Maize Is A First-Person Adventure About Sentient Corn

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I did try ‘amazeing’ and ‘corny’ and ‘crop a look at this’ in the title, but sometimes a game’s own crazed concept is the only smart thing to lead on. Granted, I don’t have the greatest sense of how Maize will play, but concept+trailer is a winner at least: “Maize is the story of what happens when two government scientists misinterpret a memo and create sentient corn.” It’s also really very pretty. Though a mention that it ‘channels Monty Python’ is RED FLAG RED FLAG.

Monty Python’s great and all, but it’s also half a century old and we really should have fresher touchstones by now, but more importantly namechecking it is often lazy shorthand for lazy splapstick absurdity. Better to either a) name-drop something more modern if you’re going to namedrop anything at all or b) be damned sure that you’re actually subversive as well as silly, as subversion is the real reason Python made such an indelible impression on British popular culture.

I digress! Let’s have a look at this lovely trailer for Maize:

Yes, please, I should like to know more. That is some ace character design. Here’s another one, who is described as a grumpy Russian knock-off Teddy Ruxpin:

Here’s as much synopsis as we’re getting for now:

“Maize is an absurdist, first-person adventure with a cornucopia of highbrow puzzles to solve, talking oddities to meet, and mysteries to be harvested, coming later this fall to PC.

“Explore the desolate farm for clues to the past, venture deeper into the underground research facility, and make a few…colorful friends along the way.”

I suspect it’s going to live or die on the humour, and whether or not that can live up the delightful concept. Please, please no dead parrot gags.

Maize is out this Autumn and comes from Toronto outfit Finish Line games, who’ve only made something called Cel Damage HD for PlayStation thus far.

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Bracknellexile says:

    “Monty Python’s great and all, but it’s also half a decade old”

    Unless there was a new 2011 Python series that I heard nothing of, I think you may have meant “half a century old”….

    • Premium User Badge

      Bracknellexile says:

      Pedantry aside, it looks… intriguing. If nothing else, something with a field of corn that doesn’t immediately fall into the tried and tested horror tropes is a refreshing change.

      • rapchee says:

        actually, can i go back to being pedantic? just for a sec. sorry. ahem
        the synopsis repeats itself, looks like an accidental paste “… mysteries to be ha cornucopia of …”

  2. int says:

    S.T.A.L.K.: Shadow of Cornobyl

  3. Wowbagger says:

    Sounds a bit tinny to me.

    • BobbyFizz says:

      Maize is a very tinny word old bean, corn on the other hand is fantastically woody word. Coooorrrrrn.

    • Spacewalk says:

      It sounds much better if you imagine that it’s coming from a husky voice.

  4. Generico says:

    As much as I expect this to be a horrible game, at least I honestly can’t think of another game about sentient corn. So points for originality.

    I imagine the origin of this went something like…
    (a cloud of smoke billows in the dimly lit basement)
    “Dude…what if corn was alive?”
    “Corn is alive man.”
    “…Yeah, but like. What if it had a face?”

  5. TomA says:

    Doesn’t look very happy in that image does he. He’s got a right cob on.

  6. Scobie says:

    The headline and the first image had me intrigued. Then I read the rest of the article and realised it was going to be an overtly wacky comedy game. Perhaps this should have been obvious. But to me the concept suggests something absurdist but dark and sinister, perhaps with a touch of black comedy about it. I think I’d rather play that game.

  7. Jay Load says:

    This could be amaizing.

  8. sosolidshoe says:

    I’d be taking bets that this will be the usual lazy, uninformed, vegan-whole-organic-superfoods-or-death anti-GMO bollocks dressed up as pseudointellectual sarcastic “humour”, but the odds are so long I doubt even Leicester City fans would have a punt.

  9. Gap Gen says:

    They should have just had the maize person stagger slowly through the cornfield before emerging bedraggled to say “It’s”

    • Geebs says:

      That’s not the maize-iah, he’s a very naughty boy!

      ….yeah I’m with Alec on this one

  10. kahki says:

    People really ought to name-drop The Goon Show more often.

  11. Anthile says:

    Is this Frog Fractions 2?

  12. Turkey says:

    There’s not exactly a whole field full of funny games out there to choose from. Let’s hope the humor isn’t too corny. I don’t want them to miss the opportunity to combine cornmedy and dramaize. It’s farm more important… Oh Christ.

  13. Darth Gangrel says:

    What’s with the age discrimination here? It just seems to me that you dislike it *only* because it’s old, not whether Monty Python’s humour is outdated and no longer relevant. I’m abit upset about this (not only because I’m a Monty Python fan) so I’m gonna suggest that you would rather see [insert modern bad thing] as its inspiration just because it’s newer.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      I didn’t read it as Alex disliking Python at all, just saying that they’ve been homaged and referenced to death, and many of the works that claim to be “inspired” by them are really just doing a kind of sad pastiche, rehashing old jokes and superficial style while missing the stuff that actually made Python great.

      You have to admit there’s some irony in seeing comedy that was known for its transgressive absurdism become comfortable and predictable through excessive repetition. When most of your friends can recite an entire movie verbatim (and do, at the drop of a hat), it rather loses its ability to surprise.

    • Wisq says:

      Disliking something because it has been done to death — especially something like humour, which thrives mainly on its spontaneity — is definitely not “age discrimination”, any more than saying that your car’s tires are worn out and you shouldn’t be driving on them any more.

      And yeah, as others have mentioned, name-dropping Monty Python is also generally a warning sign that someone didn’t really have much of their own sense of humour, so they’re just going to be “wacky”. I’m especially wary of the fact that they didn’t put any actual humour into the trailer. Usually, if a team really does have excellent writers with excellent senses of humour, they’re going to be itching to show that off — they’re not going to waste their first impression on a humourless trailer.

      • Wisq says:

        Oh, and since it probably wsan’t clear from the above — I say all this as a fan of Monty Python’s work. In fact, that’s what makes it all the more annoying when people try to recreate them (badly), or in a few cases, even just quote them verbatim and act like that makes them comedy experts.