Maniac Review

Developer: Transhuman Design

Platform: PC (Reviewed)

Genre: Action, Racing, Simulation

Publisher: Skystone Games


Maniac is a top-down roguelite shooter that resembles the original GTA and is mixed with a crazy Postal-esque shooter. You take control of one of six maniacal characters as you rob, steal, and kill your way to a high score. That’s it in a nutshell. 


Picture this: you spawn from the back of an ambulance, and the world is your playground. Your mission? Create as much chaos and mayhem as possible in a time-bounded period. The world is a beautiful, cartoony, and gruesome backdrop to your rampage. Depending on your character, you have different stats, such as health, resistance to fire, etc., and you will quickly command control of any car in your eyeline and destroy everything in this world. It’s a thrilling, adrenaline-pumping experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The controls are responsive and super easy to pick up and play; you will be mowing over people before you know it.


The game looks fantastic, and the landscapes, while simple, are brilliant play areas. I love the cartoony 2.5D art style, and the sound fits the game. A lot is going on in the world, which is jam-packed with NPCs and vehicles to take, each with its own unique control style.


Rougelite elements come from gaining cash in the play-through and buying perks in the next round. Perks include starting with a weapon, being able to run faster, more armour on cars, and much more. Anyway, you get the gist. You will require fewer power-ups in the current play-through to survive as you gain more cash. 


The game is pretty one-dimensional: rob cars, get power-ups, avoid the cops, FBI, and the army to survive till the end. However, I really liked this focus on a few core mechanics, which were fun, and I liked the chaotic nature. The game has no story or narrative; it’s like an arcade shooter, and it’s pick-up and mindless violence. While the six characters had different stats and powers, they all seemed to play the same. The camera angles can be annoying, and you may miss a lot of things, with certain enemies hidden by buildings. The most irritating thing is the effect that small rocks and fences seem to have on the cars/tanks the most; a minor impediment (like a stone or small fence) can stop a tank! 


Maniac is a brilliant and fun game with lots of crazy action and mindless violence; it’s the epitome of pick-and-play. Easy to pick and master, I loved the art style, sound, and graphics. All fit really well into this explosive game. Some camera angles could be better, and the obstacles that can stop a car or tank that is too small need to be nerfed/fixed. There isn’t a lot of replay value. Anyway, it was fantastic fun, and I loved the play-throughs. 

Overall: 8.5/10

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