Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Atari's Maze Craze -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewAtari's Maze Craze for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Maze Craze- A Game of Cops 'n Robbers
Manufacturer: Atari
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1980
Part #: CX2635
Rating: 4 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Atari's Maze Craze Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Atari's Maze Craze Screenshot:
Atari's Maze Craze for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Atari's Maze Craze is a wonderful example of a simple game with loads of options that will delight players in head-to-head competition. It's easy to overlook this game as a one-trick pony in which players race to be the first to solve the maze.

Those who read the manual and give this title a chance will discover a whole new perspective to it's seeming simplicity. Aside from the manual (which I recommend reading) the biggest clue to the expansive options of Maze Craze lies in it's sub-title: A Game of Cops 'N Robber. Wait what?

If you just fire up this cart with a friend, it seems like a simple race to see who can find the maze's exit first. Read your manual or find a PDF of it as needed to see what wonders you're missing out on. Did you know your character is a police officer? This is a much different game than I was aware!

Maze Craze Story Arc

Each player controls a blue or red cop. Your cop's beat is a maze of city blocks. Your goal is to navigate the city streets to move the cop from the left side of the maze to the exit on the right, as shown in the screenshot.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Maze Craze - A Game of Cops 'n Robbers is a fairly dynamic game that offers terrific game play as a 2-player head-to-head game. Many of us think of Warlords as the best multi-player game,
but Maze Craze is not far behind. With a wide variety of options, this cops 'n robbers game offers much more action than a kiddie maze book. Put you pencil down and navigate the city streets... and beware the blackouts!

Maze Craze Game Play

There is an obvious simplicity to this game, but here's a mental trick to give it a better perspective. Upon first glance the screen looks like any of the maze books you may have taken a pencil to as a kid. If you think of it as the winding city streets that are part of your police beat, it seems less like a kiddie maze.

Regardless of your viewpoint, the first player to reach the exit on the right side wins the game. Depending on the variant you choose to play, you may encounter armed robbers, blockades, and other obstacles to prohibit you from finishing your beat. You may encounter blackouts that prevent you from seeing part or all of the screen. In these situations, you have to rely on audible clues to make your way.

The joystick moves your cop in the desired direction and the fire button takes on a number of roles depending on which game variation you're playing.

Maze Craze Game Variations

Atari's Maze Craze game selection matrix

2, 3 OR 5 Robbers - This time the robbers are out to get you. Avoid them as the lurk around corners because if they touch you, you lose the game.

Capture - your goal is to tag the robbers as you travel through the maze.

Auto Peek - When the screen is blacked out, the auto peek feature will reveal the whole screen for a brief time, giving you a chance to get your bearings and set a course.

Player Peek - Like Auto Peek, when the screen is blacked out, your fire button will let you briefly reveal the screen.

Wounds - It's not as awful as it sounds. Wounds occur if a robber touches you. This slows you down and you gradually resume your normal speed.

Blockade - Use your fire button to set up a blockade. It will look like the street has suddenly reached a dead-end, but our can pass through it. It is a tactic to confuse your opponent. Only one blockade can be deployed at the same time - new ones remove the previous ones.

Terror - You may think you're winning or about to win, but this variation requires your opponent to be tagged by robbers before you can exit the maze.

Scouts - Feel like a partner would even the odds in an invisible maze? scouts are just that - partners that reveal the way... although you don't have to follow their advice (guidance).

See! There is a lot more to Maze Craze than you may have thought. We won't say it rivals Warlords, but it's a great head-to-head game for 2.

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Atari's Maze Craze

has 16 game variations that give it a lot more engaging play with 2 players. From invisibility to chasing down robbers - or getting killed by robbers - this is a much better game than you might think at first glance. Great fun!

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