• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
Game Boy  header logo

Mazes of Fate

For: GameBoy   Also on: DS

There's gold in the middle

Product: Mazes of Fate | Developer: Sabarasa Entertainment | Publisher: Graffiti Entertainment | Format: GameBoy | Genre: RPG, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: US
 
Mazes of Fate GameBoy, thumbnail 1
On first impressions, Mazes of Fate appears distinctly average. A by-pointy-dice-numbers role-playing game, even the box art looks as if it's been knocked up on an Etch-a-Sketch. As for the cliché-rich plot and odd characters (the barman's called Mr Tuna, for instance) it barely seems to hold together.

Indeed, if we say that Final Fantasy is the Waitrose of role-playing games, then Mazes of Fate initially looks like an Aldi – dependable staples stacked high in the name of cheap-and-cheerful gaming.

You begin by choosing one of three types of character: a warrior, a magician or, erm, a woman. You're then let loose on the apparently dull-as-Brum city of Sumur, which (wouldn't you just know it?) is hiding some terrible secrets. Cue crack of thunder and maniacal laughing.

But the more you get into the game, the more it somehow seems to rise above the clichés. If Mazes of Fate is average, it's one of the best average games we've ever played.

Partly this is due to the brave decision to take the combat element into the first-person perspective. This is combined with a separate map screen for travelling across the game world and fixed 2D graphics for when you're inside a building talking to people.

Most of the excitement, however, is generated when you enter the turn-based worlds of dungeon hacking. Here, a tap on the B button will make a disembodied hand appear, which you can use to flick switches, pull levers and either drop or pick items up. Alternatively, press A and you'll enter combat mode, which is where, predictably enough, you do all your fighting, spell-casting and potion-gulping.

That said, Mazes of Fate is of course no Doom; not even the 15-year-old original. Generally, effects are kept to a minimum. A splash of blood here is accompanied by a random treasure chest there. But what you lose in adventuring – in such a bare-looking world this is invariably straightforward – you gain in combat, which is relatively fast and fluid.

Far and away the game's best quality is the deep interlinked nature of its missions. Need to translate ye olde text on the Forbidden temple? Then you'll have to get assistance from the Scribe, but he'll only help you if you return his quill, which has been stolen by The Guild of Thieves, who want you to rough up the Brotherhood of Shadows, and so on. Like some deeply philosophical Chinese puzzle, each quest branches out into a series of sub-quests that, in turn, feedback into the whole.

Many RPGs take this approach, loftily aiming for complexity and ending up mired in repetitive aimlessness. Mazes though is always playable and sometimes compelling.

Like every RPG ever, Mazes of Fate enables you to shape your characters with a range of skills. These range from competence with weapons to more enticing rogue skills such as lock-picking and eloquence. Unlike every RPG ever, however, most of these skills are worth learning and, along with the conversations you have with the non playable characters, do have an appreciable effect on the course of your game.

Despite its lack of innovations then, Mazes of Fate deserves better than to be dismissed with a knowing sneer. Perhaps hardcore gamers will think its early quests are linear and limiting, but the majority should find the twists and turns are frequent enough to compensate for the relative lack of freedom and uninspired characters.

Sure the game has many generic features that fogies old enough to remember the Might and Magic PC series will instantly recognise, for example, but the harmony with which they work together helps Mazes of Fate transcend its numerous borrowings. Equally, as the game draws on, its deceptive complexity becomes more apparent without ever overwhelming its appeal.

Indeed, the difficulty curve is another point worth praising. The gradual expansion of your questing party and of their abilities along with the increasing complexity of the tasks they face is handled brilliantly.

By the end of play, your view should have changed markedly: Mazes of Fate is a game created by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. Sure, it doesn't bring anything new to the RPG genre, but somehow its melange of past and present inspirations hang together in a satisfying way – even if you have to ignore the occasional it's-so-bad-its-almost-funny moments. And on that basis, it gets Average +2.
 
Mazes of Fate
Reviewer photo
Scott Anthony | 10 May 2007
Mazes of Fate is a classic example of a lovingly crafted yet off-beat GBA title – it might smell a bit iffy but the gameplay can be truly intoxicating
 
Have Your Say
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter