Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Magic Labyrinth

Plays: 4Px1.

The Game

The Magic Labyrinth is a children's game with a memory element. It is played on an open grid with invisible walls. At any one time, one specific space on the grid, marked by a specific icon, is the goal that everyone tries to race to. Movement is determined by a die roll. The tricky part is the invisible walls. If you bump into one, you must go back to your starting corner. Whenever a player reaches a goal space, he collects a token, and after that a new goal space is determined. First to collect 5 tokens wins.

The way the invisible wall mechanism is implemented is quite clever. There are real walls set up under the game board. The player pawns have magnets beneath them, and a metal balls under the game board are attached to these pawns. When you move your pawn, you slide it along the floor. If you cross an "invisible wall", the real wall underneath the game board will block your metal ball, and it will fall off. Then you'll know you've hit a wall and need to go back to your starting corner.

The Play

Chong Sean, Chee Wee, Aaron and I played a four-player game. The early game was mostly trial-and-error trying to figure out and also remember where the walls were. The luck element is present, but good memory does help. I think we were either not very patient in trying to remember where the walls were, or we were simply bad at remembering. We still bumped into walls late in the game.

Chong Sean took an early lead, but others were able to catch up. In the end it was still him to first collect 5 tokens to win the game.

The Thoughts

It's a simple and well-produced children's game. Memory helps, but there is some luck in the die rolls which determine how fast you can move, and in the randomly determined goal which determines how far you are from it. I'm not a fan of memory games, so this is not really my thing, but I think this is a decent children's memory game. At least there is some skill involved.


Cecrow said...

I'd imagine with multiple plays you'll become very familiar with where the 'invisible walls' are located; or can they be repositioned randomly somehow?

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

yes, the maze beneath the game game board can be customised freely. i forgot to take a photo of that. there are a few different recommended setups in the rulebook. even when playing with the same maze, if you use a different starting corner, things will be a little different too.