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Maze Walk VR Review

A virtual labyrinth awaits.

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Pros: Simple to play and launch, app is free, fun to locate coins.

Cons: Game is fairly simple, limited coins to start, just for iOS devices.

The great fun of virtual reality is taking someone places, and dropping them into situations, it's physically difficult to normally visit. A car ride in the desert, a haunted house. Maze Walk VR is a hedge maze: yes, like the one from The Shining. In this game, though, instead of freezing to death and getting lost, players are more apt to feel a bit queasy before escaping.

Downloading the free app is an easy experience: locate the game either in iTunes for iOS devices. The app works on Google Cardboard headsets. We played this on the Merge VR device.

Graphics in Maze Walk VR are limited, but serviceable

To start, tabs appear which offer a quick demo or allow players to go right into the game. There are succeeding levels which, logically, get harder as each Level is achieved. To play, a coin is needed — think arcade games. The game starts off with a set number — players pay for more. (Which takes all the fun out of a free experience.) But there are ways to find hidden coins inside the maze. Sometimes a dead-end brings a surprise coin. To collect, players just walk directly into the spinning coin.

The idea of walking through a maze with VR goggles strapped to the head is a concept bound for disaster. There's a reason high-end VR headsets are toggled to computers, and why most VR games are played sitting down. With an alternate reality playing in a pair of glasses, rendering the player essentially blind, walking around is a recipe for stubbed toes, falling and perhaps worse.

Bobbing the head up and down is how players walk through Maze Walk VR

Maze Walk VR makers get that. While players can honestly walk around and get themselves through the maze, there's a simpler trick: Bobbing the head up and down mimics the movement of walking, tricking the app into thinking a player is walking. And it works. In some cases, turning the body and walking a step or two is actually more ideal. Because honestly the combination of repeatedly moving the head up and down rapidly while immersed in VR imagery is a bit stomach turning. Consider taking a break every two or three mazes.

As the levels go higher the game is actually challenging. They're timed, which encourages players to replay to lower their time. There's also a leaderboard to see who may be the reigning maze champion. (In my case that's everyone.) While the app was engaging, the graphics that detailed. In a hedge maze, all that's needed is well-drawn hedges, some stone walls, maybe a pebbled walk, and some stairs. And that's exactly what the app offered. Nothing fancy: but certainly workable.

Some mazes in Maze Walk VR are surprisingly challenging.

As with most VR experiences, Maze Walk VR drained the battery very quickly. After about 20 minutes, though, a break was a necessity. While not a game that's offering the best graphics, Maze Walk VR was certainly entertaining. — all for free. There's nothing wrong with that.

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