Labyrinths are scary stuff. Ever since Theseus threaded his way to the dreaded Minotaur of Greek mythology, and probably even before that, they’ve been ingrained in our communal psyche as places of horror and danger. In arguably one of the more disturbing films ever made, The Shining, Kubrick set the climax in a snow covered maze, sending the axe wielding Jack Nicholson careering after his psychic son and eventually finding nothing but an icy death, immortalised in a truly terrifying midshot. But what’s that got to do with apps, smartphones or games I hear you ask? Nothing really; it just goes to show that the developers of Keep Out! made a very smart move indeed when they decided to set their brand new adventure puzzle game in a series of mazes. If you can find your way to it, it’s out now for iOS.
Unfortunately, there’s no Theseus’ thread in Keep Out!. You’re entirely on your own. The game takes place in a dungeon of forbidding stone walls, hemming the player in at almost every angle. This game takes the rather unique approach of putting you in the first person. It seems so obvious when it’s done correctly, as it is here, but when I think of maze games, I always think of a bird’s eye view of the puzzle. You’re afforded no such luxury in Keep Out!; as I said, you’re entirely on your own.
Adding to the sens of discomfort is the fact that the game generates a new, unique maze for every level you play. No two levels are alike, ever. The feeling that you may be the first and last person to ever scramble your way through this particular labyrinth really lends the game that spooky feel they’re aiming for; it’s a nice little twist, and one that ensures replayability to boot.
While the first level gets you used to the controls (a simple forward, back and four turning options), you’re soon introduced to weapons, which you’re most certainly going to need if you’re planning on surviving the numerous run ins with all the beasties and critters that lurk in the dark hollows of the maps. The sword is the first weapon bestowed upon you, but there’s also a handy bow available to buy, and also a magic wand as you progress through the game.
Keep Out! doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but what it does it does extremely well. The graphics are smooth, striking and fluid, while the gameplay is intuitive and steady. The way the levels keep randomly generating is intriguing, and really lends the game that crucial longevity factor. The overall atmosphere is just the right balance between scary and fun. If you’re looking for an engaging little puzzler suitable for the upcoming Hallow’een season, be sure to get in to Keep Out!.
Descend into the maze and to lose yourself in Keep Out! for free today!