Reviewed October, 2003 by Korey Marciniak
Having played the Java version of Mummy
Maze more times than I wish to acknowledge, I was very excited
to see a port of it available for the Palm and Pocket PC
PDAs by Astraware. The premise of the game is very simple:
guide your explorer to the exit before the mummy can reach
you. The challenge lies in the fact that your character can
move only one space a turn, but the mummy can move two. This
means in most cases a dash for the exit is not the best solution.
In order to escape from the maze, you must
use one flaw that the Mummy has. The Mummy always tries to
get closer to you horizontally first, vertically second.
Using this nature against him and tricking him into the traps
created by the walls in the maze is the only way for you
to survive and get out the maze alive. Mummy Maze offers
3 levels of difficulty, and 15 chambers in each level. The
difficulty setting affects the size and complexity of the
maze, but does not make the mummy itself any more or less
powerful. You can control the game either using the hardware
buttons or stylus.
The graphics in Mummy Maze are about what
we’ve come to expect from Astraware. Everything from
the menus to the characters is clean and well designed. The
levels themselves are displayed from a top-down viewpoint
with strong 3D textures. The cartoon pictures used in the
opening and game over screens don’t really fit the
rest of the graphics, but it doesn’t detract from the
game in any way, and is easily overlooked.
The sound effects are very simple, which
fits the gameplay. You will hear the footsteps when you move
and miserable body slamming sound when Mummy crushes you.
I wouldn’t mind a mummy groaning noise or my explorer
screaming like a little girl when he gets captured, but perhaps
that’s just my sadistic side. Music is a fast pace
adventure music style. Both sound FX and Music volumes can
be adjusted or turned off completely.
Overall the game is solid, well designed,
and more addictive than I would like to admit. Once you get
the hang of it, you will want to keep coming back to stare
at the maze that's challenging you. If you are the type of
a person who wants to get a solution right away, you will
either get very good at this game or you will give up early
on at the game. The only other issue I had was that the info
icon on the alert box was discolored for some reason, but
all in all, this is a very well done title.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Having played this (and lost) many times,
I have some tips for the beginners. First off, boxing the
mummy in should be your first goal; the only way to this
is to understand how the mummies move. Mummies will always
try to get you by moving horizontally first. Once you get
the moves of mummies down, you can predict where they go
and plan your move. It will get more fun when you have multiple
mummies in one maze in the later levels. They will kill themselves
by bumping into each other if you make the right move. Secondly,
don’t hesitate to use the undo button; I find it’s
better to hammer my way through the first few levels, so
I can get my brain in the correct line of thinking. Also
you can use the solution page when you want to give up.