Sketchy Maze

"a drawing-based maze game."

Welcome to

Sketchy Maze is a drawing-based maze game themed around hand-drawn maps on paper. You can design your own level and make it look like anything you want, and drag-and-drop some 'doodads' like Buttons, Doors and Keys to add interactive elements and create puzzles and obstacles.

The game is currently available as an early alpha release. See the Downloads to try it out!

See About, FAQ and the Guidebook for more information about the game.

Sketchy Maze v0.8.1 Released

This is a minor update to the game which brings a couple new features, but the main feature of this release is there there are now 32-bit builds available for Linux and Windows.

The new (experimental) features in this release include:

  • Zoom In/Out: in the level editor you can zoom in and out of your drawing. It’s mostly usable with a few bugs to iron out.
  • Replace Palette: in the Level Properties window you have the option to replace your palette with one of the built-in defaults, like when you first created your level.

To access these features, open the game’s Settings window and see the new “Experimental” tab.

Check out the Downloads and check it out!

Sketchy Maze v0.8.0 Released

A new version of Sketchy Maze is released today that brings several new features, new doodads and new levels!

Grab the latest version on the Download page!

Some highlights of the new release include:

Doodad Editor Improvements

Using only in-game tools, it is now fully possible to create custom doodads (including multiple frames of animation), attach and manage their JavaScript sources, and there are a few built-in “generic scripts” to give simple behaviors to your custom doodads all without you needing to worry at all about writing any JavaScript code!

For example, you can create your own “hazard doodad” that kills the player on contact (acting like fire pixels) by selecting the “Generic Fire” script.

All Characters are Playable!

In this release you can set up a custom level so that you play as a different character instead of the Boy!

To set this up, drag a Start Flag and another doodad of your choice into your level, and connect them together using the Link Tool. When the level starts, you will play as that doodad!

All of the built-in creatures are fully supported (including the Bird, Azulians, and the Thief). The Bird can travel freely without being affected by gravity. You can play as non-creature doodads, too, sometimes with strange effects. Play as the Anvil and you can kill mobile doodads by “jumping” onto them!

Only mobile doodads tend to collide with most things such as Doors and Trapdoors, and only mobile doodads can activate Buttons and Switches.

New Doodads & Levels

The new doodads in this release include:

  • The Thief is a character which can steal items out of the inventory of other characters. She does not steal items from other Thieves, except if she is the player character.
  • The Anvil is affected by gravity and becomes dangerous to all mobile doodads when it is falling. When not falling, the doodad is completely harmless and has no solid collision hitbox.
  • The Electric Trapdoor is a horizontal version of the Electric Door which can open and close when activated by a Button or Switch.
  • The Checkpoint Flag remembers your position in a level. When you die to fire pixels or Anvils, instead of restarting the level from the beginning you can teleport back to your last checkpoint and carry on!

See the full list of built-in doodads in the Guidebook!

Two new built-in levels are added:

  • Castle.level: introduces the Thief and other new doodads.
  • Thief 1.level: play as the Thief and steal Small Keys from the Azulians to complete the level.

See the changelog for complete details and head over to the Download page to grab the latest release for Linux, macOS and Windows.

Sketchy Maze v0.7.2 Released

A new version of Sketchy Maze is released today that brings some new features and some new content.

Grab the latest version on the Download page!

New Levels

Two new levels are added in this release:

  • Desert-1of2.level: a desert-themed level with platforming segments as you climb the outside of a pyramid.
  • Desert-2of2.level: inside the pyramid. This level is full of puzzles involving the new Box doodad.

These join the previous three Tutorial levels that earlier versions came with.

New Doodad


The Box can be pushed left or right by the player character or other mobile doodads, and it is affected by gravity. It is taller than the player character, so can make a useful platform to reach a higher ledge.

Other Changes

  • New brush pattern: Perlin Noise
  • New default color for the Colored Pencil palette: Sandstone (solid) - uses the Perlin Noise pattern.
  • Scroll the editor window slowly by holding the Shift key.
  • The Doodads window is now opened by the Q key instead of D in the level editor.
  • The WASD keys can scroll the level editor in addition to the arrow keys.
  • Levels and Doodad files get compressed for a filesize savings of ~84% on average! Tutorial 2.level shrank from 2.2M to 414K.

See the Change Log for the rest.

Sketchy Maze v0.7.1 Released

This is a small bugfix release: on the Windows build of v0.7.0, built-in wallpapers other than the default Notebook were failing to load.

No substantial differences for the Linux or Mac OS version, though I have improved my deployment scripts to make it easier to release the game in the future.

Get the new version on the Download page!

Sketchy Maze v0.7.0 Released

release announcement

A new alpha version of Sketchy Maze has been released, which brings several improvements to the game. This is also the first release in which the “free version” drifts meaningfully away from the “full version” in terms of features. The full version includes the ability to publish your level, bundling all of its custom doodads inside the level file for easy sharing. The free version can still use custom doodads, but they must be managed manually.

  • Brush Patterns for your level palette. Instead of your colors drawing on as plain, solid pixels, a color swatch can sample with a Pattern to create a textured appearance when plotted on your level. Several patterns are built in including Noise, Marker, Ink, and others. The idea is that your brush strokes can look as though they were drawn in pencil graphite or similar.

    Screenshot of Brush Patterns feature

  • Title Screen: the demo level shown on the title screen will leisurely scroll around the page. The arrow keys may still manually scroll the level any direction.

  • Attach Doodads to Level Files: this is the first release that supports truly portable custom levels! By attaching your custom doodads with your custom level file, it will “just play” on someone else’s computer, and they don’t need to copy all your custom doodads for it to work! But, free versions of the game will not get to enjoy this feature.

  • Settings UI: a “Settings” button on the home screen (or the Edit->Settings menu in the editor) will open a settings window. Check it out!

  • Horizontal Toolbars option: if enabled in the Settings window, the toolbar and palette in the Editor will be horizontal instead of vertical, along the top and bottom of the screen. This may be better optimized for smartphone-sized screens like the Pinephone. If the program is started with -w mobile the first time, it will use horizontal toolbars by default.

Some small bits of polish in the game’s user interface:

  • Some buttons are more colorful! The “Ok” button in alert boxes is blue and pressing Enter will select the blue button.
  • When opening a drawing to play or edit, a blue Browse… button is added so you can more easily find downloaded custom levels and play them.
  • In the Level Editor, the “Level -> Attached Files” menu will let you see and manage files attached to your level, such as its custom wallpaper image or any custom doodads that were published with the level.
  • The keyboard shortcut to open the developer console is now the tilde/grave key (`) instead of Enter.

Bugs fixed:

  • The WASD keys to move the player character (as an alternative to the arrow keys) now works more reliably. Previously, they were affected by key-repeat so Boy would do a quick hop followed by a longer one when pressing W to jump. Also, his animation would not update correctly when moving via the WASD keys. Both bugs are fixed in this release.
  • Shortcut keys advertised in the menu, such as Ctrl-N and Ctrl-S, now actually work.

Get the new version on the Download page!

Copyright © 2021 Noah Petherbridge.