Company:

Field Software

Price

$9.95 USD

License:

Payware

Rating:

5 Star Rating: Exceptional

Field Software Maze Craze 1.15

John Ottini | Handheld PC Reviews
October 08, 2007

The Handheld PC has never been known for its arcade style games, probably because its clamshell design and keyboard aren’t very conducive for playing fast paced, eye to hand, coordination type games. Of course, having said that, it certainly hasn’t stop software developers from attempting to create quality arcade games for our platform.

In all honesty, I’ve never been a big arcade game guy, but I’ve always enjoyed playing Pacman, so when I saw Maze Craze (the Pacman based game) by Field Software, well, I just had to give it a try.

 

Nerdly is Pacman with an Attitude!

Field Software has not only produced a great version of this grand old arcade game, but they have also introduced a likeable new character, whom they refer to as Nerdly. Who is Nerdly , you ask? Well, here is a quote from Field Software’s website introducing their new hero and explaining his (and your) mission.

“Nerdly is our hero... the most successful entrepreneur in the world. Unfortunately, Nerdly's success has unleashed the fury of government regulators who are out to eradicate him. Your job is to assist Nerdly in his mad scramble to accumulate a wealth of points while avoiding the agents who are striving mightily to be rid of Nerdly once & for all.

Can you keep Nerdly away from the determined government agents long enough to pile up a mountain of points?”

Strap on your Nerdly glasses and get ready for a whole lot of fun.

Figure 1: Maze Craze

 

Ready, Set, Gobble and Run

Your goal is to have Nerdly collect as many dollar symbols as possible without getting captured by government agents and running out of lives. When all of the dollar signs are collected, you can move on to the next level of play and a new maze. Each dollar symbol is worth 5 points and Nerdly can also accumulate points by eating the occasional Bonus Cherry (500 points) or by capturing one of several gold bar located in each maze. The added bonus of capturing a gold bar is that it gives Nerdly 7 seconds on a speedy tank so he can snag as many government agents as possible. The first agent is worth 200 points, the second 400 points, third is 600 points….you get the idea.

Figure 2: Info Screen

Each government agent you capture, adds one additional life to Nerdly,s longevity, which (as you will quickly discover) is very helpful in your completion of each maze.

As you accumulate more and more points, the government agents become much more aggressive (fast), so you will have to be very quick at setting Nerdly off into the right direction to avoid being captured.

Your method for guiding Nerdly around the maze is by using either the directional arrows keys or by tapping your stylus on the HPC screen. I have tried both methods and I haven’t noticed much difference between either of them, I guess you will have to choose whatever method is most comfortable for you. In the heat of battle I have found myself using a combination of both methods with pretty good success…..you might consider that a third option!

 

Some Helpful Hints

  • Remember to make use of the 2 or 4 escape tunnels, for quick escapes to other areas of the maze.
  • Make sure you set the Speed Level to slow (before starting the game) so you can familiarize yourself with the game play or you will be crushed very quickly. There is always time to increase the speed once you become more proficient.
  • Don’t be afraid to make use of the Pause key (letter P) when the game gets out of control.
  • You can turn the cool sound effects off if you find them too distracting.
  • Government agents jump out of their starting positions at the preset waiting times of 1, 5 or 7 seconds

 

What Else should you know?

Along with the wonderful arcade sounds and animation, this game also provides you with the obligatory “Hall of Fame” scoreboard, so you can track your high scores and all of the maze levels you have reached.

Figure 3: Hall of Fame

I’m not real sure how many maze styles and levels there are, but my guess is that there are over 30 and that it is going to keep you entertained for a long, long, long time.
The other interesting tidbit, is that the mazes are chosen randomly for each level, in other words, the maze layout on any level, will always be different for each game. This is a really cool feature that will always keep the game fresh every time you play it.

 

Final Word

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I’m not a big arcade style game player, but I think that Field Software has produced a first rate version of this classic game and I believe that HPC users will love playing it once they give it a try. A thirty day limited use demo is available and you can purchase a registration code for this product for only $9.95 USD $9.95 USD
(£8.02 GBP, €9.23 EUD, ¥1,115.36 JPY, ¥68.61 CNY est.).

 

System Requirements:

Windows CE 2.12 or higher
StrongArm/XScale, SH3, SH4, MIPS

Rating

 

 

Cost:

5 Star Rating: Exceptional

Pros: Nice graphics and sound effects, large number of mazes, easy to play, but very challenging.

Cons: None.

Usability:

5 Star Rating: Exceptional

Built-In helps:

5 Star Rating: Exceptional

Customer Service:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Overall:

5 Star Rating: Exceptional

 

 

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