Tuesday, May 26, 2009

#12: Goblin's Gold

Magical Maze (Goblin's Gold)
  • designer: Gilbert Levy
  • publisher: University Games/Jumbo
  • date: 1994
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 4802/4.70
  • age: 6+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: $29.99 (eBay)
This is possibly the biggest disagreement I have with any of the BGG ratings in the Kid Games 100... and it's not even "haters" or a weird ratings spread. It's just that a lot of folks have a lower opinion of this game than I do.

OK, let's go back & give you a quick description of the game so you can figure out whether you agree with me or not. A single wizard figure stands in the middle of the board - and the board sits on a grid of plastic squares with a maze inscribed on the bottom of them. The wizard has a magnet in his base that is connected to a piston that raises & lowers his arm... and there's another magnet beneath the plastic squares that "gets lost" whenever the wizard is moved across one of the plastic maze barriers under the board, causing his arm to lower.

So, on your turn, you move the wizard SLOWLY across the gridded board, stopping your turn whenever his arm lowers. (You also back the wizard up so he can pick up the magnet again.) The next player takes over... and so it goes until one of you manages to get the wizard to your corner for the win.

The University Games version also includes small plastic hedges which can be added to the board to make it easier to remember how the maze is configured. This nice touch makes it an easy game to play with children age 4 & up... as long as they understand moving slowly & carefully.

I will note that setting up the game is not easy - my nearly 8 yr old son is just getting where he can handle putting all the plastic squares together then gently setting the board in place so that all the "teeth" line up. It works much better with parents involved.

I think what makes Magical Maze so neat is the process of working your way through an invisible maze... While the primary game mechanic is memory (can you find your way back across the board?), the coolness of the components is what draws me back again & again.


kanoe said...

Hey Mark.

Thanks for the review. Glad I found it as their are no reviews on BGG.


kanoe said...

there (not their) .. grrr ... I need to proofread BEFORE I publish!