|The Maze Pack|
The lowly Hedge Maze is one of the lowest-excitement attractions in Roller Coaster Tycoon. It ususally is at the bottom of the list in terms of "guests' favorite" or "popularity" or any other measure that you might apply.
If you also consider that guests will sometimes get lost in a maze (at least the mazes included with the game), and suffer from negative attitude adjustment as a result, you might conclude that your parks are better off without mazes.
Like many other facets of this game, deeper examination of the hedge maze will reveal it's hidden potential. In one important respect, it may be the most powerful attraction in the game. I did not appreciate this until I built a park that contained twenty hedge mazes, some shops and stalls, and nothing else. I noticed how crowded my paths had become, then I noticed that the park had well over 1,000 guests.
I confirmed this by running an experiment: first I built a park with ten copies of the Circus attraction, and ran the park until July 1, Year One. Second I built it with ten copies of "Joe's Garage." For the third test I built ten different hedge mazes. In all parks, no other rides were built, and several shops were included. The results? In this time frame, the ten different hedge maze park attracted 378 guests; ten copies of Joe's Garage garnered 328 guests; the Circus brought in 156.
The long underappreciated hedge maze appears to draw about 50 additional guests per maze (it takes some time to get to that level) - at least if each maze is different. A coaster will draw more guests, but may cost ten times as much as a hedge maze. Quite possibly the hedge maze is the best cost/performance attraction for enticing more guests into a park. This has a profound implication for scenario play.
By building a number of hedge mazes at an early point of a scenario, you can jump start your efforts, and considerably ease the path to victory.
I believe the best way to design a hedge maze is to make sure that there are no branches on its route. A branch gives a guest a chance at taking a wrong turn. This will mean the guest backtracks at least to the previous branch. The result is that some guests will spend a very long time in the maze. By making the maze without branches, you guarantee an easy walk-through, and a delighted guest.
As with Mini-Golf, it is easy to make hedge mazes too big. A larger hedge maze will have a slightly higher excitement rating, but will not make the guests any happier than a shorter maze. I believe that mazes are most effective when they use between 15 and 50 land tiles.
This "track pack" contains twenty-two mazes. They are lightly themed with one exception. "Joe's Garage" is completely enclosed with Mechanical theming. It was somewhat disappointing that even though this ride is completely covered, including the entrance and exit, it is still an outdoor ride. The good news is that "Joe's Garage" was the guests' favorite by more than three-to-one over any other hedge maze in this set in my test park.
These mazes absolutely trounced Spiral Hedges and the Crazy Castle Hedge Maze - designs included with the game - when using the "guests' favorite" as the comparison tool.
As with coasters, you can omit the scenery when you build the maze, then decorate to your taste, if you desire.
You can use the empty space to add the theming objects of your choice.
If your park has a garage band performing, you'll need a garage! The scenery provides some real value to Joe's Garage. I built a park filled with these hedge mazes, and Joe's Garage was the peep's favorite.