I recently wrote about my visit to the first prize winner in The Sansar Labyrinth Contest, which actually saw prizes awarded to a total of three among the various entries. Given that I did write about Abramelin Wolfe’s grand prize-winning entry The Secret of Mount Shasta, it seemed only fair I jumped back to Sansar and took a look at the second and third prize winners as well.
Horizon Maze is the third place entry, designed by Ecne. It’s an ingenious piece that, while lacking the direct challenges present in The Secret of Mount Shasta, makes up for it in presentation and design.
This is a compact, circular maze which may at first appear to be built along traditional lines. The aim is to get from the outer edge to the central ring, where a golden cup awaits. You can even freecam over the maze to get a feel for it before entering. It all sounds simple, except for two things.
The first is that the maze comprises three concentric rings, revolving around a central axis. Moving between them requires finding one of several gateways in the ring you are in, then waiting for a gateway in the next ring to align with it, so you can step across.
The second is that the maze is on two levels – you must periodically take the stairs to the lower level and find your way around it. This may involve finding stairs back to the upper level, or it may mean finding another gate on the lower level where you can cross between rings. Nor is it all one-way; you may well have to move back out between ring in order to find the way back towards the waiting cup.
This all makes Horizon Maze a lot more complex a puzzle than first appears, so much so, that it can get a little confusing. To help people out, Ecne provides a number of maps inset into the floors of the rings at various points. These show both levels and mimic their rotation and also show where you are within the maze, allowing you to attempt to chart a course.
When you do get to the centre of the maze, there is one final challenge: getting past the wall separating you from the golden cup. The secret to doing this can b found both in the wall and on the floor of the path around it – but I’ll let you figure that out!
Read the name of this entry by Tron backwards – maze cube – and you get pretty much was it is summed up in the title: a maze forming a roughly cube-like shape. The second prize winner in the competition is, like Horizon Maze, a compact design, but one which uses more of a vertical approach to its design.
In parts uniformly monochrome in styling, Ebucezam is a series of box tunnels and shafts laid out within the volume of a cubic shape. The aim is to get from the single entrance on the ground level to the single large room on the far side of the maze. All of which again sounds simple enough, so where’s the catch?
The catch is that to get from front to back across the maze, you also have to go up and down. This requires using the elevators scattered around the various tunnels, as well as jumping back down shafts. The elevators are colour-coded. White elevators are open to use from the start, but any other coloured elevator – denoted by the colour of the activation switch on the wall and the glow surrounding it – requires you first obtain the corresponding colour energy node.
These nodes are scattered throughout the maze, so in order to get to the far size, you must first locate the power nodes so you can activate the various elevators. You only need to find a colour node the once, though. As you approach it, a pop-up notification will inform you have obtained it, and it will then unlock any elevator of the same colour at any time. However, it does mean a lot of moving forward, searching, then potentially backtracking to find the right elevator, making this maze harder to complete than might first appear to be the case.
Both Ebucezam and Horizon Maze are interesting designs; however, I admit to fining Horizon Maze the more engaging of the two. While Ebucezam is a clever design, I found the constant back and forth to find energy nodes and then unlocking elevators came a tad repetitive – it would have been nice to have a little more variation in things. That said, Horizon Maze wasn’t without a slight fault of its own; a could of times when first stating into it, I slightly mistimed my moved between rings and ended up caught in the walls and forced to try walking between them until I eventually fell and was respawned at the start point. The lesson here: time you moves carefully and double-tap run to move between rings!
Nevertheless, for those looking for something a little different to do in Sansar, Horizon Maze and Ebucezam are worth dropping into and trying out. Congratulations to both Ecne and Tron on their designs and prizes.
Experience URLS and Links
- Horizon Maze: https://atlas.sansar.com/experiences/ecne/ocean
- Ebucezam: https://atlas.sansar.com/experiences/tronn/the-cube
- Official winners announcement