I'm sorry, you have to be the blue key to read this review. No, wait, now be the green key — I mean, the red key. Oh, sorry, I drifted off there. You see, in Neon Maze, by Vitaliy Zlotskiy and Sergey Arseniev, things can get a bit crowded with all the colour switching and pattern memorizing. An up-front warning: Anyone with a colour-related eye issue will have difficulty with this game.
Playing equal parts as a maze, a hide-and-seek game and a guessing game, the idea is to run around a glowing labyrinth in your little mouse-controlled blur-pod while attempting to find the exit platform. Easy, just like a maze. Except that it's not. The neon-coloured walls and corridors do more than add decoration — they are a warning! Attempt to touch anything not the same colour as you and expect a sharp, shocking jolt and a reduction in bonus points.
To explore new sections of the maze, you will need to change your ship's colour. Touch a red gear to become red, and move effortlessly through red walls. Touch a blue gear for the same with blue walls — and expect the red walls to now be your enemy. As the levels advance, you will need to collect keys of the same colour as yourself, which then open new areas as the levels unfold around you. Each level uses this manipulation of boundaries to its own end, resulting in an expanding spiral of technical and involved level design, rather than a linear approach.
Analysis: Tossing in new surprises every now and then, such as locked doors, teleporters and one-way walls, does a lot to stretch the simplistic idea the game is built on. However, the large, similar-looking levels, which can only be viewed a section at a time, can cause disorientation as you move through them hunting for areas that have just become accessible. That said, the graphical presentation and the surprisingly intricate level design more than make up for any shortcomings. And at just 25 levels long, Neon Maze is the perfect length for a decent challenge.