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Wothan Escape

Insights from the gaming industry

Maze Video Games

A maze is a path or collection of paths, typically from an entrance to a goal. The word is used to refer both to branching tour puzzles through which the solver must find a route, and to simpler non-branching ("unicursal") patterns that lead unambiguously through a convoluted layout to a goal. (The term "labyrinth" is generally synonymous with "maze", but can also connote specifically a unicursal pattern.) The pathways and walls in a maze are typically fixed, but puzzles in which the walls and paths can change during the game are also categorised as mazes or tour puzzles.

Maze game is a video game genre description first used by journalists during the 1980s to describe any game in which the entire playing field is a maze. Quick player action is required to escape monsters, outrace an opponent, or navigate the maze within a time limit. After the release of Namco's Pac-Man in 1980, many maze games followed its conventions of completing a level by traversing all paths and a way of temporarily turning the tables on pursuers.