Saccharine Opening ... Yawn ... Skip Ahead
The first thing that struck me about this light offering was the low price in comparison with the quality of the components. The suggestive look of the eponymous hound sealed the deal and we were off to the check out in a jiffy. I bought this at a supermarket for £1.99, because I had promised my son a toy and he just wasn't interested in the selection. Ever eager to cram my understairs space, I made the buy. I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice, solid jigsaw board, relatively sturdy counters and stands and a pair of respectable dice. A jigsaw board always brings a smile to my face - I first encountered such a beast when I received DungeonQuest as a wide-eyed boy and the use of the jigsaw cut right into my heart. The board certainly beats the quality of many other cheap games. So the initial impression was splendid, but would we be most foully betrayed when we laid this beast out on the carpet for inspection?
Game set-up is simple enough and children will enjoy piecing together the maze, which is clearly and cleanly illustrated. A few more distinguishing features would have made things easier and more enjoyable - I would suggest the addition of a cheeky wood nymph and a multi-faith cemetary. The raised area is easily assembled, but pretty rickety and could have done with a little reinforcement.
A counter is laid face down on the squares distinguished by eyes lurking in a black abyss and then the Mayhem promised on the cover of the game can begin.
He's Still Explaining the Rules? Isn't This Meant to Be a Review? Roll Mousewheel ...
You choose one of the five Scooby-Doo characters as your avatar in this Maze of Mayhem. You need to get to the Mystery Machine with a key and three snacks, which involves wandering the maze in a veritable roll and move funfest. The key is to open the door which separates our foolish wanderers from their vehicle of choice, the snacks are, presumably, for the ride home.
Mechanics are simple enough - in fact, Queen Elizabeth II is able to take apart and reassemble an entire automobile, a feat she learnt during WWII - Scooby and his human automatons move around the board turning over counters and following instructions on the squares they end their move on. There are junctions in the path which allow for some choice, but it's usually pretty obvious where to go.
Our brave heroes can uncover one of three encounters as they go: a key, a snack or a villain. The latter unfortunate incident sends your character back to the start square, which will put you a long way from the nearest unexplored abyss, especially as the game goes on.
Things get interesting when a villain is revealed - the villains stand-up is placed on the board and whenever a player moves, they roll the black die to determine how far the villain moves. The player whose turn it is can move the villain in whatever direction he chooses, leading to a heart-pounding chase through a maze reminiscent of the closing scenes of Kubrick's The Shining minus the snow and axe.
Needless to say, whoever gets to the Mystery Machine first is the winner and the rest of the Gang are left to die in the Maze of Mayhem.
Cut to the Chase, Already - You Suck at Reviewing
For the price, this is something of a no-brainer. It may be rather shallow, but the theme is fun and it's not completely random. There is a simple joy in pursuing your fellow Gang members, while tiptoeing through the maze is pleasant and discussing your discoveries with your offspring is fun, especially since the snacks vary. 'I got pizza!' 'I got milk shake!' 'I got a hot dog!' 'No, son, that's a veggie dog ...'
'So it's like a simplified version of Arkham Horror?', my wife commented.
I considered for a moment and then answered, 'Yes.' I suppose I just like the layers of illusion that Arkham Horror wraps around itself. Plus Arkham Horror more accurately reflects the cooperative dynamics of Scooby and the Gang. They wouldn't set monsters on each other. Court adjourned.
Okay, That's Pretty Awesome. They Should Make You Geek of the Week Or Something. I Mean, Just Look At All Your Amazing and Original Contributions to This Site. Damn, Is There A Way to Give This A Thumbs Down? What A Waste of Two Minutes.
- Last edited Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:03 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:39 am
Nice review! I just found this game today. Your review is spot on. My five yr old wants to play it again.
- Last edited Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:07 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:52 pm