People of all ages have done some sort of maze or maze game in their life. Whether it’s on a piece of paper, an activity book, or a Halloween corn maze…mazes are all around us. The same can be said for video games past and present. Some would say the framework of the early video games started as a maze and built around it. This issue we will look at some of the most popular maze games that changed how we play games today and we will also look at some the games of today that still use the maze-like feature as part of the gaming experience.

The first game anyone mentions when they think of maze games is Pac-Man. This is probably the definition of what a maze game should be and is still one of the most popular maze games ever made. Pac-Man was released in 1980 and took the world by storm. It was not only the most popular video game, it also sold the most merchan- dise for a video game back in the 1980’s. A simple, yet not so simple, maze game would be a cultural phenomenon and still is to this day. The object of Pac-Man is to eat all the Pac-dots in a maze-like arena without getting killed by the ghosts that are moving around the screen. Every level has special dots called “Power Pellets” that will turn the ghosts Blue so you can eat them, causing them return to the base. We all know the story of the perfect Pac-Man score these days, but back in the early 80’s no one really knew how complex and long this game was to solve. Each Maze was the same but got harder as the levels went on. The ghosts would not stay blue as long and they would get faster as the game went on. Pac-Man would be the inspiration to hundreds more maze-like games.





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Todd Friedman Todd Friedman (390 Posts)

Todd Friedman is heavily involved in the retro gaming community and has co-promoted the Video Game Summit in Chicago, IL for the past 16 years. He also has published 2 books and written for various different gaming magazines including Old School Gamer.