BEQUEST

The forthcoming BEQUEST is the brain child of Tonda Ros, who is a huge fan of Christopher Manson’s books MAZE and the Practical Alchemist. BEQUEST is a free roaming 3D puzzle game built on the MAZE archetype.

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Tonda Ros is a visual artist from L.A. with some mad skills, just check out this incredible video homage to wordplay:

View Tonda Ros’ “Word Sculpture.”

Tonda Ros contacted me last year to help him get in contact with Manson. Since then we have exchanged a few emails and he sent me these exclusive (at the moment) previews of the game. Tonda said he made the game partially because of seeing the renewed interest in MAZE on Into The Abyss… that’s right, he made this game for all of you!

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The coloring of the game appears to change from warmly sunlit to cold monochrome. Items the player can interact with are colored brightly to stand out. Tonda said that the puzzles will not be as difficult as MAZE and that players will be rewarded for solving some of the puzzles by opening up new areas to explore.

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Tonda and Manson have been discussing possibly adding some of Manson’s artwork to the game. To illustrate what it would look like Tonda sent Manson a game play video with clips of Manson’s artwork hanging on the wall. I don’t have permission (yet) to share the video but suffice it to say that these images do not do the game justice. In the video the walls, pillars, piano, chairs, everything looks like it came straight out of the pages of MAZE.

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Déjà vu anyone? Above is the image which most looks like the game in action… if you look close you will see that everything is made up of hand drawn lines or hash marks. If you get right up close to something it still looks like a Manson drawing brought to life.

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The part I am personally most psyched about is that Tonda said he is planning on making the House change shape, so mapping the House should be a challenge.

I don’t know what platforms it will be released on (I’m hoping for Steam), nor do know about the release date. I do know that the project is nearly complete.

Who would have guessed that the first spiritual sequel to MAZE would be a full 3D video game! Hallelujah!

21 thoughts on “BEQUEST

  1. I love Maze and puzzle video games, for a person like me this is the best of both worlds! I hope it is a good game!

    LIKE(3)
    • Although I do not own one, I can’t help but hope this game is released for Oculus Rift. On second thought, if it were released as an app in VR that could be played on a phone with or without some sort of google cardboard headset, that would be great.

      LIKE(0)
  2. I hope it is really hard to map… really really. I love mapping! Moving rooms sounds like a challenge.

    The photos look very good.

    LIKE(3)
    • I would prefer a book and I hope a book will be coming along, but as a concession prize this looks amazing.

      LIKE(5)
    • I’m surprised no one has mentioned the word sculpture video. I just played it now and HOLY SHIT! I think that is the best thing I have ever seen! I was like, Whoa! Whoa! WHOA! Absolute heaven for lovers of word games!

      LIKE(3)
    • The pictures look good but I got burned many times before on games that look good till you play them. But that video makes me think the game will be really good.

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    • YoJo, Jordan,

      Yeah, there is a big difference between what a game looks like and how it actually plays. In this case what it looks like matters more than in most games, but still bad game play could wreck it.

      However, I have really high hopes for BEQUEST. Tonda Ros is massively talented. Just click on his name above and look at his portfolio!

      Also Tonda chose/made the puzzles in the Word Sculpture video himself and he solved The Practical Alchemist when he was a kid, I would guess that the puzzles will be great!

      LIKE(2)
    • I actually think a video game is a natural choice for a Maze-esque work. The kinds of things Manson was talking about implementing in a sequel to Maze (different versions of the same rooms, pursuit by an antagonist) might be technically impressive in book form due to the difficulty of constructing them, but there’s no such technical difficulty in a video game, which frees up the creator to focus on the effect they want to create and not the logistics of creating it.

      We don’t know a ton about how this game plays, but with independent puzzle games there seems to be a surprising amount of accuracy in judging a book by its cover. A puzzle game typically wants simple and smooth play control, nothing terribly difficult to implement, and when creators have taken time to make their game look beautiful they’ve usually invested effort in the relatively simple task of implementing serviceable play control. (This is generally true everywhere from free, browser-based room escape game to larger scale projects like The Witness. When was the last time you played a great-looking puzzle game that was ruined by poor play control? Grim Fandango?) (Come on, Grim Fandango was pretty good.)

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    • Vewatkin,

      I’m glad to hear it, I rarely play video games and when I do I play strategy games almost exclusively. Strategy games often have game play issues.

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    • Hi Anchorperson Smith! I love that your name is an anagram for Christopher Manson! Amazing!

      I don’t give out Manson’s personal info. I act like a middleman and pass on the contact request. Then it is up to Manson if he would like to respond. I’ve received many requests to get in contact with Manson which I ignore because they just want to talk about MAZE, or demand money for solving the book. I’ve only passed on contact requests twice, both times for very good reasons.

      LIKE(1)
    • Anchorperson Smith has the contact info, he needs the middle-man services. (See Mazecast episode “Borges in the House” for more details.)

      LIKE(1)
    • Ha! Hadn’t seen that one before. Probably good they didn’t rout through his mailbox, not a good first impression! “Hi! We are fans of MAZE… um… here’s your mail!” :)

      LIKE(3)
    • Yes! I can’t wait to post a game play video, it totally blew my mind to see! It looked just like several MAZE dreams I’ve had!

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