Astraware is the place to go for your handheld gaming and entertainment needs. With over 140 applications for most handheld platforms, Astraware is uniquely positioned to cater to anyone’s gaming and entertainment needs. Reviewing applications for Astraware can be a daunting task as they have such a wide range of diverse, quality applications. Over the years, Astraware has made their reputation by producing various genres of exciting and challenging games. Recently, they have included some of the best stable of applications for everyday use cementing their hold as “the home of handheld entertainment”. I will be reviewing a number of applications from their gaming and Lifestyle sections over the next few days.
Everyone loves puzzles! Whether it’s building blocks or Rubik’s cube; crosswords or Soduku, puzzles have stumped and satisfied people from all walks of life the world over. Astraware and Cold River Studios have captured the wonderful spirit of excitement and challenge unique to puzzles in their latest hit creation: Mazera.
Mazera is a huge and vast world left open for the imaginations of gamers everywhere to explore vicariously through our intrepid hero, Ix. Since he was young, Ix was kidnapped by the treacherous Mazerans and left on display for all to see in their alien zoo. However, Ix has found a way to finally escape and we are along for the ride! The artwork for the game is indicative of the anime/manga craze that’s become so popular today. The gameplay is further accented by the futuristically brooding, ambient soundtrack that is a principle element to the peerless success of Astraware’s games.
There is a world of discovery awaiting players who love games that have the special mix of challenging yet, fun and relaxing gameplay. As I traverse this world with Ix, I oftentimes get the feelings of great anticipation and satisfaction tantamount to opening those Cracker Jack prizes as a kid! I’ve been more than mildly surprised to stumble across maps hidden underwater when I’ve mistakenly stepped over water’s edge; or, accidentally walked into a sprawling bush only to find an essential key tucked inside the shrubbery!
Along the way, we meet the denizens of Mazera as they try to chew, claw or blast you to oblivion. However, not everyone is a fiend, as you find friends who cross your path and lend a much-needed helping hand to get you out of a tight spot. There seems to be an infinite number of lives throughout the game which is greatly satisfying as I learn as I go. If you’re like me, it may take one, two or more attempts before figuring out a level’s particular solution. It was a great move on Astraware’s part to allow Ix to regenerate new lives over and over at no cost or penalty to your health or placement in the game.
Mazera is a fun, puzzle game featuring an alien world of imaginative landscapes and incomparable denizens. Astraware and Cold River Studios have flexed their creative muscles and pulled out all the stops to present a game which is nonpareil to Astraware’s usual stable of high quality games. This one is a keeper!
Mazera can be found at Astraware's site and retails for only $29.95 and worth every penny.
-Kevin Agot, Associate Writer, Carmichael, California