January 1993 - Cats and Mice, Connect the Dots

Man, I only had one 4 star (or greater) game from 1992 to add to the site's accompanying game archive page. Here's hoping 1993 is better, but I'm not super optimistic.

The Gazette intro section mentions that competitor RUN magazine was closing its doors. (Heh, wonder if they did any type-ins-on-disk...)

Comics of the month... This one made me snort:
but this one seemed more true:


Cats and Mice - Maurice Yanney

Oddly old-school sprite work in this one (the graphics in Yanney's character based games were pretty utilitarian looking as well.) You are the mouse roaming around a field with 4 cats and 3 pieces of cheese. The cheese is drifting around the maze as well. When you hit a piece of cheese it shrinks and runs off to a different part of the maze, needing five hits to be fully consumed. You can press the button for a bit of limited turbo boost. I think the game suffers because otherwise the mouse is exactly the same speed as the cats; if it was a just a bit faster, the advantage of the cats wouldn't feel so overwhelming. Rating:3/5

Connect the Dots - Dick Sands

The old pen and paper game where you take turns drawing lines on a grid of dots, and claim a square by completing it. This is just a disk-only bonus, but they did just about the same game exactly 6 years prior and even a more innovative variant two years before that. The UI of typing the two letters to connect works better than I expected, though it limits the size of the board, and I suspect the AI might be absolutely lousy. Rating:2/5

December 1992 - Tack Truck

Horrible Comic of the Month:
Is there even a joke there?

Quote embedded in the editor's column of Gazette, from small developer Jim Hilty:
It seems the software development for the 64 has gone full circle, from the small independent developer to the big corporate image and now back to individuals. Maybe this is good. The 64 has always been kind of a barnstorming computer anyway--just plug it in and fly by the seat of your pants. It's a fun computer, a truly personal computer, a computer that an individual can enjoy programming, a welcome friend.
Thinking about that a bit - I see what he means, C=64s certainly never felt as "just the machine I have now, I'll upgrade pretty soon" as PCs were. Though an interesting counterpoint: if you had to swap out and get your C=64 replaced or use a friend's... there's relatively little to customize on it, unlike say a PC with a big ol' Harddrive that you've filled up with your own programs and data. Put in whatever 5 1/4 you want, and the identity has completely switched over.

Just a thought.

Tack Truck - Scott Gifford

A 2-player-only Surround clone? In 1992? Really? Rating:1/5
(Only semi-redeeming part is the intro paragraph in the article: "In the year 2000, the economy is in worse shape than it is now. Competition in the thumbtack delivery business is especially fierce. Drivers go to any length to be the first to deliver their tacks.")

Battleship 128 - Donald G. Klich

Oh jeez. A 128 BASIC rendition of Battleships. There might be some small variety added: "When a hit is scored, the program doesn't reveal exactly where it occurred, but displays the entire [three shot] salvo as possible hits." I couldn't quite get the thing working though. Rating:1/5

Actually, the 3-shot-salvo idea seems like an idea that could be applied to the more traditional forms of the game...

November 1992 - Tunnel Trap

The main COMPUTE's editor section talks about FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) especially in terms of the OS/2 wars.

Bummer Quote of the Month:
"If our technical civilization destroys itself, as is not unlikely, the survivors will not be able to rebuild it, because most of the metal ores will already have been mined from the earth." --Isaac Asimov, in an article by Steven Anzovin.

Comic of the Month:
Alright, that one made me snort a little. At least it's topical about details of actual computer use, not some other generic scenario made "funny" by adding a computer.

The editors note in the Gazette section claims their now swamped with excellent type-in submissions... we'll see, I guess!

Kinda still topical!

Fred D'Iganzio's column mentions the fun of using a Fujitsu Pocket Commander phone... very early for a cellphone!

Tunnel Trap - Danny English

Like Danny English's other games, it's a graphically detailed flickscreener. This one is a bit different, being a two player splitscreen deathmatch. But still dull. Players can shoot eachother and in theory can lay traps with the function keys but I couldn't quite get it to work, but as far as deathmatches Gazette has offered over the years, this one seems pretty low on the list. Rating:3/5

October 1992 - Mindboggle

Cover talks about the "586"... first off, wow, this early? I didn't see that around much 'til like 1995. Second of all... oh yeah, it wasn't always the "Pentium", Intel just wanted a name they could copyright.

