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Maze Runner

DOS - 1986

Alt name Rogue Runner
Year 1986
Platform DOS
Released in United States (1986)
United States (1988)
United States (1989)
Genre Action
Theme Arcade, Puzzle elements
Publisher Apogee Software Productions, Keypunch Software, Inc., Softdisk Publishing
Developer Apogee Software Productions
Perspectives Top-Down, Fixed / Flip-screen
Dosbox support Supported on 0.61
4.67 / 5 - 3 votes

Description of Maze Runner

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Another excellent ASCII game by Scott Miller of Apogee game, Maze Runner was included on Softdisk's "Big Blue Disk" number 26. Here's a summary of plot and gameplay from the game's instructions:

"A fabulous treasure, the Heart of Courage, lies at the bottom of the Dungeons of Ezam. Can you retrieve it? This game puts you in an invisible maze, populated by deadly monsters. After the maze briefly appears on the screen, most walls will vanish, leaving you to grope around in the dark with only some pieces visible. Walls will appear when you bump into them. If you land on a pickaxe, that lets you chop down the next wall you hit. Pickaxes can be accumulated, but will be used whenever you bump into a wall, so they'll run out quickly if you don't stick to the clear paths. Try to save them for where they're really needed, though this takes good memory of where clear paths exist and where they don't.

If you locate and land on the map, a flashing blue square that appears in some mazes, the whole maze becomes visible and you can work your way through the rest of it by sight. Just watch out for the monsters, which kill you if you run into them or they run into you. Teleport scrolls give you a chance to escape sure death by jumping to a random spot elsewhere in the maze. Get out the other end, and you'll have to do it all over again in another maze, as you work your way deeper into the dungeon. Get killed, and that's that; as in real life, you get only one chance. Good luck!

One note: the opening screen reports a rumor that pickaxes are a sure defense against the dungeon's inhabitants. As far as I can see, this rumor is false, since the critters kill me just as easily when I've got axes as when I don't. But, what do I know? I'm just the editor!"

The game is a lot of fun, and a great proof of how much you can do with just ASCII characters ;) Two thumbs up!

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

DoubleDee 2017-05-10 0 point

May 10 2017

*This game is also known as Rogue Runner*
Found ROGUE RUNNER in an Apogee freeware release pack (Adventure Fun-Pak 1989). Great game!

Use DosBox to run game.
Use MoSlo through DosBox to reduce the computer speed until it plays at a senisble rate.
(My sample run line from DosBox "AutoExec" section: MOSLO.COM /2 RUNNER.COM) where MoSlo and the game are in the same directory)

As described in the game entry above, move through the maze to get to the other side. Get the maze Map as quick as you can! Pick up items. Avoid the Souls that come after you. You can in fact kill them with a pick but you need to hit them rather than them hitting you. Wait for them to advance one block and stop, then attack! An ending is advertised but even after cheating and reaching level 26 I haven't found it yet.

CHEAT!: Use modern Windows to your advantage. Set Dosbox screen size to run game in a window and do a screen capture at the start of each level that you can paste into Paint. Now you have a copy of the full map before it dissappears! Use your map to reach the game's MAP item and you're good to go. PS. By Level 18 it hits a maximum of 20 SOULS on screen (!) which makes things a little hairy...

The following info was copied from within the main game file by opening it with Windows Notepad and having a look:

Copyright (C) 1985 BORLAND Inc
An Apogee Software Production
Have a nice day...

An Apogee Software Production
Your Quest is to recover the precious Heart of Courage, which is hidden deep inside the treacherous Ezam dungeons.
The dungeons are populated by the lost souls of those who tried before you.
You might find maps and pick axes left behind by these adventurers, use these articles to your best advantage. It is rumored that a pick axe is a sure defense against dungeon inhabitants.
Use the scattered Teleport Scrolls to escape certain death.
Each dungeon has a secret exit on the far right wall.
The dim light hides most of the paths. Use the arrow keys to move your man.

Teleport, Status, Pause, Quit


You found a pick axe. You have ... pick axes.
You found a map.
You found a teleport scroll.

You feel a wave of confidence... overcome your entire body!
Your Quest for the Heart of Courage has been successfull!

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DOS Version

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