This is a review of the board game “Amazing Labyrinth” by Ravensburger. I actually have the original 1980’s version of the game which we played often as a family growing up. Now, my kids enjoy playing the same game and there are so many STEM principles that can be taught and learnt that I love re-living this game with them as well.
What is it?
The Amazing Labyrinth is a board game for 2-4 players by Ravensburger. It was first produced in 1986 and the images in this post are from that original board game.
The board game is a giant maze with both fixed and movable pieces. You must move around in the maze to reach different objects.
How to play?
Here are the steps to setup and play this game:
- You need to setup the game board by placing the wooden maze pieces in locations to form a complete maze.
- There are pictures of objects that you must manoeuvre and reach in the maze.
- There is one extra piece left over which you use to push different rows and columns when you are blocked in the maze. Thus creating new pathways.
- Playing cards containing a picture of each of the objects are placed in a pile and you select the top card when it is your turn.
- You must then reach that object by passing through the maze.
There is no need for a dice or number recognition to play this game.
How to adapt it for younger kids?
There are several ways which we adapt it to play with our kids.
Adaptation 1: No shuffling
When we play with our kids we do not shuffle the maze by inserting the extra piece into a row or column. Instead, we setup the board game pieces to form a maze where every object is accessible. This is not as hard as it seems. First, position all of the object pieces on the board so that they can be reached easily. Then fill in the holes with any remaining maze pieces.
Then we take it in turns selecting an object card and moving through the maze to that object. You still need to find the correct pathway to reach your object so kids are still using problem solving and critical thinking to move about the maze.
Adaptation 2: No game board
When starting out with this game, or for even younger kids, we did not even use the game board. Instead, you can position the wooden pieces in any formation you want and teach the concepts of mazes to your kids. Things like following a path, hitting into walls and dead-ends all need to be learnt to understand how to navigate through a maze. By doing it this way you are able to control:
- How many objects you place in your maze,
- How many different movements are required,
- How many pathways are shown and thus navigated,
- How large the maze is.
Where to get it?
You can get different versions of the game:
- There is a junior version available now. This is a smaller more condensed version of the game. It has fewer rows and columns and less objects to find.
- The original version, similar to the one in this review, can also be sourced. This is an updated version from the 1980’s one pictured in this review.
Reasons to love this board game:
There are many reasons to love this board game including that:
- It uses mazes to teach pivotal STEM principles of critical thinking, problem solving and sequencing.
- Every game is different every time. This is due to the nature of you needing to setup the maze on the game board each time you play.
- You do not need to be able to understand numbers or dice recognition. Instead, it is only based on object recognition.
- It is built with very sturdy manufacturing akin to most Ravensburger products. We are still playing a 1980’s version, surely that is a good enough testimonial!
- You can completely adapt the board game for your ages and abilities at home.
- Board games are a great way to teach STEM. Including the fact that they promote screen-free learning and family interactions.
This is a STEM activity which has really stood the test-of time. It is still relevant and fun to do 30+ years from when it was first released. Get your version of this board game, it will be Ah-Maze-ing!