Ah well, to the Gazette!

Mindboggle - John Cameron

"Mindboggle (not to be confused with Mind Boggle, May 1984) is a strategy game for up to four players." (Heh- that was the first month with a pack-in disk. And oddly enough, the menu program does call it Mind Boggle.) Technically it's always 4 players, but none of them have to be human. Anyway, this is a variant of a memory matching game, pick 2 tiles, claim 'em if they match. There are a few special pieces with various game play effects, though they're not described very well in the article.  I included the attractive title screen because I liked the typeface for both the title and the one for the rest of the text. Rating:3/5

September 1992 - Drixella's Dilemma

Oh, man... the Editor notes that there was exactly zero new pieces of commercial software to review this issue. I guess I shouldn't pick too much on Gazette for not having a plethora of games, and just be amazed that they kept this up for another 2 1/2 years.

Horrible comic of the month:
Alrighty then...

Drixella's Dilemma - Arthur Moore

Tile placement solitaire-ish game, either timed or "practice". I dunno, I think there are too many rules: when you place a tile it has to match either witchly icon or color, if it touches two when placed it has to match one with color and the other with icon (similarly three touching can't all be a icon or color match, and four touching has to be two of each) Attractive game, and the title screen had some neat animation, but it seems too difficult and luck-based and annoying. Rating:3/5

August 1992 - Balloon Pop, Sub Attack II, Pyramid

Article on online dating... OKC is still a long way off!

Horrible comic of the month:

The editor's notes in the Gazette section (kind of defensive, about how the 64 was still chugging along) made me realize I can't think of much that I did with that system that wasn't a game, or programming (which is a bit self-referential) I guess I tried some word processing in high school, and it was a bit better than my electric typewriter (even with the "preview the line before it types) feature.

The Beginner's Basic section has been getting into hardware hacks using the joystick port as output, which is kind of cool.

Balloon Pop - Maurice Yanney

"If you're the kind of person who gets a kick out of popping balloons, you'll love this game for the 64". Heh. At first the simplistic graphics and hyper-old school idea was kind of off-putting, but solid gameplay puts this back into the realm of the "pretty much ok".  It takes Kaboom!, flips it upside-down, but then adds a space-invaders twist that you can shoot the pin to take out a balloon. Shots have to be aimed carefully, but the collision attack takes less skill, but then again you're stuck waiting in place if you are going to go kamikaze... so little strategies emerge, plus there's some thoughtful breaking up off the gameplay into levels etc. Rating:3/5

Sub Attack II - Tai Bush

A sequel to September 1987's Sub Attack (though that was 2 player only and this has one or more players swapping the joystick.) This screenshot doesn't do it justice...various levels eventually sport like 3 types of subs, 3 types of aircraft, and even enemy boats and mines, and clouds and murky water, and there's tons of attention to detail, like enemy subs can hit each other, and nice little splashy (literally) explosions... but it's difficult. Even at 50% speed, the first level is too difficult for a typical player. And it's unforgiving... not only are the subs gunning right for you, but those splashy explosions will kill you as well. I think even in 1992, it would be rare to find a player giving a Commodore 64 games as much focused effort as this one demands. But I don't want to knock it too much, because maybe I'm just a big wuss. Rating:3/5

Pyramid - R. B. Cook

Two solitaire variants, pull cards from the bottom of the pyramid that are unblocked, one number higher or lower than the digit showing on the discard pile. (The other variation is 2 cards that add up to 9) Competently done (though I think moving the cursor only to places that were valid to click would make more sense, rather than jumping around a grid) though I think the gameplay mostly devolves into a luck-based wordhunt. Rating:3/5

July 1992 - Mimic 128, Railroad Solitaire

This comic seems especially relevant given the quality/quantity of games lately. (Awwww Snap!)
Sigh. Both of these month's entries are C128 BASIC games.

Mimic 128 - Joseph Sheppard

Simon. Use the joystick to playback an ever-increasing sequence of colors/tones. Rating:2/5

Railroad Solitaire - Donald G. Klich

For me the most interesting part of this was the title screen that told the story of how the "real world" version of this was designed for use while riding the train, where space was often at a premium. Slow to draw as well. Rating:1/5

June 1992 - Stock Market 64

June 1992! I was graduating high school at this time! Man I'm old. But, not as old as I will be, Knock on Murphy.

