Review – Magic Maze
A real time, co-op game.
Title: Magic Maze
Year Published: 2017
Designer: Kasper Lapp
Publisher: Sit Down!
Game Time: ~15 mins
Set-up Time: ~5 mins
Mechanisms: Co-op, Real Time, Tile Placement
How to win: Steal the Equipment with each character from the Magic Maze Mall and get out before time runs out.
After being stripped of all their possessions, a mage, a warrior, an elf, and a dwarf are forced to go rob the local Magic Maze shopping mall for all the equipment necessary for their next adventure. They agree to map out the labyrinth in its entirety first, then find each individual’s favorite store, and then locate the exit. In order to evade the surveillance of the guards who eyed their arrival suspiciously, all four will pull off their heists simultaneously, then dash to the exit. That’s the plan anyway…but can they pull it off?
Set Up, Game Play & Game End
There are a few stressful real time games I’ve enjoyed, Escapes Temple and Zombies spring to mind. But swapping that ‘Full control over 1 character’ to ‘partial control over all characters’ is very interesting. It means you’re invested in each of the 4 and not just doing your own thing.
Removing communication from the game is something I feel mixed about. It works, it really does but I do miss that frantic ‘Talking while Playing’ that comes with the Escape games and others like Flatline and FUSE.
The steady increase of rules over the various scenarios is cool. They’re not too complicated early on but later levels should probably be added slowly to reduce the number of errors players may make.
However, It can be a bit ‘Arms everywhere’ as multiple players reach in to try and grab the same tiny pawn. 4-6 adults, each with hands bigger than a single tile, all reaching over and around each other’s hands to move the pieces is tough. AAlso, hands hang around and over the board and players wait for space to do their thing.
As with any co-op there is ‘cheating’… I mean “accidental” in big finger air quotes cheating. ‘Accidental’ pointing. ‘Accidental’ noises etc Sometimes they’re instinctive and actually accidental… sometimes they’re not!
Oh, and if you tap that ‘Do Something’ pawn in front of me more than once we won’t be able to play the game again until the surgeons remove it from the place I shoved it! 🙂
Good hectic fun.
I give it 6/10