FTW Staff Picks - The Magic Labyrinth

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.

The Magic Labyrinth

Designer: Dirk Baumann

Genre: Memory

Player Size: 2 to 4 Players

Game Length: 15 minutes

For fans of: Labyrinth, Chicken Cha Cha

Much like other mediums such as movies, literature and television, creating meaningful and strong content for children is often an incredibly challenging task. Sure there are tons of things marketed towards children, with more exploitative intention, that click too. But the true successes of their medium are the ones that deliver ideas that aren't just pandering, but true to the inner-child of people alike. After all, we were all once children. 

The Magic Labyrinth doesn't re-invent the wheel. Fundamentally, it is a simple game of memory akin to Chicken Cha Cha. However what Magic Labyrinth does, much like every other Family game under the Drei Magier Spiele publication catalogue, is build a world that gives meaning to the gameplay. They tend to find inventive ways to explore basic puzzle-building. Instead of using memory cards, you have a literal maze of invisible walls to traverse. And to trigger fail-states, the game uses magnets to tell players when they've bumped into a dead-end. Feeling and hearing the magnetic ball drop is truly gut-wrenching. 

Pixar is often looked at as the golden standard in the Children/Family genre of filmmaking. They manage to deliver a product that is not only exciting for younger audiences, but also taps into the hearts of the parents bringing their kids to see the film. And when playing The Magic Labyrinth, something eventually clicks in the parent's head. This is a lot more fun than they were anticipating. Suddenly, it becomes a competitive affair. And it's rare to find something that both children and adults can be equally competitive.  

Earl OliverosComment