The Editors of COMPUTE

Why do I find 80s and early 90s business headshots so amusing? I have no idea. Wonder if it it's the era or the subculture that was so pro-beard? (He writes, then pausing to run his fingers along his own.)

The "64/128 View" this month is a no-nonsense pitch and general guide to submitting programs to the magazine. I still have a pipe-dream that if I was with it, I could've been one of those folks

Pitiful month for games this month, no type-in. There is the Sprint III BASIC Compiler but it can't even do that Flood minigame I wrote about before.

Stock Market 64 - Daniel A. Smith

Ugh, the disk-only bonus is just a port of December 1990's Stock Market 128. Which in turn isn't much different than August 1998's "Investor". Buy low, sell high, repeat. Rating:2/5

May 1992 - Milk Run, Turbo Poker, Cosmic Freighter 128

Ooh, cover and main article of COMPUTE is Windows 3.1... that really is the one everyone was using through most of my college years.

Horrible comic of the month:

Heh, there's a review of the Commodore game "Back to The Future Part III". Given the recent "Back to the Future 2 Day" celebration, it's funny to realize just how far back in computer history that series was.

Milk Run - Gus Vakalis

This two player only game reflects a strong Paperboy influence. Two milkmen are furiously scurrying up a street... each player has to throw milk accurately on the porch or else the porchlight goes from a delicious milky-white to a devilish red and they won't be your customer next round. You can also throw milk at your opponent (to knock off points) or I guess sometimes the dog charges you and you can use milk to stop that as well. Part of the problem is the timing... since you can only throw one bottle at once, if you miss one house, you're likely to not have time to make the next either. Doesn't feel like a very well-tuned game Tentative Rating:3/5

Turbo Poker - Mark Neri

Cards fly in from the left, and you want to form vertical poker hands. Like with November 1985's Power Poker it's not my thing but I think it seems kind of cool. On the other hand, I can feel some flaws with the interface; there should be a line midscreen where cards start to gather, and if you press sideways to speed up a fall, you can't stop the fall, it keeps on going like on inferior implementations of Tetris. Rating:3/5

Cosmic Freighter - Daniel A. Smith

Oh, the bonus game is for the 128! (It's so telling that the menu system for 128 is still the old school text one) I think this is only the second game to use the 80-column mode. A sci-fi themed text-based trading game for up to four players. I dunno, I've always said I never like a game where I really want a spreadsheet by my side... (mostly referring to the German table-top games some of my friends dig, but the same idea applies.) Rating:3/5

April 1992 - Pegman, The Cube

The main COMPUTE's editorial had me going with their April Fools, for a second - describing how because they're owned by science-minded Omni they're going metric. I started to catch on when they said 3 1/2 and 5 1/4 disks were going to be referred to as 8.89cm and 13.335cm...

It was funny reading about the Apple Pencil before starting this entry (I always covet tablet/drawing technology... "NOW I'll be just as good a bad doodler virtually as I am in real life!") and then seeing this month's "The Return of the Pen". I had forgotten there was Microsofts Windows with Pen Computing - so even before the Newton, the idea was out there.

Comic of the month:

Ok, to the games:

Pegman - Alain Tremblay

This game has a lot going on. It's a little like Jumpman, in terms of being a level-based jumper/climber. You go around collecting/turning off leaking faucets, looking out for dangerous crabs and this big fish that eventually shows up... like the fish in Super Mario Bros 3 it's most dangerous when you're in the water but will leap out to grab you on land too. Also there are less dangerous ladder-eating snails and a fish that comically flies in and knocks you around a bit. The water is continually rising, and it's weirdly hard to get out of, I think you need to get to a ladder. So, a lot going on, but ultimately not a lot of fun. Rating:3/5

The Cube - Michael J. Pope Jr.

Slow (BASIC) sliding title game, though making color stripes instead of having to get specific tiles into position. Also, uses cursor keys and "f1" instead of the joystick. Rating:2/5

February/March 1992 - Balloon Crazy, Sammy Seal, Future Lock

Huh. So this issue spans 2 months, but the editor section explains it's not a general switch, just a one month realignment against OMNI's publishing schedule.

