Maze Craze: A Game of Cops ‘n Robbers [Atari 2600] – Review

Like most Atari 2600 games, this one boasts multiple variations of the core gameplay.

More so than ever before, I’ve been researching the designers of the games I’m writing about. The games in question are the Atari 2600 titles I decided to highlight from my collection. I’m fascinated by the stories behind their development and the fact that they were developed either by a single person or a small team. Today I felt like highlighting Maze Craze: A Game of Cops ‘n Robbers.

Maze Craze is a game like those pencil puzzles from childhood, the ones that were mazes where you had to draw your way to the exit. The concept grows dull with no one else around, but two player races are pretty fun. Mocking the pronounced footsteps and occasional user error is part of the game’s charm. Better yet, there are multiple variations on the game that switch things up and keep the game fresh.

Make one mistake and your opponent has got a good chance at winning.

Richard “Rick” Mauer was the designer behind Maze Craze and according to him, he was influenced by a Fairchild Channel F game, specifically Videocart-10: Maze. [1] [2] The only other video game attributed to Rick is the Atari 2600 version of Space Invaders. This game went on to sell 2 million copies and provoked a quadrupling of sales of the Atari 2600. [3] However, Rick reportedly only made $11,000 for his work on the game and abandoned game development. [4]

It’s a simple game and one that isn’t very fulfilling without someone to play with, but Maze Craze’s use of familiar maze puzzles proves to be an interesting video game.

The invisible maze game, one of the more interesting variations of the game.

Works Cited

[1] Hague, James. “Reminiscing from Richard Mauer.” 5 January 1999. Dadgum Games. 4 August 2012 <http://www.dadgum.com/giantlist/archive/maurer.html&gt;.

[2] Videocart-10: Maze. 4 August 2012 <http://www.gamefaqs.com/channelf/927671-videocart-10-maze&gt;.

[3] AgentKane, Alpha Unit and Noble Team 1. Space! List Collab:Alpha Unit, Noble Team 1, AgentKane. 1 March 2012. 5 August 2012 <http://www.screwattack.com/news/space-list-collab-alpha-unitnoble-team-1-agentkane&gt;.

[4] GameSpy Staff. “#15 Atari Brings Space Invaders Home.” 21-25 July 2003. GameSpy. 4 August 2012 <http://archive.gamespy.com/articles/july03/25smartest/index12.shtml&gt;.

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