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Laser Maze Game Review by Renee KnoblauchThinkFun, Inc.
1321 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
My kids enjoy strategy games in our home. One game that they have been playing lately is a game from ThinkFun, Inc. and their Laser Maze Game.
Laser Maze is a one plus player game. The game is intended for ages eight and up. Currently, you can buy Laser Maze for $32.99.
The object of the game is to arrange the laser to hit targets on the game grid to activate your tokens. The game progresses and gets more complex with each new challenge.
There are several components involved in the game. The board is laid out in a raised grid cell format. It has twenty-five sections to fit your game pieces on the board. There is a spot you can put your card to hold it upright on top of the game board.
The game has sixty challenge cards which are full-colored and illustrated cards. The cards are numbered with one being a basic beginner level and then advancing up. The cards are color-coded on the bottom to show the skill level. There are four levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert level. The cards have an illustration of where you will place the game tokens and depending on the level it may also have the direction the tokens will face on the game board. The beginner level tells you which tokens and may have the direction to face them on your board. The cards will tell you the number of targets you need to activate with the laser. It will also indicate how many tokens you need to add to the grid to solve the challenge. Some of the other levels the card will have a question mark on it, and you will have to determine placement on the grid and which direction to face it. Each challenge has only one solution. The backside of your card has the solution on it.
There are several sets of “tokens” which are the game pieces you put in play. Your main piece is a Red Laser; it shoots the laser beam when you press the top button through the other tokens to activate them. This token is the only one that has batteries to operate it. The batteries are included and can be replaced.
The next set of tokens you have five of the Purple Target/Mirror tokens. This piece can function as a target or a mirror. It can also function as both the target and mirror for the laser beam.
Next, you have two Green Beam Splitters. This piece shows up more in the advanced challenges. One beam makes a path of 90° reflection and the other will split and pass straight through the token.
Blue Double-Mirror there is one and its function will reflect a 90° angle on both sides.
One Yellow Check Point makes the laser beam pass through it.
Black Cell Blocker will block a space on the grid so you cannot put a token there. It does not inhibit your laser from passing through it. Your card will indicate when and where you need to use this piece.
After you understand how the tokens work you are ready to play the game. If you forget the function of each of the tokens there is a reference card in the card deck that you can reference back to.
First, you need to select one of the challenge cards and put it in the holder on the board. Your challenge card will show you the placement of your pre-set tokens. Depending on your challenge card level it will determine if you must figure out the placement and the direction of all or some of the tokens so your laser will light up your targets.
You press your Red Laser token to activate the other tokens on the board. The laser must pass through the targets for you to win. The game is challenging with all the variables. You must evaluate your placement and reasoning with each challenge. I recommend you turn off the lights once youcomplete a challenge so you can see the lasers boldly light up!
My teenagers have enjoyed playing Laser Maze by themselves and challenging one another by seeing who can complete a challenge the quickest. They would set a timer and the other one would have to turn away from the game while the other one would try to solve it. Once they completed the challenge, they would hit the timer. Then the other player would complete the same challenge. My son has also played this online through a video chat in a similar fashion with a friend who has the game too.
I appreciate good quality-built games that activate their minds. The game does not have noisy components and they can play by themselves or with others. I like that my kids must solve a problem to get results by using critical thinking, and abstract thinking. The game is challenging. I was by far the slowest trying to finish a challenge and a few of them I begged my kids to give me a hint.
The game involves STEM concepts that you must figure out a solution to solve the challenge. You must hypothesize if it will work and then test your variables on the board to see if you get the results to solve the challenge. You get immediate feedback to see if you were successful with the challenge. If it does not work, you must go back to square one and try again. Using lasers is very appealing and a fun way to learn some good problem-solving skills. This is an incredibly fun and educational game that has been a huge hit in my family.
Product review by Renee Knoblauch, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2020