Balloon Crazy - Ligia Latino

I think this is a rather imaginative reskinning of the arcade game Anteater - but more importantly, it's fun! Rather than an anteater with a looooong tongue, you countrol a clown with a crazy, winding arm, and a knife (as if some people didn't find clowns scary enough!) Your goal is to pop each balloon. Green monsters crawl back and forth - they're vulnerable to your knife, but your arm is vulnerable to them. Luckily you can hit fire to quickly retract the knife back to- the wrist, I guess? But there's also a magnet that is dangerous to your knife, but harmless to your arm (but you can sneak attack and hit it from behind) Anyway, pretty cool and complex game. Rating:4/5

(Random side note... I was trying to find a video of a somewhat similar game for Atari and VIC-20 called K-Razy Antiks but then I found a video of this AMAZING looking VIC-20 game Garden Wars. Look at it. Just look at it!)

Sammy Seal - Arthur Moore

Quirky puzzle/logic game. Your seal has an ice block with one of 4 symbols on it. You need to throw it at a matching symbol in the big ice pile (throwing at any other symbol loses a life.) You then destroy the matching ice block (or bloks, if they are in a row) and the one behind is sent to you for your next turn. You can throw at the pile horizontally or vertically (for vertical shots, you bank off the top diagonal wall) The "goal" block is for the last block remaining: on the standard mode that's for bonus points, but on advanced mode it's a requirement. Not my cuppa tea, but kinda cool for what it is. Rating:32/5

UPDATE: On this blog's thread on the awesome site Lemon64, Rekrul points out this is a clone of a Taito game called Plotting that even had a C=64 port. Between that and the fact I wasn't crazy about this game anyway I've deducted a point.

Future Lock - Danny English

This bonus game is the third flick-screen game by Danny English. His games are frustrating, both in terms of playability, and in terms of wasted potential. You are a little man racing across a large city  - you must hack six terminals (hacking performed by standing next to a computer terminal) to unlock a gate which you then must find. You are pursued by relentless Patrol Robots... they quickly sap your stamina when they are over you and your only defense (besides running) is dropping one of 9 (refillable) bombs behind you. I think the relentless aspect is the most annoying bit, specifically how the game handles screen borders... you're significantly faster than the robots, but no matter how far behind the screen border they are when you cross over, they appear at the same border you entered from a few seconds later. Without that, this game might be a fun exploration game, but with that aspect it's just annoying. (Also, like his other 2 games, enemies always appear one per screen, which kind of reveals too much about how the sausage is made.) Rating:3/5

Quick Note on Accompanying Archive Site

Just a reminder that all 4 and 5 star games (for the C64) are being put into my accompanying file archive... I put each one into a bootable disk (or tape) image.
Thanks to the amazing Gamebase64 database (and an archive slipped to me) I'm able to include files that I otherwise was having trouble making bootable.

(Fair warning for people following the blog as I write it, the archive lags the reviews a bit, I tend to batch up game uploads on a publishing-year basis.)

It's funny, I know my decision to limit this to 4 and 5 star games influences my ratings a little bit. In theory I might go back and dig up the 3 stars (which represent "par" in my rating system) but I think being selective has its advantages too.

January 1992 - TriBlox

O, brave new world that has such boring cover art. Like I previously mentioned, I can't be arsed to copy over these stupid PC hardware glamour shots. The old Gazette covers were informative, the earlier OMNI-era COMPUTE covers were cool in a cyber-90s kind of way, but these are just dull, and not related to the mission of this blog.

There's a pretty good article in the main section on "Principles of Good Game Design" with little interviews from Paul "Star Control and Arcon" Reiche III, Dave "Lemmings" Jones, Roberta "King's Quest" Williams, Richard "Ultima" Garriott, and Dan "M.U.L.E." Bunten.

I admit, this comic made me exhale in amusement:

Alright, on to the games! Game.

Triblox - Mark Neri

Clone of Columns, probably my least favorite of the Tetris genre. Rating:3/5, 'cause I guess some people liked the game.

Sigh. I guess this year isn't shaping up much better than last.

Interlude: Flood

The November 1991 "Programmer's Page" focused on an issue with reader's Geza Lucz's minigame Flood (the issue pointed to a difference between C=64 ROMS - on old systems, the default color for text is set to the screen's background color) but the place where the listing would be on the page is blank! The next month mentions the printer's error and prints the game in its entirety:

Believe it or not, that small bit of coding makes up a very playable little game...

