Hidden Treasures: Cloning the clone


Robert Abbott’s Theseus and the Minotaur is one of the puzzles on the app store with more depth (see my earlier post for more details). In 2002 the game was cloned by PopCap for their online game Mummy Maze (shown here to the right). This game explicitly credits Robert Abbott, although this did not happen automatically (see this post for more details on that history). Yet, PopCap actually did add some new aspects to the puzzle. Those new additions are now cloned by a new iPhone game, though without any credit (once again).

In the original game by Robert Abbott, the Minotaur always first tries to move horizontally and only when that is not possible he will move vertically. In Mummy Maze there are two different kinds of monsters, one that first moves horizontally (like in Theseus), and another that first moves vertically. In some levels even both kinds of monsters are available at the same time. This makes the levels potentially much more difficult, though it also lacks some clarity.


And now the cloners are cloned themselves! Chinese Hidden Treasure (iTunes link) clearly has taken up the ideas from Mummy Maze. The setting is changed from a mummies in a pyramid to emperor Qin Shi Huang’s terracotta army, and the levels seem to be different (see a screenshot to the left). However, the principle of the game is clearly copied from Mummy Maze. The real problem though is that this time (again) the developers forgot to mention their predecessors. No mention of Robert Abbott, no mention of PopCap. Buh.


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