and the members of the corn people that aid you on your journey. My personal favorite trope of Vladdy’s is the constant questioning of why you are picking up so much garbage. The garbage he is speaking of is the bizarre quest items needed to complete the various puzzles. I feel as this was a nice quip against the point and click adventure genre as you are constantly picking up anything and everything that you can interact with because you just don’t know when it might be useful. I mean who would have known that the broken twig wasn’t going to be useful, obviously not me. The dialogue, while being somewhat cheesy, is honestly the best part of this title and makes it unique.
When I received my copy of Maize, my expectation were rather low. I didn’t expect much out of this game and the premise just seemed so absurd. I was expecting the game to be so off the wall and trying to make the game just seem like a joke. However, while I feel the title is still absurd, it was definitely worth my time and I am extremely happy that I was allowed to review the game. The game was one of the funniest games that I have played lately. Maize, as expected, didn’t take it games serious at all, but it was not too much. The humor level was right on point and didn’t become too corny. The thing that threw me off about the game the most was the length. I was able to complete the game in a little bit under two hours, but I did rush a bit. I didn’t explore every single room to its fullest potential, but I did do everything else. You may be able to get around three hours out of Maize, but that is stretching it. Much longer than that and the game would have just been dragging on. The game is really short, but I felt that it was the perfect length to tell its story.
Overall, Maize was a super funny and enjoyable point and click adventure title mixed with a walking simulator. I would recommend this game to anyone out there interested in getting some comedy in their life. However, I would advise to waiting for a price drop, unless you really are ripping and tearing to play this game. It wasn’t the most a-maize-ing game in the world, but it did a pretty damn good job at entertaining me.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review
Final Score: 9/10
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