Flood - Geza Lucz

The game is essentially "fun with real-time floodfill". Once the playfield is made two dots of water are place and immediately start to spread. The player has to maneuver the little check guy and press return to put down wall and minimize the spread of water, and then your final score is based on how many spaces you keep dry. Rating:4/5 in part because of the cleverness involved, and because I may want to borrow the basic idea.

I typed in and saved the game, you can get a D64 Image Here.

Just for geeky fun, I'm going to try to understand how it does its magic. Its been a long time since I've delved into C=64/Microsoft BASIC, so wish me luck...
This is what the November article focuses on, setting the background color to the desired foreground color, clearing the screen, and then setting the background back, as a hack for old ROMs.

The next part I'm not sure about:
The first line DIMs 2 arrays. A() is big enough for screen memory twice over (40x25 characters). The next lines set some magic numbers in B(). Hmm. The numbers (-1,1,-40, and 40) might well be offsets in screen memory... for example if you wanted to set or read the character one line down, you might add 40 to the current character memory location and that would be the memory mapped to the screen one character below... I'm not sure about the magic numbers 29,157,145,17 though, there in line 130.

The next block is so cute:

This is using a single FOR loop to set all 4 borders. According to the Commodore-64 Memory Map, 1024 is the default start of screen memory, and according to the C64 screen codes 42 is the code for "*". So line 150 POKEs in a * for the top row, and then the bottom row (1984 = 1024 memory start + (40 characters across * 24 rows down)).

Lines 160 and 170 are the really amusing bits (er, for people who are amused by this kind of thing) - instead of going from 0 to 39, the vertical sides are 0 to 23, so Lucz uses some division and rounding... that means some characters are being set twice, but that doesn't hurt anything, and is more efficient than conditionals to see if the setting is necessary.

Next is some more initialization, this time of the two starting water drops:
190 does a simple loop for 1 to 2. Line 200 is setting A(1) and then A(2) to the value of a random screen memory location, line 210 says if the location line 200 selected does not have a space character (32) then goto 200. (Confusingly {SPACE} is just Gazette's way of saying type a space here, and then for brevity they leave out the "GOTO") 220 then pokes a star into screen memory at the location A(1) or A(2) points to.

So this is an important hint at how A() will be used- it's not a simple memory map, it's a set of offsets INTO the screen memory, I'm assuming the use will be a flattened X,Y coordinate, one for each water drop.

Still initializing, we get
Confusingly, B and A are distinct from the arrays B() and A(). We'll have to figure out what they're doing later on.

Line 250 pokes a checkerboard (102) into the current player position, again according the the C64 screen codes.

Ok, time for our main game loop:

270-330 is the main loop for updating water. Inside this loop, there's that GOSUB 370 which as we'll see is the keyboard reading/player moving. It's important to see that that call is nested in the outer FOR loop, rather than just once per "infinite" GOTO loop... otherwise the game would be feel very unresponsive, and the player could only move once per global update.

So, I'm conjecturing "A" is the first water drop to inspect, and "B" is the final one. A(), remember, is the array of offsets to screenlocations (one for each drop) and B(1-4) is a series of offsets to look up, down, left, and right. So "I" is the offset of the drop we're inspecting. 290 says "if the location of the current drop adjusted for the up/down/left/right offset is NOT a space, then goto 310" (i.e. skip line 300).

So line 300 represents the addition of the drop. I'm thinking "L" represents how many drops we've added to this "GOTO loop". Into A(B+L) (i.e. the next available space in A() for a drop to sit) we push the screen memory location of this drop - A(I) - plus the up/down/left/right screen memory offset from B(). And to end the line we poke a 42 "*" character into that new screen location. (And because we started with those solid borders, we don't have to worry about poke'ing off of the screen.)

310 finishes looping for looking up/down/left/right, 320 reads and reacts to the player input, line 330 finishes looping through all the droplets that were known to be needed to be checked.

340 then sets up the variables for the next run of the GOTO loop, A, the start of the search, is set to B, where we ended the search this time. B, the end of the search for next time, is then increased by how many drops we added in.

In other words, each turn, the up/down/left/right neighbors of all the drops we added last time are inspected, and any blanks there are made new drops, and then next GOTO loop those new drops will be inspected in turn, and so on. Thus, the floodfill happens.

