Target is currently having a Buy 2, Get 1 Free board game sale and their selection of board games is pretty nice here in the United States. Games range from Ticket to Ride My First Journey through Catan Rivals Deluxe, and Evolution The Beginning. While looking to add to my collection, I stumbled across The Magic Labyrinth by Dirk Baumann. It’s rated for ages 6 years and older, but looked like my 4-year old could handle it, so I picked up a copy.
The object of the game is to reach a specified symbol on the game board. The symbol is chosen randomly from a black drawstring bag that is included with the game. On their turn, players roll a 6-sided die (numbers on the die only go up to 4 instead of 6), and move their game piece that many spaces (vertically or horizontally) to try to reach the symbol. Once a symbol is reached by a player, a new one is drawn, and the game pieces are reset. The first player who collects 5 symbols wins.
The unique part of this game is that there are hidden walls underneath the game board, which can be changed for every game. Each player has a magnetic marble that connects to their player piece underneath the game board. When the player pieces are moved, the walls will knock the player’s marbles off and they’ll have to start back at the beginning. This makes players have to remember the wall locations as they try to reach the symbols.
The player pieces are made of wood and are a nice size for both kids’ and adults’ hands. They have felt on the bottom to allow for easy sliding across the game board and the magnets are strong enough to stay attached for movement.
The cardboard tokens and game boards are a good thickness and feel substantial. The wooden walls snap into the grid nicely and the drawstring bag doesn’t feel like it will fall apart after continued use. The wooden die is fairly lightweight, which is fine as my daughter tends to drop it directly onto the tabletop and I’d rather not have a heavy die making dents into my table.
After a few explanations of the concept, my 4-year old was able to grasp the rules and began memorizing the locations of the walls that she had run into previously. Older kids will probably be able to pick this up after a quick explanation, which is probably why it starts at age 6. Truth be told, even I forgot where a lot of the walls were, so it’s definitely not just for children.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this game. Setup time and rule explanation time are minimal and the replay value is high since you can create almost an infinite number of mazes underneath the game board. It’s easy for kids to play and even adults will have to challenge their memory. If you’re looking for a well-made family game, check this one out.