Maize PS4 Review

September 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Features, PS4, Reviews

Publisher: Finish Line Games  Developer: Finish Line Games  Genre: Puzzle, Adventure  

Players: 1  Age Rating: 12+  Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One


Us English are known for quite a few quintessential things: cups of tea and cake, cucumber sandwiches, The Royal Family, laughing heartily, fish and chips, bad teeth. One thing that I wouldn’t say is quite British is corn-on-the-cob. Mostly when I think of sweetcorn, I think of it as being the worst part of a takeaway that is only trying to fool you into believing you are having a ‘balanced diet’.

Sentient corn, a grumpy teddy bear, dancing scarecrows – the cast of colourful characters ensure you continue playing

In Maize, you awake to find yourself in a ‘maze’ of corn, and see some suspect entities running away from you. As you walk along, you find a mysterious door requiring three keys, though it’ll be a while before you are back here and the actual game is set in motion. Before you know anything about what is actually happening and plays out pretty straight forward – go to a place, explore, pick up items, use said items some place else, and so forth.

The gameplay here isn’t the most taxing and makes you feel intelligent as you find yourself swiftly completing one puzzle after the next, but in reality it could be completed by a 6 year old. Items are highlighted in a bright yellow outline, so it’s not difficult to find anything, and places where some items need to be placed is also highlighted – it’s just a matter of finding the right item to place there.

You’ll never be burdened with an overwhelming amount of items and no logical way to use them – Maize is the definition of a game that holds your hand. Nevertheless, puzzles are still able to instil a sense of reward, as you’ll never be focused on one puzzle for very long allowing gameplay to move swiftly onward.

Initially the realistic graphics of the game make you feel as though you’re going to experience something quite serious, lulling you into a false sense of security as you wander around, but you’ll soon realise that’s not the case at all!

The game is set in motion after about half an hour to an hour, when you are transported to an underground laboratory and where pretty much the same style of gameplay takes place. When you actually see some cutscenes though, you’ll definitely be thinking to yourself “What on earth am I playing”?

This will definitely be your first thought when you discover that there is sentient corn, a trio of which will assist you during your adventure, talking with their typically English accents and adding British quips wherever they can. Whilst this trio will give you some guidance and exposition, they aren’t a permanent fixture by your side. One of your first tasks is to create a little helper in the form of Vladdy the bad tempered Russian teddy bear who thinks everything is stupid and complains a lot.

Maize is a puzzle game, though the puzzles are never overly frustrating.

The colourful characters in Maize are what make the game, and they compel you to continue playing just to see where the story is going to go. You’ll come across a bad-tempered piece of corn that tries to hinder your progress, and dancing scarecrows – what more could you ask from a game? Some people may scoff at the characterisation here, mostly because characters come across as simplistic and underwritten – but in a game about talking corn, what more could you expect?

To add a bit more variety to gameplay, you can collect certain items as you wander around, and can view a bit of equally quirky information about that item. As you wander around the environment, you’ll also find post-it notes from Bob and Ted, and you can read the banter between the pair as one continually frustrates the other with his ignorant, but well-meaning, ideas.

The story and writing is clearly the best part of the game, which is full of very quirky British humour, becoming the type of game that you have to play just for the surrealism alone. The ending is both poignant but equally amusing, and Maize is definitely a game that needs to be played to be believed.

If you want something more substantial, then Maize certainly won’t be the game for you, with puzzles that never stretch the imagination, a three hour playing time, and with a story that doesn’t ask the most pertinent or moralistic of questions. Still, if you are looking for a few hours of easy gaming, Maize will keep you invested with its fluid gameplay and a-maize-ing humour!


7/10


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