Monday, September 30, 2013

Laser Maze

Laser Maze is a new game from ThinkFun.  I actually got this for my birthday last month, but what with the move and getting settled in, I completely forgot about it!  And that is something, because this has to be one of my top 3 ever logic puzzle/games, so how could I possibly have forgotten about it?  I mean, it does have a "laser" and who could ask for anything more?

Laser Maze comes in a nice sturdy storage box where each piece clips securely into place to keep them safe and snug.  You don't want your laser getting beat up or your mirrors getting scratched!

Pop out the game board and you find the challenge cards.  Included in the deck is a handy reference card and some instructions.

There are 6 different pieces.

Your most important piece is the laser.  It's a good laser too!  Sometimes I let my kids play with this puzzle, but it usually makes me nervous to have them playing with the laser.  I'm worried more about my laser getting broken, than the safety of my kids!  (Just kidding really.)  There are cautions not to stare into the laser, but if you have cats and laser pointers, you already know not to do this.

The next big player in this game is the purple mirror.  It has two possible roles, mirror or target.  It works as a mirror when you bounce the laser off it to another direction.  It works as a target when you light up the little red triangular section.  It can also do both at once!  Depending on how the board is set up and where the laser travels.

This green piece is the beam splitter.  It works hard by breaking up that laser beam in two different directions.  This is different from the mirror which simply redirects the beam.  With the splitter in play, you can get that beam going all over the place!

The blue piece is the double mirror.  It has a mirror on the front and the back.  Potentially, the beam can hit the front mirror and bounce off, follow some crazy path, and then return to hit the back mirror and bounce off again!

Next is the checkpoint.  When the laser gets to this piece, it has to stop and show its ID card...just kidding!  This just helps to constrain the path of the beam and make a challenge more, um, challenging.

And this is a cell blocker.  This just blocks a spot so you can't put any other pieces there.  It can make things tricky!

And onto the game!  Here's level one set up.  The challenge card shows you where to place your initial pieces.  If they face a certain direction only, that'll be specified too.  If the piece has a question mark on it, you have to figure out which direction it should face.  In the upper right of the card, you can see a number in a red circle.  This tells you how many targets must be lit up to win the level.  In the upper left, you will see the remaining pieces to place on the game board.

When you get everything in place, press the laser button, and light up those targets!  Isn't that pretty?!

In this picture, you can see the beam splitter in action.  It is lighting up the target at the top and the one on the left.

Here you can see the double mirror being used and the checkpoint.  This isn't a great example of the double mirror since it only uses one side.  :-(  I didn't get a picture of the double mirror used twice. 

Here the checkpoint is in use again along with all 5 target/mirrors.  The purple target that is lit up is also acting as a mirror in this level.  Cool, huh?

And a last picture with both beam splitters being used and the cell blocker.  There are 3 targets lit up here!  That's a tricky level!

This game is rated for ages 8 to adult.  Adults will totally love this, for sure (I speak from experience)!  But girls and boys both will adore playing with this little laser and all the mirrors too. So if you have someone with a birthday coming up, you might consider buying them something educational and FUN!

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