Developer: iBright LLC
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Don’t let the name fool you: Mazonaut is about mazes, not delicious mazzoball soup. After you recover from that initial disappointment, Mazonaut is a fun and fast-paced game for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
The object of the game is to guide the Mazonaut through a never-ending, neon maze that’s straight out of TRON. And, yes, the maze literally never ends. The maps are randomly generated when the game begins, and so the action can go on until the player ultimately, and inevitably, dies. It’s less frustrating than it sounds. Just as in Doodle Jump, another never-ending action game, the object is to beat your personal best.
Mazonaut wears its influences on its sleeve. The action is controlled with the accelerometer, making maze navigation feel an awful lot like Labyrinth and countless other marble-and-maze games for the iPhone. The Mazonaut himself looks like Bomberman of Bomberman Touch fame, and among the power-ups in the game are—you guessed it—bombs. But these parallels are not a flaw; if anything, they make the game easier to pick up and play.
While the gameplay is simple, the power-ups help keep things interesting. The aforementioned bombs will blast away a large section of the maze, so the player can charge ahead unobstructed. There are also short-acting jet packs and platforms that help the Mazonaut leap over walls. Why the hurry? The Mazonaut has to stay one step ahead of a black hole that is gradually devouring the maze, in case we forgot to mention.
Mazonaut is a young game, so there are a few kinks that still need to be worked out. The worst of these is the inability to move backwards in the map. Once in awhile, if you make a wrong move, you’ll be trapped in a dead end and you’ll have to either quit the game and start over, or patiently wait for the black hole to do that for you.
Aside from the occasional glitch, Mazonaut is pretty polished. The graphics are shiny enough to impress, but not so hardware intensive that they’ll slow down gameplay on an iPhone 3GS or older iPhone Touch. The sound design is as frenetic and futuristic as one would expect. At only $0.99, this game is recommended for those with a taste for action games.