Thursday, 14 April 2016
Review - Labyrinth board game from Ravensburger
This week we've been taking a look at the family board game Labyrinth from Ravensburger. Designed for 2-4 players from age seven and up, the object of the game is to find your way through the labyrinth to reach a selection of different objects and treasures, then return home before your opponents. The catch is that with each turn the pieces of the maze shift as other players try to reach their own treasures.
The game was completely new to me, but after sharing a picture on Instagram it seems that I've been missing out and other people have been enjoying it for years!
To start the game, you set up the labyrinth using the game board and lots of square pieces, many with treasures on, to build a unique maze with one piece left over. The moveable pieces fit in around pieces which are glued to the board. Then you divide out the treasure cards between players, and each player looks at their first card to see what they need to search for, without showing it to the other players.
On their turn, the player uses the spare maze piece to push a row of movable pieces across and change the design of the labyrinth, hoping to create a route to their treasure. I actually found it quite difficult to visualise - many times I moved the pieces around and they didn't do what I expected them to at all! And then you can set up a route and someone else will move the pieces and change the whole thing entirely!
I played the game initially just with Harry, aged 7. He picked it up straight away, although we did start with a slightly easier version of the game - we only had five treasures each to look for and we showed each other what we were heading towards so that we could help each other while we got the hang of the game.
There is a lot of strategy involved. Some of the object pieces move and some don't, so you need to work out if it's better for you to try and reach the treasure, or to arrange for it to move closer to you. You need to think about the spare piece that you are inserting, and which way up is best. Sometimes there is a less obvious route through the labyrinth that is easily missed, and sometimes you are convinced that you've made the correct move only for it to end up completely different.
We played several times, and we both got better at it each time. I found that we were very evenly matched which was great, Harry won our second game and it definitely wasn't because I was helping him!
Later on Mia joined us. She's nearly 5, which is a little young for the game, but she loved the concept. You can make the game easier for younger players by letting the child choose which object they want to reach next from all their cards, conversely you could also make it more difficult by leaving your treasure card turned up so that other players can block you when they see what you are after.
The game could even be played solo by selecting an object card and working out the quickest way to reach it - this would be good practice for playing too!
We had a great time playing this game and I know that it's going to become a staple of our board game cupboard - we are going to be challenging all our visitors to a game!
I received the game in exchange for a review.