here is the second prerelease version of a spooky maze game. it's not done yet, but it's fun and cute and the ghosts thought folks might want to play the game as it's coming together.

default controls are arrow keys, and mouse for menus. you can customize the movement keys in the settings. note that this is html5 based, so standard browser shortcuts (tab, left, right, refresh, etc.) will work for navigating.

play is similar to a certain maze game people may have played, with the exception of the pellets. you can be one of two colors. you can eat ghosts which match your color. eating a large pellet will change your color.

please note that there are some accessibility options in the menu, including game speed, number of lives, and ghost respawn time. please experiment with these to find settings which work best for you. there will be significantly more accessibility options in future builds

new in this version:

  • refined ghost behavior! each one now has a unique personality.
  • new deluxe animated amoeba tileset
  • new locator effect for level start
  • player will no longer respawn near ghosts
  • improved + fixed colored pellet spawning rules (they now have less crowded layouts and won't respawn too close to the player)
  • fixed 1px wall alignment error (phew)
  • refinements to catacombs theme

here are some incompletenesses you might notice in this early version:

  • there are a few known bugs + rough edges
  • not all the accessibility options work yet
  • there's no sound yet
  • some of the generated levels are impossible! the little creatures which dig the levels for you are trying very hard, but they don't understand topology very well, and they sometimes make levels which consist of multiple unconnected pieces.
  • there is some input jank if you use arrow keys (which are default). pressing each of them once on launch should clear it. this appears not to be an issue with other keys.

plans for future versions:

  • more themes: amoeba (with animated walls),  and 
  • level seed display, and an ability to play a playlist of seeded levels in order and share your playlists with friends
  • color remapping, allowing level themes to be more varied, and allowing for color blind modes and custom palettes
  • bouncing fruit, or small always-edible ghosts to eat
  • score? maybe? maybe not. the ghosts aren't sure how they feel about points.
  • an independent ghost speed slider, allowing you to customize your speed vs. that of your adversaries
  • an optional fog ability which stuns ghosts
  • push to play mode, in which time is paused unless you are actively pushing a direction. this will greatly reduce reliance on reflexes and emphasize tactics.

the ghosts thank you for your patience, and will let you know when they're ready to release the next version of the game.

StatusIn development
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(1 total ratings)
Authorloren schmidt
TagsHorror, maze, Pixel Art, Spooky


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mason lindroth type beat

This F-in Rules!

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This looks cooler every time I check on it.

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Really cool. Random generation plus Pac-Man plus the color swapping mechanic make for a game where it's incredibly satisfying to come up with strategies on the fly, as opposed to Pac-Man where you can pretty much use the same strategy every single level. 

One thing I would improve is the controls, in Pac-Man one of my favorite things is the fact Pac-Man keeps moving even after you unpress a direction, and then buffer turns as you hold a key in the direction you're going to turn, even a second in advance. Here I stop when I unpress a direction, and while there's some kind of help rounding corners, you can press a turning direction before a corner and you'll still see the character change directions and bump against the wall which has screwed me up on a few occasions. I'll get too wrapped up in thinking about the game and Pac-Man instincts take over and I try to buffer a turn too early and I turn into the wall and get killed by a ghost.

Other then that, you seem to be aware of any other issues I had, so I won't complain about it. Awesome stuff, this game tickles my brain I love it.

I get an error trying to run the game in-browser (Chrome):

Uncaught DOMException: Failed to read the 'localStorage' property from 'Window': Access is denied for this document.

Opening the iframe URL directly, however, appears to work:

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Do you have 3rd-party cookies blocked? I had a similar problem in my own game, and maybe it's the same thing:

"if you block third-party cookies in Chrome, HTML5 games hosted on are denied access to LocalStorage and SessionStorage, even though it still works if you're testing using localhost, or on your own website." [dev log]

Other player workarounds: Unblock 3p cookies, or play the game in the app.

As a developer, I had to work around it by wrapping localStorage and sessionStorage access in try/catch blocks. I don't know if there's another way to detect that condition.

It took me quite a while to work out what was going on, and I still may not have grasped it completely...

...the colours vs. ghosts I did not get until I read the text (and obviously I didn't read the text at first).  I like the idea but I think it needs signalling more, maybe have vulnerable ghosts flashing, or greyed, or something?)  Also the "teeth" ghost is a bit mixed in its colouration and that confused me at times.

The teleporting around I still haven't completely worked out, is it just a way of respawning, or do some things that just teleport you?  For a long time I thought the wheels were teleporters, but how I am thinking they are just monsters?  This illusion (if correct) may be contributed to by I think there is a bug where occasionally I can be the right colour and still die (or at least teleport) when I hit a ghost.

Not sure what the flames are, are they ghosts in the process of respawning?

One feature of the original is that you cannot stop, I wondered whether you should also have that, but I think maybe with the arbitrarily complex mazes we need this additional option.

One feature I noticed about the mazes is that any area with limited exits is scary to enter when there are multiple ghosts around, so it would be an idea if you could guarantee that the level had a mix of scary and less scary areas (e.g. the sort of thing a human designer would intuitively do).  You might be able to do that by making the maze generator start with larger rectangles (with a difficulty assigned to them) and recurse to filling in the final detail...

I wonder if a sequence of levels, where the difficulty and size vary as you progress would add a lot to the experience, e.g. give a clear sense of progressing and mix-up the experience with a bit of variety...

Love the look of it! Random gen is great and the color matching is a nice twist on the standard Pac-Man formula. 

It's really challenging, which is cool, but sometimes feels a bit unfair. The main culprit of this feeling (I think) is the tendency for chasing ghosts to clump up next to each other. If the ghosts are the same color, it's no biggie—if they're different colors, then becomes a problem.

Some "personal space" logic that prevents them from getting too close to each other would help. Another option would be to subtly differentiate the pathfinding algorithm of one color from another. IE: if choosing between two directions where each direction is equally fast, blue always goes left and red always goes right. Could also do something as simple as make it so a chasing ghost has a % chance to take a sub optimal turn at any intersection.

Looking forward to seeing the next release!

Different pathfinding algorithms is how ghosts in Pac-Man work too.