SNK's 1983 Marvin's Maze
Did you ever wish Pac-Man had guns? Sure, he's got those power pellet things that allow him to turn on his enemies and gobble them up. But sometimes a power pellet is no match for some serious firepower. Marvin's Maze seeks to solve that problem.

Once armed it becomes Marvin's mission to destroy as many Robonoids as possible with the limited shots you can acquire. So if you can get a bunch of Robonoids to line up in single file, a single well-placed shot will eliminate them all and give you big bonus points. While simply clearing the maze of dots can advance you to the next level pretty easily the real challenge of this game is trying to make every shot count and racking up the bonus points.

In addition to arming our hero with a weapon that gets powered up by collecting glowing balls, Marvin's Maze tries to outdo the traditional Pac-Man formula by offering the ability to outsmart the bad guys by walking over colored sections on the floor that alter the maze layout. Finally, add the ability to travel through elevator tubes between stacked mazes and you have the Marvin's Maze formula.

Missing Ingredient
What's my motivation? Who is this Marvin guy? And why is he being constantly hounded by these Robonoid things? And just what is a Robonoid anyway? And why are we all running around in mazes?

The graphics and character designs are all fairly well done and would lend themselves well to a storyline that would explain why all these critters have been tossed into this game. A story could also add variety and a goal to work towards. Without it the gameplay can get a little tedious after awhile. Especially if you're playing traditional Pac-Man style and not trying to accumulate bonus points for well-aimed shots.

Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


All content © Dave Dries unless otherwise stated