02nd Dec2016

‘Maize’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf

maize-vlad

Corn fields are creepy, Stephen King taught us that. When you start playing a game though and see some of the corn seemingly taking a stroll through the rows, then it wouldn’t be long before you see death fast approaching. With Maize, which has released on PC though, death is the last thing you’ll be meeting…

Maize is a game that is good to go into cold, not knowing the back story, and just going with the flow. As the player, you first start off in the corn fields before exploring a deserted house, then making your way into an underground research facility. It seems that there has been some confusion about what was meant to be researched, and it ended up with sentient corn.

While the game is started with you playing alone, it isn’t long before the corn starts to talk to you, and even manipulate your journey through the game. While they are some help though, your real companion turns out to be Vlad, a Russian teddy bear who constantly berates your every move. Most of the story is revealed through notes left around the base by the previous occupiers. Vlad doesn’t know much about the place, but he will agree to help you (but complain about it). When we finally get to meet our main enemy in the game, we also find that once again this is another character that berates our stupidity.

What works well with Maize is the comedy, there is a sense of humour deeply woven into the game that makes it feel straight out of a Monty Python sketch. It’s not really a hard game, and it only lasts a few hours before you complete it, but for the game’s length it is fun.

The main thing that you will take away from Maize is the fact that it is refreshingly fun, especially in the big finale. The story is strong and the adventure is cartoonish enough for it to be a stand out title, at a time of year when our gaming calendars are filling up. In between all the first-person shooters, the Final Fantasy XV release and all the others, Maize is a game that surprisingly makes a big impact.

While this is a PC release, it would be nice to also see it make its way to consoles. It is one that could sit proudly with the likes of Firewatch, though I’m sure Vlad would not be happy about that. The fact is though, we need some crazy little feel good games right now that are made for fun, and Maize is a perfect example of that. It may not last as long as we want it to, but at £14.99 on Steam (currently £13.49 on sale) it is worth the price.

So take a look at the trailer below, to see what you think of Maize. If the comedy catches your attention, or you just want to meet Vlad then you won’t be disappointed. You’ll also not forget the ending for a long time after you’ve completed it. Just get ready to be called “stupid” many times, and not just by the bear.

****½  4.5/5

Maize is popping on to PC now on Steam, GOG, and Humble Store.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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