Get Immersed in a Wholesome Point-and-Click
Fully-fledged games are a rare breed for the Oculus Go—a system better suited to seated, observational VR experiences. World of Mazes is certainly one of these titles. As a point-and-click puzzler with a heavy focus on narrative, exploration and head-scratching conundrums, the episodic series has already accrued a good number of fans after its first two releases. Which is perfect for developer RiseAngle who hopes to continue creating new instalments for the series, fleshing out its world in the process.
From the word go, the game presents its intriguing narrative front and centre, with the mysterious, cosmic backdrop of floating planet-bound mazes. Before your arrival, Princess Maya has been kidnapped and her loyal servant Gelayon has been cast into the mazes—doomed unless he can escape. Interestingly, you don’t play Gelayon but a new visitor of the mazes. You work with Gelayon, and the countless, colourful NPCs you encounter along your journey to escape the maze in an attempt to rescue the kidnapped princess. Of course, seeing as these bizarre mazes inhabit a relatively abstract space in the sky, there is naturally an ancient prophecy which unfolds alongside your adventure.
Chapter 1 takes place in the Aztyle Maze, where players are introduced to the narrative, meeting Gelayon, Ayla, a friendly female merchant, and Procket, a rock-prophet with a grumpy demeanour. See a trailer of Chapter 1 here!
The following chapter sees you traverse Grezorth Maze, a much larger environment under the constant barrage of falling meteors. Here players unravel the mysteries of the Grezite Scroll, meeting more colourful characters including one particularly memorable ghostly figure. See a trailer of Chapter 2 here!
As you traverse the various mazes, you will pick up items and encounter various puzzles akin to classic point-and-click adventures, requiring you to connect the nuts and bolts in order to progress. Satisfyingly, many of these puzzles do leave you scratching your head, requiring some real thought, deepening its values as a puzzler. Furthermore, each maze is specifically designed to evoke a specific emotional tone—the Aztyle Maze is green and full of life, while the Grezorth Maze has a much darker tone—which is complimented well by the cast of characters you meet throughout your travels
One of the most unique elements of RiseAngle’s game is its moral principle—to be righteous. Kaveh Vahdat, the company’s founder, explains the company’s mission and accordingly the World of Mazes development philosophy as creating morally upstanding games that are super fun to play. Completely jettisoning any violent solutions, the game seeks to have players reach creatively uplifting solutions to their puzzles. This sidestepping of violence and goal of positive, uplifting morals certainly sets it apart from many other VR titles.
A number of fans have praised the game’s environmental storytelling, character interaction, challenging puzzles and great potential. With it’s strengths worn on its sleeve, VR veterans looking for crisp, modern visual fidelity may be disappointed, but newcomers to the medium, or players looking for a wholesome, casual experience will find much to enjoy.
To date, the releases hold two chapters to play through, with an average of a few hours of gameplay for each chapter. While the first chapter is provided free of charge, with optional in-game hints costing real money, the second, and potentially subsequent chapters, is paid for individually.
With plans to expand the universe, lore and yet unfinished narrative of World of Mazes in future releases, it’s exciting to anticipate how RiseAngle will build upon the narrative, while refining the game’s aesthetics and point-and-click gameplay, potentially bringing it closer the cutting edge of VR gaming.