Maize is a very special adventure game in which you play as a mute hero who finds a farm in the middle of a cornfield. Not sounding weird so far, right? Well, wait till you hear that in the basement there's an abandoned research laboratory, and some living corn creatures. Over the course of the game your mission is to save a corn queen locked in her cell, and also find out what's happened to this facility and its staff.
You're pushed in the middle of these secrets, and the game trusts that you'll find your own way. Investigating the farm in these colourful environments is fun and interesting, and these yellow forests and cornfields may even remind you of Campo Santo's Firewatch. Occasionally the frame-rate drops noticeably, though, especially when there's a lot of stuff on screen at once.
That said, the level design isn't always perfect. For example, too much time is spent in these grey and uninteresting underground facilities, and there's also a thick fog both in the forest and in these indoor corridors every time you intend to look at the surroundings a bit farther away. There's the occasional spot of frustration while indoors too, but at least these places are varied, including everything from a nuclear reactor to a recording studio. The staff has left a bunch of notes for you to find, and the dialogue with corn creatures helps you to understand the world around you.
In traditional adventure game fashion, you need to investigate your surroundings carefully, and make good use of the stuff you find. The puzzles in Maize are too often reduced to finding scrap to build an artificial head for a facial recognition program in order to proceed, though. On the other hand, those more personalised puzzles can be a little challenging at times, and a bit convoluted. Sometimes you just need to switch your brain to a properly twisted level for Maize's logic, but most of the time you 'll just try everything in your inventory and hope for the best.
Perhaps the most irritating part of the game is a teddy bear called Vladdy, who speaks English with a strong Russian accent. As the adventure progresses, Vladdy will constantly call you various names and makes a fool out of you, and halfway through the game you're likely to play without sound rather than listen to what Vladdy has to say. The music in the game is good in general though, as it creates a nice mood during those quiet moments, and the dialogue from the corn creatures is always fun, and very British.
Maize is a different and unforgettable adventure that may surprise and intrigue you. It has a fascinating story and a weird world, and those who are in search for a bit different adventure experience should try Maize, even if Vladdy might irritate you after a while.