Developer: Marcus Pousette
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad mini Retina

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

In Maze Universe, players take control of an unassuming white triangle as it makes its way through a series of mazes.

20140324-011246.jpgEach maze elegantly sits atop a Hubble image that would be mesmerizing if what was going on above didn’t require so much attention. Players must hold either side of the screen to turn the triangle in that direction, steering it around corners and past obstructions – from gun turrets, to electricity, to vanishing obstacles – until they reach the green ring at the end of the maze.

It takes some time to get to grips with since certain aspects of gameplay makes things trickier than they necessarily need to be. The sensitivity of the controls, the narrow nature of the course, and the speed at which the vessel travels all make the controls problematic at one point or another. It does become second nature as time progresses, and the inclusion of a few power-ups will help with the learning curve. There are two power-up categories: the first group controls movement – altering the angles by which the triangle can turn – and the second includes slow-mo and a shield from projectiles.

20140324-011222.jpgIt would be a big help if the game was slower in general, or if it could at least implement a reward system wherein power-ups could be purchased and used at the beginning of each level instead of cropping up mid-level and leaving players unawares. The countdown at the beginning of each level needs to go too. The sheer amount of unavoidable restarts necessary to beat some levels made the count-down really start to grate on me after a while. A simple “touch to begin” would have sufficed.

Nevertheless, the fact that I was so annoyed about not being able to play Maze Universe again as soon as possible is more of a compliment than a criticism. The first 16 levels are free, with a $0.99 charge to unlock the other 24, so there’s more than enough here for those just wanting to try it out.


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