[Review] Island Maze – Nintendo Switch

Written by slimwiggins
  • Developer: Drageus Games
  • Publisher: Drageus Games
  • Release Date: 20/09/2019
  • Price: $2.99 / £2.69
  • Review code provided by Drageus Games

Not the vacation you were expecting…

Island Maze is reminiscent of Gilligans Island. A sitcom in which Gilligan, the main character, is stranded on an island. In this beautiful game, a cube is stuck, all alone on a small island, its only way out being to solve a puzzle and unlock a teleportation device to the next level.

A watery enigma

Island maze is a strategy puzzle game in which the player controls a cube that needs to flip itself tile by tile until it reaches its goal. Over obstacles and looming over dangerous waters, we all can assume this cube just wants to get home.

Never Eat Soggy Waffles?

The game focuses on only moving in four directions, North, East, South, and West. Due to the limited movement, the developers were able to focus their attention on mastering the controls. Even though this game takes us back to the era of the d-pad, (the 2000’s, oh what a great decade.) the way it controls is stunning. It feels so fluid; the way the cube rolls onto its other side, its sort of satisfying, in a way. 

The game features 28 levels, and although somewhat limited, the levels are infinitely replayable, with a lot of potential for future speedrunning (hint hint :0). Each level is built gorgeously, a fun mix of crystal gathering and wall maneuvering, you may never get bored. Although the levels were built fantastically, I feel some got very repetitive, and the game from that point on seemed lacking. For a while though, this game was one to be marveled.

Origami of water, glittering folds of blue

The game features a cute, paper like art style. The blocks made of simple shapes, reminding me of the polygonal sort of shapes from Mario 64, bring me back to simpler times. The waves seem to roll like dominoes, the shapes moving back and forth as if colored wooden blocks were affixed together by a soft cloth. 

Island Maze features an eerily upbeat soundtrack, the uplifting plucks of strings and screeching high notes of the pianos echoing loudly as if you were in a large church hall. The music may have been good, but I strongly feel that it doesn’t fit. I think the game may have been better with a peppy, upbeat 8-bit arcade style soundtrack instead.

Creepy little crawlies

The game, although somewhat lacking in some departments, is perfectly polished bug wise. I was unable to detect any issues after playing with it twice. No bugs were found, but I did experience slight frame drops in the later, somewhat larger levels. Island Maze is a great cheap puzzle game if you just bought a Switch Lite and are looking for something easy on the wallet and quick to play. While playing in handheld, this game felt somewhat perfect. In the dock, however, this game felt somewhat strange on a big screen. So if you primarily play in handheld, this game may be just the thing you need.

Final Wrap

Overall, Island Maze is a fairly decent game for its price. Featuring a wide array of levels, gorgeous geometrical graphics, and a somewhat peaceful soundtracks. This game is good for the person looking for a stress-free experience on the long train ride home after a long day at work.

Pros

  • Beautiful Graphics
  • Established End Goals
  • Interesting Mechanics

Cons

  • Slight Frame Drops
  • Soundtrack Doesn’t Really Fit
  • Out of Place in Docked Mode

Verdict
Overall, Island Maze is a fairly decent game for its price. Featured a wide array of levels, gorgeous geometrical graphics, and a somewhat peaceful soundtracks, this game is a good game for the person looking for a stress-free experience on the long train ride home after a long day at work.
3.5/5

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