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March 23 2018

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  The Irritating Maze - ©SNK 1997

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Game Stats
1 player only

Puzzle Game

106 Megs
Japanese Name:

Ultra Denryuu Iararabou

Released On:


Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
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Before I start this review, I am going to ask one question: Do you have a bad temper? If you do, then go and look for a different game, because this one will probably make you break your machine in frustration. The Irritating Maze certainly lives up to its name and is one of the most irritating and frustrating games on the Neo Geo. It even has a warning at the start, which says that people with cardiac problems or pregnancy should not play it!

Regardless of all the annoyances it will cause anyone playing it, for some strange reason, The Irritating Maze turns out to be one of the more addictive games on the system...


The aim of this game is to guide a small ball (well, its actually a pole which is being held by the main character), without touching any of the obstacles or (electrocuted) walls along the way. If you touch any of them, your character gets zapped and you go back to the last checkpoint. That doesn't sound so bad, so why is it so frustrating? Well, that's because it is so damn hard! This is an MVS only game that comes in a special kit with a trackball as the controller. You use the trackball to guide your character around the maze. It can be very difficult to control this game - you either push the controller too far, or not enough. Add to that the many obstacles in your path, which include many moving objects like rotors and paths that move up and down and you have a very frustrating game play experience, but I guess that was the idea!

Even though the game is irritating (!), for some reason it keeps dragging you back to play it some more. I kept saying to myself “I can get past that bit, I know I can” and I kept playing until I did (or until I smashed the monitor after dying again - nearly! :). When I did get past it, I just got stuck at another point in the level and said the same thing again! It really is that addictive.

Graphics & Sound:

As far as graphics and sound go, The Irritating Maze is average. The graphics are colourful, but there isn't much you can do with this type of thing anyway. The sound effects aren't really brilliant either, but the music does suit the game and there is a lot of speech from an announcer who tells you when you pass certain areas.


Due to the trackball controller, this is an arcade only game (no home version) and it probably is more suited to an arcade environment anyway. It's a fun game to put a few credits into and maybe play against friends to see who can get the furthest, but you wouldn't want to go putting too much money into it. As I already explained, you should only play this game if you do not have a short temper! If you can keep your aggression under control however, then you might consider giving this game a try, but you'd have to be quite hardcore (or really in love with the game) to go out and buy the full kit.

Graphics: 6/10
Sound: 6.5/10
Game play: 5/10
Replay Value: 7/10

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

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