Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day 10: Fantasy Zone - The Maze

The Pac-Man craze was long dead by 1988. That's one reason no one bought Fantasy Zone - The Maze. Released only for the Sega Master System (the other reason no one bought The Maze), it's a departure from the brightly-colored, side-scrolling shooter formula of the first two Fantasy Zone games. The Maze is a brightly-colored maze game. But there's a twist! No, there isn't.

Fantasy Zone - The Maze plays like a colorblind version of Pac-Man/Mouse Trap/Ladybug/Lock 'n' Chase/Solar Fox (let me know if I'm leaving any out) with one exception: you have to buy power-ups using the points you've accumulated. These include a couple of different kinds of guns and bombs and temporary invincibility. The last one is pricey, but can help you zip through a screen in under 30 seconds.

Fantasy Zone wasn't exactly original, but its cutesiness made it stand apart from Gradius, R-Type and other shooters. But cute is a standard ingredient for maze games, making FZTM just another face in an already large and unruly crowd.

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