Eternal Maze is a... strange game. You control a farmer who gets trapped among corn mazes, gets chased by dogs, gets drunk, finds buried treasures, and something, something aliens. All while trapped in a labyrinth. Made of corn. With teleporting alien monoliths. It’s quite a strange game, as I said.
Purportedly inspired by crop circles, Eternal Maze is a puzzle adventure game with some very nice production values and surprisingly enjoyable gameplay. One morning in 1961, coming back to his farm from the local pub, farmer James sees a bright pillar of green light shining amongst his crops. He goes to explore the thing, finds a bunch of alien rocks glowing, and upon touching them gets teleported to a corn crop maze.
The game currently only has one chapter with 12 levels, but the developer promises two extra chapters are coming. Each level revolves around navigating different mazes in search of the teleporting stone that may lead you to safety. Each maze is full of concrete tunnels, collapsing burrows, and parts of a treasure map scattered around, incentivising you to explore a little bit. Disincentivising you from exploring, however, are the patrolling dogs that can kill you with one bite. They move around the levels in set patterns and give chase once you are spotted -- you either run from them and lose them around the corners and turns of the maze, or you get killed. Luckily the dogs actually run slower than a drunk, sleep-deprived farmer, so you’re only in danger when effectively cornered.
Across the maps you will need to find batteries to power lawnmowers and rafts in order to progress your journey, and you must also keep an eye on a little stamina bar used to go through concrete pipes and navigate the mazes. Stamina is not really a problem in Eternal Maze -- I’m not even sure why it’s there, really -- but it is something that adds a bit of depth to the gameplay.
Eternal Maze also has achievements and a little score system meant to add replayability. Finishing a level with a certain score or without dying gives you a little medal that serves only to satiate your ego, as well as certain actions unlocking achievements (that also serve solely to satiate your ego). Every level contains three pieces of a map that once collected, show you the location of a treasure that gives you extra points. It also shows you the way to the exit, but you can perfectly find your way out without the map.
Technically, the game ran fine; I did not run into any bugs and had no issues with the controls, and although I personally hate retro pixel graphics, I actually found this one quite charming. The sound design was surprisingly good, with the music clearly being the high point of the production -- it has some nice themes and thankfully a non-8-bit execution, which adds some extra charm to the title. I must say, however, that the non-native quality of the game’s English is very noticeable, and it severely distracted me more times than expected. Someone should look into that.
With some nice, thoughtful graphics and a very good sound design -- including a unexpectedly nice soundtrack -- Eternal Maze is a game that’s easy to recommend. I only urge the developers to find someone native to rewrite the game’s texts as soon as possible.
Eternal Maze (Reviewed on Android)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
With some nice, thoughtful graphics and a very good sound design -- including a unexpectedly nice soundtrack -- Eternal Maze is a game that’s easy to recommend.