LAURENT KERMEL - Video Game Den : Pc Engine Hucard : MARCHEN MAZE )
MÄRCHEN MAZE
game Cover
game HuCard
メルヘンメイズ
©1988 1990 Namco Ltd.
Release : 1990-12-11 (¥5500)
HuCard (2 Mbits) NC90008
Action game

Märchen Maze is a cute action/platform game by Namco, conversion of their own arcade game released back in 1988. The player guides Alice through Namco's version of Wonderland and each level features traditional themes from the sugary delights of a Candy World to a freezing and slippery Ice World. Alice has only one weapon to choose from and she needs to use it wisely in order to survive the nine long worlds behind the mirror. The harmless looking Bubble Blower is deceivingly lethal and can knock enemies off the platform ledge and down to oblivion. The player can also hold the fire button to charge up even larger and much more effective bubbles. However, it turns out that Alice's enemies use the same trick - they fire colored marbles that can push the little girl towards the ledge of the platform and to her doom... as long as she doesn't run out of balloons, the only way she has to survive the bottomless pits. Thankfully, gift boxes scattered around each level and contain special items such as extra balloons, rabbit shields, super jump shoes and the almighty multi way bubble blower.
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Arcade version Märchen Maze was an arcade game originally released by Namco in 1988 (pictured on the left). The game is also known in the United States and Europe as 'Alice in Wonderland'. Another port was released for the X68000 Japanese computer in 1988. Unlike the PC Engine version tested here, the X68000 conversion is arcade perfect and features the same 3D isometric display seen in the arcade game. The PC Engine port only uses a 'flat 2D background' and the levels layout is slightly different. It is also interesting to notice that some enemies were omitted.

Game Staff (Copied from the game's end credits) :

STAFF

Game Design
Take
Background Design
Arg

Character Design
Koji 78

Sub Design
Kingyo
Music Compose
Koba

Music Translate
Noririn

Music Program
Kaeri. T
Program
Nak

Presented by Namco


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I'm in love with Märchen Maze, and this since the first day I laid my eyes on it. The graphics are really cute and sweet and (unlike other games that try to be way too cuddly) they totally fit Alice's journey through Wonderland. Gameplay quality is what I'd expect from Namco and Märchen Maze well exceeded my expectations. Namco at its best. Alice's controls are elegantly simple and equally effective. The game's soundtrack is also very entertaining and makes everything more fun. Truly great game with a single weakness - the action becomes a bit repetitive as the game progresses, it starts off strong but runs out of steam... All in all Märchen Maze is a delightful and well-rounded game that shouldn't be missed by fans of the genre.




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