Review Information
Game Reviewed Metroid Maze, by Kain
Review Author Q-Nova
Created May 1 2022, 6:00 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
Metroid Maze is Kain's first game, made with Game Maker 4.3. It was originally made in 2003, and then given a Metroid makeover with a little touch-up in 2006. It was originally uploaded to Metroid: Fan Mission -- a now-dead site -- and then moved to MFGG about 13 years later when the latter started accepting non-Mario content. Seeing "first game" may turn you away, and indeed the presentation has that sort of feel. If you look beyond that, however, you'll discover a surprisingly compelling and complex puzzle game!
Pros +Excellent, creative, and perplexing level design
+Unique gameplay and controls
+Lots of different things to play with
+Very stable, with little glitches
+Pleasant song
Cons -Difficulty is slightly unbalanced
-No incentive to get purple dots
-Few sound effects
-Lacking in polish
9 / 10
Metroid Maze is like any other maze game: You're a Metroid that moves in a snappy grid pattern, who must get the white key and then head to the finish flag. (Shouldn't that be a door?) What makes this unique is that you're pulled down by gravity, giving the gameplay more depth. Your Metroid journey consists of 9 well-designed levels, but don't go assume it's a quick and easy game! Each level presents many creative and diverse puzzles that will force you to put on your thinking cap, right from the get-go! A few levels in particular took me a few hours each, especially level 5! Quite often, a level will seem impossible until you come across that beautiful "A-ha!" moment.

While the levels stay challenging and engaging throughout, I felt like the last few levels were relatively a bit simple and easy, when it should be the opposite. Also, the lack of tutorials, hints, or feature explanations means you'll be spending a while figuring out how the game works rather than solving the first level, which could unfortunately put some people off. There are a few odd rookie mistakes, like the level not restarting if you die, but they're nothing more than minor inconveniences thankfully.
7 / 10
Metroid graphics, such as the juicy Metroid, are used here, of course. Some are resized, but Kain took the effort to edit them afterwards so they look pretty nice! While it may seem simplistic (e.g. no background), it never interferes with gameplay, but instead compliments it well. With that said, some sprites (from the old version, I assume) look awfully basic and not very Metroid-like. Some could use animation, like the springs and explosions. Also, what does a white key have to with the stock Game Maker finish flag?
6 / 10
A single looping MIDI (that I don't recognize) is used for the whole game, but it sounds pleasant, relaxing, and never annoying. Sound effects are, unfortunately, scarce with the two that are used being stock Game Maker sounds. They don't sound bad, but given that Kain gave the graphics a bit of a Metroid conversion, I don't know why he didn't do the same for sounds. Were Metroid sound rips non-existent back then?

==Replay: 7/10==

Like any other puzzle game, playing for the second time is different because you'll know the solutions. Even then, however, you might take about an hour to beat it again. Most levels have purple dots to collect, but since your count always goes down to zero when you start a level, there's no motivation to get them. A few of them seem downright impossible to get! It's too bad; they would've made for a nice high-score system. After time dilutes memory of the solutions, I think Metroid Maze will be a pretty fun game to sink many hours into again!
Final Words
8 / 10
Looks can be deceiving! Beneath its amateurish shell is a solid, well-designed puzzle game!

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