Master Labyrinth

Board game published by RavensburgerThese remarks by Steffan O'Sullivan
Article originally published at the site of Plymouth State College Gaming Club

A deceptively simple game, Master Labyrinth is close to being a pure-skill game. The only random elements are in the set-up.

The board consists of 49 tiles, of which 25 are fixed in place, and the rest can be moved. There is a 50th tile, which begins off the board. Each turn you take the extra tile and push a row of the movable tiles so that one falls off the opposite edge, which now becomes the new extra tile. Then you move your piece as far as you like along a clear path.

Each tile has either a straight path through it, or a path with a 90 degree bend, or a "T" junction. All together, the 49 tiles create a labyrinth which you are trying to maneuver through. This maze changes every turn, when the extra tile pushes a row of other tiles.

There are 21 tokens scattered around the maze - each token represents something that was considered magical in the Middle Ages. Your character is trying to collect as many of these as possible, especially the most valuable ones. The tokens are numbered 1 through 20 and 25. This number is both the order in which they must be picked up, and their point value at the end of the game.

In addition, each player has a card they keep secret from the other players. This card lists three items. A player gets 20 extra points for each of these three items he gets - but other players might be going for the same bonus points, too, since the cards contain duplicates from other cards.

The final items in the game are magic wands - each player has three. You may turn in one of these after your turn in order to take an additional turn. Unused wands are worth three points at the end of the game.

The game is very different with two players than with three or four. You have to think farther ahead with more players. If you are trying to get the number ten token, for example, for the bonus points, you may wish to pass up number eight, and even change the maze so the next player can't get number eight, either. Ideally, the person across from you will then get number eight, and the person to your right will get number nine, and you'll get number ten. It rarely works out that way, though . . .

The game is attractive, enjoyable, doesn't take long, and recommended.

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