Mazelith – Game Review (iOS)

Mazelith came such a big surprise. I was just finishing writing my review about a Merge Cube game that I’ve decided to check out what’s new with standard AR games. I browsed the latest game and I found this game called Mazelith—I was so excited.

What got me so excited?

I am a big fan of perspective illusion games in augmented reality (AR).  The reason for that is that those games are relaxing, put emphasize on observation, they require you to think, they are visually captivating, challenging and the enforce physical movement but one that isn’t intensive, comfortable, slow and calculated.

I’ve already played similar games like that, including AMON, YuME: Alice’s Dream, ARise, PuzzlAR: World Tour. Not all of them are based on the optical illusion concept but they are designed around the same idea of spatial observation in the 3D space.

What is Mazelith?

Mazelith (Monolith + Maze) is perspective brain teaser game in augmented reality. A challenging puzzler where the player needs to interact with objects and position himself in the right angle in order to solve the puzzle.

The goal is simple. You need to move what looks like a white line, from one starting point to another endpoint. You need to create connections so those lines that transfer the white line are not broken but visually connected, so the line can pass through until it reaches the last endpoint like a water pipe.

Playing Mazelith iOS game outdoors
Ha!, I know how to solve it!

At first glance, the structure looks broken. Each piece is disconnected from the other pieces. However, once you move around those pieces, you find out that at certain angles, the parts construct a complete shape.  However, this game isn’t like AMON where all the pieces should be part of the final full statue and those who are not relevant should be discarded. In Mazelith, the developer added an option to rotate certain colored parts. This added gameplay mechanic supplements a new dynamic to the type of gameplay that I’m already a big fan of.

AR Experience

Mazelith AR game
OK, so I should rotate this block and then it can connect to the endpoint. Now to hard.

The developer added all the right adjustment parameters to make sure you can play the game everywhere you are. The game allows you to adjust its size, vertical positioning along the Y-axis, repositioning it (re-scan of the surface) anytime you like with a click on the “Reposition” button. I can even position the game on my knee (I actually tried it).

Now, there is an exception for this. There is no way to rotate the structure. I assume this is done to encourage players to move around the structure than just playing it from a static location. After all, if you play it like this, what’s the point in playing a game like this in augmented reality (AR)? So I think it’s a smart move.

Also keep in mind that although you can resize the game to be very small, you are still required to move around it, so it’s not like you will able to actually playing it on top of your knee :).

Visuals

Mazelith is a very simplistic game as far as its visuals go. The structure is constructed using sharp primitive (sometimes angled) shapes. Even the user interface (UI) is as basic as it can get with only a reposition button on the left and a menu button on the right, that’s it. Nothing takes the focus from this game, all your attention is on the structure and the puzzle solving experience.

Gameplay Difficulty

Mazelith puzzle AR game
It’s fun physically moving around the puzzle, driving to find out the right angle.

The game features only 8 levels. The puzzles are smart but not challenging enough, at least that’s how it was for me. I was able to finish the game in like 15 minutes. I thought I am going to see 50 levels and going to spend all afternoon trying to finish this game, but no.

This is so frustrating because the developer already spends time developing a compelling AR experience, why make it so short? If I had to develop a game like this, I would probably sit with my dad and try to think of an algorithm to create procedurally generated optical illusion puzzle levels automatically. I want to create a game like this that never ends. Seriously, I felt bad after seeing that there are no more levels to play. It just looked like a proof of concept type of game, not a complete game.

Bottom line, the game is way too short. On the positive side, it’s free-to-play and ad-free. If you check AMON you can see that it has a long list of levels, I didn’t even have time to finish all of them and they are very challenging.

Conclusion

Mazelith is another superb take on the optical illusion puzzle solving games. Although I’m not new to this type of games, I liked the additional block rotation mechanic. I also like the simplistic design that actually fits this game surprisingly well.

As I mentioned earlier, this game main problem is that it’s just too short. You are just starting to enjoy it and find it a bit challenging and it’s over. Honestly, I have no idea how it got to weigh 328MB.

So this is the thing. This could easily turn up to be on my top list of my favorite AR game, but the amount of content is just so limited that it feels like a teaser for a game. I finish writing this review with a big disappointment. The thing is that this came was released today on the 13th of January, so I keep myself optimistic, hoping the developer adds more levels in the upcoming days or weeks.

Download Mazelith from the App Store here.