Maize is a great game, published at a terrible time.
As I’ve discussed elsewhere, the market for indie games has exploded in the last few years. Fueled by the runaway success of games like Five Nights at Freddy’s and Outlast, it seems like anyone who’s ever dreamed of making their own indie game is doing so. Nobody can deny that big success stories are fun and encouraging, but the massive influx of indie games has created a traffic jam that I complain about regularly.
At the fore of the indie game bubble is the “Atmospheric First-Person Horror Adventure.”
More than most genres, atmospheric horror (often just walking simulation with jump scares) is cramming both fists up the industry’s blowhole, with thousands upon thousands of ill-conceived half-finished and buggy “games,” choking out would-be classics and keeping them unknown despite great work by dedicated developers.
Am I on my soapbox again? Sorry.
Back to my point, I think Maize is a great game, and deserving of much more attention than it has received. Owing to the fact that the Atmospheric First-Person Horror Advetnure bubble has long since popped and gamers are hungry for something else.
So what is Maize?
While not exactly a horror title, Maize is a darkly atmospheric-yet-goofy first-person adventure game that pokes a few holes in that fourth wall and is rendered absolutely stunningly with the Unreal engine. Maize shows the kind of polish and finesse that would have set Finish Line Games apart from their competition, but instead they have become lost in a crowd. Here’s hoping Steam Direct’s $100 fee will weed out some of the less-serious developers and quality games like this can get more attention.
Anyway, I would never have heard of this game if Humble Bundle hadn’t sent me a copy. But now that you’ve missed that bundle, you’ll have to throw money down if you want to enjoy this really nifty adventure.