#81 – The Magic Labyrinth

Magic Labyrinth

At a Glance: The Magic Labyrinth is a unique racing game that uses magnets and an invisible memory maze.

The Magic Labyrinth is a game for 2-4 players that has a unique invisible maze underneath the board, and players must try to navigate a little metal ball with their magnetized pawn around the walls of the labyrinth to race to get objects. An object token is drawn out of the bag and placed on its spot on the board. Then, players roll the die and race to be the first to grab the token. If they run into an invisible wall, that causes the metal ball to separate from the pawn’s magnet and they must go back to their starting space. Therefore, players must build upon their memory of where walls are discovered in order to avoid them as the game goes on. The first player to nab a predetermined number of tokens is the winner.

The Magic Labyrinth is perfect proof that a game with a gimmick can be made well, and be a whole lot of fun. The rulebook suggests an introductory setup for the walls in the labyrinth, but after that, you can make it as random as you like, and the more walls you decide to add, the greater the difficulty. Because of this, the difficulty scales pretty well, so young children can play, but the potential is there for some real challenging play for older players. Randomness can play a big role though. For instance, you may grab a token, and the very next token drawn could just happen to be RIGHT beside your pawn. Hard to avoid that, really. The real fun is found in the excitement of racing to the tokens while trying to memorize the layout of the labyrinth as you discover it. If you don’t like memory games, this one may not be for you. As it is, I really like it, and strongly recommend it for kids and families.

Originally published in Germany as Das Magische Labyrinth, it won the Kinderspiel des Jahres award for Germany’s Children’s Game of the Year in 2009. The pawns are nice and wooden, with strong magnets on the undersides, which hold the little metal ball under the board. The bottom part of the box itself is used for the labyrinth, which you do not see very often. This game is truly something special.

This game is currently out-of-print, but you can generally find a few copies: https://amzn.to/2RFj2vJ

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