Labyrinth meets Operation in this finger bending touch game from Ironshod Games…
On first look Reverse Maze looks like any other touch based maze game out there for iPhone and iPod Touch. Requiring you to guide your spinning puck to the level goal through just the use of your finger. Where this differs though is in the use of the word Reverse in the title.
I mentioned in the intro above that it feels like Operation, the 80s board game that required you to remove pieces of bone from a patient without touching the electrically charged edges of the wound… doing so activates a buzzing sound and lit up the patients nose. This game feels like that in that you must not touch the edges of the maze with your puck, or you’ll set off the buzzer. With you heavily concentrating on getting through it without a mistake, the buzzer kinda makes you jump when it does happen. Almost like you are being shocked for real.
While avoiding the maze walls might sound like a challenge in itself, it’s made all the more harder by the controls. Instead of simply dragging the puck through the maze, the controls are in reverse (hence the title), so your finger must start at the opposite end of the maze and you motion the puck to move left by dragging right, up by dragging down… etc etc and so forth. To begin with it just feels wrong, almost like you are playing drunk, with your hand wanting to do one thing and your mind the other.
Early levels are simple case of getting from point a to b, but later the mazes get more intricate, and the game begins to throw challenge after challenge at you. You might have to guide the puck through a revolving door; roll onto switches to activate gates; or avoid spawning insects that are attracted to the neon light eliminating from your puck. But the real killer are the reverse switches… just when you are getting the hang of the reverse controls, the reverse switches mirror the controls back to normal, and also flips them round.
There are four difficulty settings called ‘encouraging’, ‘discouraging’, ‘disheartening’, and the aptly named ‘frustrating’. Each of these contains 12 levels, a good amount for the price… that is if you can make it that far before you throw your iPhone under a train in frustration. Speaking of trains, if you are playing this game on any kind of public transport, be prepared to fail… you’ll need the steady hand of a surgeon to beat it, not to mention having the patience of a saint.
With all the AAA titles appearing on the AppStore recently, it’s easy to forget the little games such as these. Games that were responsible for showing us what you can do on a touchscreen device, and not just polygons and virtual joysticks. Reverse Maze is a fun little budget game presented with a cool look and feel, and offering up surprisingly addictive love it/hate it gameplay. $1.99 may be a little too much for a game like this though, which is more of an impulse buy in my opinion and so $0.99 would be more fitting.
Reverse Maze is out now for $1.99