Mazera Review

Developer: Cold River Studios Publisher: Astraware
Release Date: Novemer 08, 2004 Also On: None

Mazera is another Puzzle game by Astraware. But wait, is it? Mazera is a puzzle game and it was published by Astraware, but calling it “just another Puzzle game” would not do the game justice. It is much more than your standard puzzle game. The best description for this game would probably be “Zelda reduced to the puzzles”. It has a much bigger variety of puzzles than any Zelda game and it has many more of them.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

Like Zelda, Mazera features a story and a big 2D world to walk around in. There is no scrolling of the 2D world. If you get to the border of the screen, the game scrolls to the next square piece of the world. Again, this reminds you of Zelda. This is not a Zelda clone. You have no sword, and no other items. You cannot even jump! All you do is walk around, and solve puzzles, of course. Since all you do is walk around, most puzzles involve walking against things to move them around, walking onto buttons and against treasure chests and not walking against monsters or other things that could kill you.

Some puzzles give you as much time as you want to solve them. Others require you to act very fast, especially if monsters are involved. If you die, your character is placed where he entered the screen and you can try it again. You have an infinite supply of new lives, so there is no way to actually lose the game. The game plays very good with the Zodiac’s directional buttons. The stick is supported, too, but for most of the game you need the digital precision of the buttons.

The only thing that can happen is that you get stuck. This is a problem with many similar games, but not with this one. When playing the game I only got stuck once, and that was because I thought the game did something wrong when in reality it was my mistake. Most of the time, it is pretty obvious how to solve the puzzles. That does not mean it is not a challenge to solve them. You will get better at controlling your character. Some of the monsters seem to be difficult to evade at first, but when you get to know them, they are not that bad. The difficulty of the puzzles increases, but only as fast as you learn. It never gets frustrating.

Mazera is not just a collection of incoherent puzzles. There is a story, too. Something about being abducted to a distant planet, escaping prison etc. Nothing innovative but it does the job. There are some very fluffy friendly creatures that advance the story. Sometimes you have to help one of these guys through a puzzle so that he can help you in return by disabling a force field or destroying a block. The puzzles all together build a big world with different regions, such as a desert or a forest. Sometimes you will have to come back to places, but you do not have to solve all the puzzles all over again. Sure, the monsters that you did not kill are still in the way, but if you solve a big story advancing puzzle and walk out of the screen alive it is saved permanently.

Other puzzles also stay in the state you leave them in until you die on that screen or tell the game to restart the puzzle in the menu. When you exit the game it saves exactly where you are. There are four slots but only for different games. You cannot save, walk somewhere, do something and then load your old state. In fact you cannot save or load at all, it is all done automatically. This is not a bad thing but very comfortable. You do not have to worry about save games.

It shows that the graphics in this game have been done with a lot of love. The animations are very nice and good guys as well as the monsters look very cute. The sound is also great. There is different music for the different areas in the game, all adding to the great atmosphere. In complexity the graphics are somewhere between what GBC and GBA can do. They are quite simple for a top Palm game, but they do the job very well so that is not really a negative thing.

The first time it took me about 10 hours to complete Mazera. That might not seem too long, but remember that you might want to restart the game again and see if you can complete it in less time and with fewer deaths. This is a game where I could actually imagine doing that. The first time I died about 800 times so that’s about once a minute.

Then there are the mini-games. There are six mini-games that you have to complete during the story. If you manage to find the secret area (find all the map parts), you can directly warp to them from there and try to get a better highscore that is saved by the game. I will not tell you what the mini-games are though, because I do not want to spoil the surprise.

All in all Mazera is a great game and has the quality of better GBA games. The price might seem quite high for a Palm game but you get a lot of quality game time for it. If you like the demo you should definitely buy the game because there is much more of the same fun to be had.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.7
Written by Ortwin Review Guide

Leave a Comment