Sentient Corn. A Russian talking Stuffed Teddy Bear. Running around with a decapitated hand. Yes, I realize I sound like a mad person, but that’s just a few snippets that give you an idea in what you will find in Maize. Maize is a first-person adventure game about what happens when two scientists misinterpret a memo from the U.S. Government and create sentient corn. And that last sentence is pretty much the least ridiculous thing about the game.
You begin by wondering around a corn maze (hence, why the game is called Maize as it’s a play on corn and maze), with no real purpose to guide you. I stumbled upon a house, only after grabbing an English bagel that was too hard to eat. I began wandering around the house, picking up random items, to try and solve puzzles. I had no idea why I was solving puzzles, other than random tidbits that I would find that made there was some kind of conspiracy happening.
I continued wandering for the next hour, with no real purpose, nothing to guide me, only to search every nook and cranny. That’s when I finally started putting the pieces together, and by pieces, I mean literally the highlighted items, that are the only items that can be picked up, that I came across. Once I started to solve the puzzles, I unlocked another part of the corn maze. After, I continued this same gameplay loop, is when it really started to pick up. I finally came across the talking corn. the talking corn. talking corn. corn that is able to talk. I still find it strange as I write that.
Not only did I come across the strange talking corn, but I fused together pieces and parts to create a Russian talking stuffed teddy bear that would follow me around and hurl insults at me. I found him in the next area that I unlocked, I don’t want to go into too much detail as this is when things finally start to pick up.
Maize has a great idea behind the game, but it failed to actually fulfill the idea behind it. For the first hour, I wandered around aimlessly suffering massive frame-rate drops on the Xbox One with no real guide telling me what I needed to do or any story actually telling me why I was there. It does pick up speed after the first hour, but you will continue the same gameplay loop of wandering around aimlessly picking up items to complete random puzzles that you come across for the rest of your time with the game. If you’re looking for talking or a insult hurling Russian teddy-bear then this game is for you, but if you’re looking for an actual engaging game then I would look elsewhere.