350 looks for the win condition. If L is zero, that mean we added in zero drops... i.e. there are no drops with empty neighbors, and the game is done. And B is the offset of the last drop, so we get a score by subtracting that from the total number of drops possible, if the player did nothing but stand there.

All we have left is the keyboard and player movement subroutine:
Once again, we see variables with the same name treated differently: R vs R$. We'll see that R$ is used to read in the keyboard, and I think R is what is "replacing" the character at the old position.

370 reads in the keyboard. Not sure about reasoning of appending a space, probably to prevent errors if no key is pressed?

380 says if the key pressed was the return key, than R will be 91 - this corresponds with the wall marking character, a big cross shape.

With line 390, the use of the second set of values for B() (as set in line 130) becomes clear: those magic numbers are character codes corresponding to the cursor movement keys. So we look at the screen map of the current player location H, treating the ASCII code of the pressed key as an offset into the up/down/left/right offset in B(), and if it's not a space there, we return; the player can't move there, whether its wall or water blocking them. (So in short, B() has 8 values, 2 sets that point to up/down/left/right offsets, the first set is index making it easy to loop through when looking for drop neighbors, and the second set has indexes lining up with keyboard codes. We never initialize B(), I guess other pressed keycodes could create odd movement jumps if they had old data.)

400 pokes the players current location with R - this looks to be a wall piece if they've hit return since we last tried to move.

410 uses the same B() offset trick to change the player's known location.

420 says R gets to be what is in the space the player is about to be moved to... i.e. I'm pretty sure that will always be a space. And having read what was there, we go ahead and put a 102 checkerboard in that new location.

Wow! That is a neat bit of coding.

You can make a harder variation by increasing the number of starting droplets, you just have to change what W loops up to in 190 and then the initial value of B in 240. And of course, being able to make that kind of change is part of the charm of this era of BASIC programming!

December 1991 - Desdemona, Checker Command, Country Cab, The Raven Adventures

I think this is the last cover image I'll bother including. The post-Omni-acquisition cover art had been interesting, with a focus on computer generated art of the time, but from here on in COMPUTE just has boring glamour shots of PCs, and then Gazette becomes disk-only anyway.

Ad Snippet of the Month:

GeoWorks Writer: the power to turn you from fun loving goofball into a American Psycho-looking Bro.

Comic of the Month:
Actually I kind of liked that one; charming in a heavy handed kind of way!

Huh, in the Commodore section I was surprised to see this mini-ad:
I was in The Salvation Army at the time, so it's kind of striking for me, and probably not very interesting for anyone else. Ah well.

On to the games.

Desdemona - Matt Morgan

So, any fan of Shakespeare and/or board games will be unsurprised to see this is a version of Othello. The Computer player is a little slow, other than that it seems pretty decent. Rating:3/5

Checker Command - Mike Sedlezky

Heh, you know Battle Chess? The game of chess, but when one piece takes another, it shows a little animation? This is like that, but instead of chess it's checkers, and instead of a royal court there's a bunch of the hoverjets from October's game of the same name... they don't just jump each other, they shoot. Odd little bit of a recycling mashup, so an extra point for chutzpah. Rating:4/5

Country Cab - Alain Trembley

Imagine head-to-head "Crazy Taxi" for 8-bit systems. Sounds pretty cool, right? Now change the cityscape to a flat bit of country. Now replace the music with motory clicky noises. Now make the controls HORRIBLE (fwd/turn/back is fair enough, but having button (when stopped) be "switch into reverse" is odd, and overall it's extremely unpleasant. Add in  the ability to get weirdly stuck in bogs and you have the makings of a well-conceived but surprisingly unfun game. Tentative Rating:2/5

The Raven Adventures - Daniel Lightner

The Disk-Only Bonus game is another one of those crude 3-D labyrinth games, but beset by a kind of horrible UI. I don't mean to sound weird or abusive, but sometimes I honestly wonder if the folks making these games are neurotypical folk, or if they are a bit further along the spectrum: these are games that have had loving amount of detail and attention poured into them, but seem to have little regard for how people interact with them, and how to reduce the cognitive load on the player so as to make the game a more pleasant experience. Anyway, I didn't get far enough in this game to judge it fairly, so I'm going to say Rating:3/5 and leave it at that, because the maze rendition was kind of nice.