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Subject: What makes Magic Maze so magical rss

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Rob Grieco
United States
Massachusetts
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This is strictly a review for the game, not including how to play. There are tutorial videos that will help you out more than I can for that department. For a quick review, skip to the bottom paragraph.

To start, Magic Maze allows for multiple game modes: 1 player, then multiplayer up to 8 (9 technically). Would I attempt this game with 8? Hell no! That's not indicative of the game, but more on my own endeavors. Because you can't speak, yet need to maintain a certain "mind meld" with your team, beating the game with that many participants sounds nauseating to me! BUT, that's the kind of challenge the game offers, which is never a bad thing.

The difference between the multiplayer and one player versions are slight, but the one player holds a solitaire-like structure and it's actually what makes this game thrive. This is actually a version that is much harder. I have yet to attempt it on the hardest level by myself, yet I'd feel fairly confident about beating it with one or two other teammates.

The typical format (multiplayer) is very simple to learn, but it's refreshing. Any game that's collaborative, I'll try it at the very least. Not so much in the competitive format in case one of your friends are "that table-game player"....you know the one. There's a euphoric release when your team attempts a higher difficulty with the game and are able to succeed right before the grains of sand signify time has run out. It's a great way to join in mutual success and can be excitingly empowering for the team. The negative? If you have a teammate that is ADHD to the core, forget about it. There's too much going on for them to focus and YOU. WILL. LOSE. Our group sat there waiting for one teammate to make a move. There's nothing you can do other than sit there eyeballing them and waiting for them to realize they need to make their move otherwise you're all screwed. This hurt us a couple of times.

A small thing that bugs me isn't with the gameplay, but with the box. It's an empty square. I take pride in keeping my game collection (nerd alert) tidy and well kept. That means I appreciate when manufacturers can include some kind of plastic casing inside so each piece has a place or at least sections to separate things. This doesn't. The pieces won't be destroyed, but it bugs the crap out of me. I die a little inside every time I hear the pieces slide one way or another when the box tilts.

Overall, Magic Maze is a terrifically simple game that plays well with a small group between 3-5, but the one player scenario is its bread and butter. Because it instills the non-talking factor, players force themselves into a scenario that challenges their inflexibility and releasing control/trusting others. One of the great aspects are the add ons to the rules. There's an encouragement to adapt rules or to be creative with adding/subtracting/altering some of the rules within the game. That allows for a different game each time, which adds to replay value, something a lot of games struggle to maintain. I give it a strong 9 out of 10 rating. It's creative, fun, simple, and challenging. Definitely suitable for the family too!
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