In this day and age I am all for a great party game, but occasionally I like to play solo as well; after-all not everyone can come together for a game night some times. Thankfully, ThinkFun has come out with this game called Laser Maze which allows me to play solo for hours on end.
I have to be honest, I usually do not care for the “learning / thinking” style of games, as it kind of seems tedious to my goal of fun. Laser Maze is something different though, it allows me to still have fun but also to utilize my cranium to figure out challenging (I put emphasis on that word) puzzles.
Laser Maze is simple to setup, and I mean REALLY simple; all it requires is you to pull out the 5×5 grid “board” and the cards which you use to solve. Then, you look at the corresponding card you drew and place the beginning laser piece and whatever ones that is on the card in; done. Seriously it is just that simple, which is a huge plus in my book as I tend to get frustrated with overly elaborate setups.
Once you get the setup done, now the fun part; attempting to complete the card correctly. There are a total of 60 cards, going from Beginner > Intermediate > Advanced > Expert. Don’t be fooled by the “Beginner” cards though, as they are still quite challenging. Again it may have been just me, but some of even the beginner cards made me scratch my head a few times.
The cards are laid out in a unique way, it shows the 5×5 grid, and where you have to put things –sometimes not showing proper rotation- and in the top left is the “add to grid” pieces which require you to find out where they go. It is easy to lay out the grid pieces with what has been shown to you on the cards, but often times very challenging to add in the other pieces and rotate them correctly. Thankfully though, on the back of the card is the solution. I have to admit that I cheated on more than one occasion as the expert ones offered too much of a challenge for me.
I mostly played Laser Maze as a solo game, although I did attempt to make a party game out of it. We tried a few different ways of playing: teams of 2, timed, and finally whoever figures it out first. The teams of 2 worked out really well, as it was an adult-child pairing and my son honestly carried me the entire way. That is no joke either; a 6 year old carried me the entire way through completing even the advanced puzzles.
The thing is, Laser Maze is fun for all ages, including us adults. I do recommend it for the younger ones as it does allow them to utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills. I recommend it for both game nights, and if your kids want to have a entertaining board game to play by themselves.