|Programmer(s)||Andy French (C64)|
|Platform(s)||ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, MSX|
Maziacs, written by Don Priestley, was based on his earlier ZX81 game Mazogs which was published by Bug Byte in 1982. Mazogs was one of the most successful ZX81 games so Don Priestley adapted it for the higher-resolution, colour-screen ZX Spectrum and MSX. The Commodore 64 port was written by Andy French.
Maziacs takes place in a randomly generated, scrolling, overhead-view maze, in which the player-controlled protagonist must find gold and exit the level. The gold is placed at least 200 moves from the start position, and the maze is patrolled by monsters called maziacs. Prisoners are sometimes found in the walls of the maze, who can highlight the path to the gold for a short period of time. Moving through the maze and fighting maziacs decreases the player's energy, which can be replenished by finding food. The main game screen shows one fiftieth of the maze, but a "view mode" expands the view to show one twelfth. Whilst this mode is useful for scouting purposes, the player cannot move whilst viewing it.
A maziac can only be killed effectively with a sword, several of which are found in the maze but can only be used once. A sword cannot be carried at the same time as the gold. These last two factors lead to the tactic of avoiding groups of maziacs, but killing as many as possible before collecting the gold.
When Maziacs was published, critical reception was good. CRASH magazine awarded 82%, highlighting the appealing graphics and animation. In a retrospective later in the year, CRASH criticized the slightly unresponsive keyboard controls and felt it was less addictive, but continued to praise the animation techniques.
Maziacs was ranked at number 99 in the Your Sinclair official top 100 ZX Spectrum games of all time, because of the game's claustrophobic atmosphere, choreographed animation, and general character.
- Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
- Maziacs at World of Spectrum
- Maziacs at Lemon 64
- Maziacs at Generation-MSX
- "The YS Official Top 100 Part 1" Archived 16 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine. at The Your Sinclair Rock 'n' Roll Years
- Mazogs at ZX81stuff.org
- Maziacs review, CRASH issue 1, February 1984
- "Crashback" from CRASH issue 7