I played with using mazes as a way to find things that are quickly solved by machines but take some concentration from users, as a sort of anti-CAPTCHA test. Obviously, there are thousands of such potential tests, but mazes have an aesthetic appeal lacking, in say, "find the prime factors of this 128 bit number." A child can brute force a maze, as can any adult, given enough time. A machine breezes right through large mazes that could take hours for a human to solve by hand. When would such a test be useful? I'll leave that to the imagination of the reader.
You could imagine androids using that as a sort of reverse-CAPTCHA to distinguish people from machines and preventing the latter from entering their secret gathering place.
Which brings me to the last episode of Westworld... Boy, I have a theory about the Maze for you...
If I were to design this as an interview problem, it would probably be for a general purpose solver and a pair programming exercise.
They can be a good tool in your toolbox when generating levels, though, if you combine them with others. I wrote a post about one approach a while back:
Even this is debatable because in many variants, destructible walls aside, the layout is substantially similar between levels.
Never sure how much promotional content should be on here, but the company I work for (Redgate) has a coding challenge related to this. See http://www.red-gate.com/our-company/entrypage/coding-challen... if you are interested.
Nothing at all wrong with posting that, btw. You might consider posting it to the front page if you haven't already.
He had (has?) a lot of interesting blog posts on mazes as well.
or if you click on the name of the algorithm in the url you posted it brings you to the blog post about it.
One of these years I'll write it up, but I've played a lot with no-grid mazes, and once you get away from the 2d array, it opens up a lot of interesting possibilities. Prim's algorithm works equally well on a mesh where vertices have an arbitrary number of edges...
One of my best friends growing up was an artist (whether he considered himself one or not) named Mark Yee who drew incredibly intricate mazes, typically nested inside a dragon as I recall. Wish I still had one of his sketches.
So, if you're out there somewhere Mark, John from Brownsburg says hi!
Even a 4D maze; let's call it a 3D maze with time-travelling. Could be just 3 "squares" deep in the 4th dimension for a start: "yesterday", "today" and "tomorrow".
Have you seen this?
"Miegakure [Hide & Reveal] is a game where you navigate a four-dimensional world to perform miraculous feats and solve puzzles."
Mind-boggling is a good word for it!
Thinking further, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages definitely involved puzzles like this.