Ever felt like running through a destroyed suburban neighborhood? Guess what! Dreams come true. Dead Maze is an isometric 2D MMO which brings that and so much more. You will explore, get lost, run and fight your way through a horde of undead just to survive. If you are ready for the fight let us dive deep into the Dead Maze. This is our Dead Maze review.
Weapons, Food, and Zombies, Oh My!
Dead Maze is exactly what it sounds like. Dead Maze is a game where you play a survivor immune to the “phenomenon” that is turning people undead. You will have to find your own food and weapons if you want to survive. Luckily those can be found everywhere…literally. Almost every décor item you see on a map is clickable and has some kind of loot you are able to grab. Now be warned, it is not all good loot. Weapons come with a quality and if it's poor quality don't expect it to last long. The higher the quality of weapon the more durable it is. If you hate your weapons breaking find better quality items and use them sparingly. Unless that is to say you have a bunch of good quality weapons, then go ham on those zombles.
In Dead Maze it is not only the weapons that have a quality but so does food. Food items are important because your character has a heat, hunger, and hydration meter. Food can be found in an expired state or in higher qualities like the weapons. I have yet to see what the exact difference is between the expired and other qualities as they seem to work the same. Now you can eat the food as is but it costs heat to do so. The only way to not expend heat eating and end up tired is to eat at a campfire. The campfire not only allows you to eat food without expending heat but it also restores your heat. Always remember to restore your heat as picking up items and eating without a campfire requires it. If you don't restore your heat, you become tired, unable to pick up items and unable to use items without a campfire. You do not want to end up in a situation where your meters are low and you are surrounded by a horde.
Crafting and Inventory
You ask why? Because you lose all the items in your inventory if you die. Those precious high-quality items, gone. Trust me when I say you learn a lesson the first time you die. Do not fret though, each item of normal quality or higher you pick up can be dismantled for materials that can be used to make new weapons and food. Dismantling items give you the chance to learn their recipe so that they can be crafted. The chance of getting a recipe seems pretty random and rare so far but you also get recipes when completing quests sometimes so that's alright. When dismantling you can do it at your characters shack or on the go. Dismantling on the go, like food, costs heat. If you have the right materials for an item while on the go you can also craft an item. Be careful when doing so as inventory space can feel pretty limited with the number of items you come across that you will want to pick up.
There are technically 22 spaces for inventory and that is including the bag and your bag hotbar. Having that limited space for all the items you come across that you want to pick up can be vexing for some. You can buy more inventory space and material storage space from an NPC. As stated before you can craft items on the go, but you can also craft items in your shack. To do so you must first have the specific kind of crafting bench for kinds of items you want to make. To get those said benches you must also craft them from the basic bench outside your shack. Of course, to do so requires material that you get from dismantling. Now I hope with this it helps you come to understand that the items you pick up are not meant to be permanent. I have seen complaints about them breaking but that's meant to be. Do not get too attached to a weapon, if you see its square is red and is at the point of breaking dismantle it for materials and a chance to get a recipe. Especially if it's a weapon you like using because if you can get the recipe you can just make a new one when it breaks.
You the Player
As the player, your character does gain experience and level up. You will notice each level up comes with a choice. For each level-up the choice is different but I can tell you what to expect. When you level sometimes you have the choice of choosing between getting a stat boosted, a kind of in-game currency which can be used to buy items from NPCs, or skills. Yes, getting a skill, stat, or currency is a choice. You don't just automatically get them. This basically means as you level you are building your character to fit your playstyle with so far from what I've seen there are no take-backsies. Your choice is final. Choose wisely.
From where I stand Dead Maze is a great game to hop in solo or with friends and run around bashing zombies. It has its drawbacks like needing to find the right items in a good enough quality to dismantle in order to craft a specific item or crafting bench. You can go for a long time to only come across poor quality weapons and not see the good version of the item you need to break down. No doubt though you will come across it but when you least expect it. It is very easy to get ganged on by a horde when you solo die or come very close to death. It is very easy to get lost, there is no map for you to see where to go. You only have a little directional compass at the bottom of your character to point you in the direction. If you did have a map though this game would not "Maze" in its title. Regardless it can get pretty frustrating constantly running into dead ends where a horde of infected is waiting to rip you to shreds.
With that said, Dead Maze is a great game. It has a great story, great art style and simple but fun gameplay with some good mechanics for crafting and gathering and surviving. I've already invested 17 hours in this game and can say for me it been a lot of fun. If you are looking to get your fix for fighting zombies in a "Walking Dead" like setting then you should check this out and see if you like it. It is free, so it won't hurt to try it. If you have tried it and have any opinions please share them down below.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on (platform) with a code provided by PR.