We live in a wonderful time for gamers who dig on horror. We’ve got Silent Hill and Resident Evil. We’ve got Friday the 13th and Dead by Daylight. We have a plethora of horror games to get us through the wonderful season of Halloween.
And we should be grateful. There was a time, really not that long ago, when horror games were few and far between. How few and far? The history books record the first horror game as coming out in 1982, a full decade after Pong made video games into a market unlike any other.
That game was 3D Monster Maze…
Developed by Malcolm Evans and released by J.K. Greye Software, 3D Monster Maze started as an experiment and became one of the most important games in the history of the industry. For his 37th birthday, Evans’ wife got him a ZX81. Wanting to see just what his new PC could do, Evans decided to make a game. Seven months later, 3D Monster Maze was complete.
Animated in real time at 6-frames-a-second, Evans built a random maze generator, assuring that players would never learn the path. Somewhere within the randomly generated maze is the monster – a massive 8×8 pixel black and white Tyrannosaurus Rex – looking to eat the player up!
As the player moves through the maze, the T-Rex becomes calmer or more excited depending on how close you are to it. On the screen, as you move about, come updates to help you get an idea of where the T-Rex is…
REX LIES IN WAIT
HE IS HUNTING FOR YOU
REX HAS SEEN YOU
RUN HE IS BESIDE YOU
RUN HE IS BEHIND YOU
There is no map of the maze – you have to draw it by hand if you want to try and keep track of where you’ve been or if you’re going in circles. The thing is, while you’re drawing your map, the T-Rex is hunting, and the longer you’re in the maze, the faster the T-Rex gets!
If you make it to the exit of the maze, you learn a true horror – there is no end. Each maze leads to another! If you get caught by the T-Rex, it eats you but you can somehow appeal to the Clown who appears to run the mazes, and you have a 50/50 chance of being released from the maze hell, essentially winning the game.
3D Monster Maze was a hit, and while most of the world has forgotten about the first creation of Malcolm Evans, for us gamers it stands out as the first survival horror game.
See how you do, and be sure to let us know!
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