The Irritating Maze quite literally lives up to its name. It's a maze, of sorts, and it's one hell of an irritating game. In fact, it is one of the most irritating games that most will ever come across. But it does have its charms, namely its offbeat gameplay.
The graphics are bright and colorful, with a lot of eye candy everywhere. Depending on your point of view, this may or may not be a good thing, as all that coloring and eye candy has been designed specifically to distract you from beating the level. All that glitter is isolated to the areas immediately surrounding the track, and if you look off the beaten path you'll notice that the graphics there are quite sparse and simplistic.
The sound and music are passable, though not particularly good. The Irritating Maze's songs sound like generic puzzle game music and are generally pretty forgettable, but they do fit the game's mood. You'll hear an announcer's voice at certain points of the game telling you that you've passed a checkpoint or something like that.
The announcer sounds reasonably excited, though if you listen you can hear a little bit of electronic fuzz distorting the voice clips. One sound clip stands out above the rest though, and that's the electric zap effect that plays when you lose. When this clip is combined with the associated graphics, the effect is literally shocking.
One of the biggest reasons why the game is so irritating is that you have to control your character's conducting rod with a trackball. For most people, the trackball is not an ideal input device for precise control, especially when put under the stress of time limits. A digital joystick or D-pad would actually allow you to have more precise control, but then having to deal with unfamiliar controls is part of the "fun."
At first you'll find the innovative gameplay to be a lot of fun, much like Marble Madness. But unlike Marble Madness, The Irritating Maze's gameplay gets old relatively quickly, and you'll find yourself not caring enough to give the level another go. The Irritating Maze is different enough to be entertaining for a couple of minutes but not quite polished enough to be a lot of fun for the long haul. Give it a quarter or two and see how you do.