Labyrinthes and Mazes

In the stories told by the ancient Greeks, the labyrinth was a large tunnel built by Daedalus, a great inventor, in ancient Crete. It was built for the Minotaur, a fierce and cruel monster with a bull’s head and a human body, whose favorite food was young men and girls. The labyrinth was a long path with so many twists and turns that no one who entered it could ever find his way out again.

The Greek hero Theseus was sent to Crete to kill the Minotaur. He persuaded Ariadne, the daughter of the king of Crete, to give him a long thread. He tied one end to the entrance of the labyrinth and then entered and killed the Minotaur. He was able to find his way out by following the thread.

Any passageway that is full of twists and turns is still called a labyrinth. Many still use the word “maze” and “labyrinth” interchangeably, but the biggest difference is that mazes are designed to be difficult to navigate through, like in Maze Runner. In Pan’s Labyrinth, all the main character had to do was follow a one way path until she reached the destination.


Mazes have many paths that branch off, which may not necessarily lead back to the center. In the Scary Maze Game series, there is a single path that leads to the end. Technically it’s a scary labyrinth game, but I do agree it’s easier to just call it a maze game instead. No one seems to know what labyrinths actually are, and just assumes everything that resembles a labyrinth is a maze.