App of the Week
Is the Crystal Maze app as great an idea as it sounds?
Start the fans please! No... no recollection of that slogan? If you're not a fan of the culture 1990s game show The Crystal Maze, this app may not be for you.
6pm on weekdays has never been the same since Richard O'Brien's shiny head departed our screens in the mid-1990s. It's a void that Friends or Simpsons repeats have been trying to fill over the years but nothing compares to seeing strangers with step haircuts flailing wildly for golden tickets on Challenge TV.
Now, the time has come for the next logical step in our countless efforts to get The Crystal Maze back on our screens... the cult game show on slightly smaller screens, that of our iPhones and mobile devices everywhere.
Each game begins with the show's iconic but ever-so-slightly dated theme music and the option to play either the Futuristic (not very futuristic-looking these days), Aztec, Medieval or Industrial zones.
For each zone you then have the option of three tasks of an available four, ranging from Skill, Mental, Mystery and Physical. Win the task, grab the crystal.
However, if you fail the task, one of your team members gets 'locked in' but can be bought back before you enter the wondrous delight that is the Crystal Dome. The puzzles themselves have plenty of variety and a nice difficulty level - fans of the Professor Layton titles on the Nintendo DS will be well catered-for here.
Ah the flashbacks...
In total, there are 16 mini-games and two main modes; TV Show (playing the game as a contestant would) and Challenge, where you get to replay unlocked games. Now you're probably reading this and wondering "fine, fine, but where's Richard O'Brien?!". Rest assured, the extremely camp host is back, although only in text form, rather than what would be an infinitely preferable option of classy clips instead.
Speaking of fan service, the game has the superfluous but extremely welcome addition of a soundboard with 16 clips from the show's irreplacable host. If's a nice way of bringing a little glamour to a game that let's face it, amounts to little more than a selection of mini-games to play while you're waiting for a bus.
So while The Crystal Maze's selection of mini-games are a lot more difficult than many will be prepared for, it's still a great chance to revel in one the most high concept game shows in UK TV history.
When today's equivalent of high concepts TV challenges involves a random person being rewarded with £1m for picking 'Red' rather than 'Black', it's something we miss now more than other. If you, like us, want to see the glorious return of The Crystal Maze, picking up this clever and entertaining app would be a good start.
The Crystal Maze is available on iOS and Android devices now.
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