ToysBulletin.com reviews another challenging game from ThinkFun.
The folks at ThinkFun have done it again, following up their successful Laser Maze (see review from 27 August 2013), Laser Maze Jr. (see review from 22 May 2015) and Gravity Maze (see review from 10 October 2014) games with their latest maze game, “Circuit Maze.” This game is primarily intended as a one-player game, and is suggested for ages 8 years old and up.
With “Circuit Maze,” players must build a connecting path of circuits onto a 5 x 5 grid (7″ x 7″), and light up specified beacons to win. The game includes 16 circuit tokens, most with metal strips on them so that they can carry the electrical current. The circuit tokens each measure about 1¼” square and are approximately ¾” high. The tokens carry the current in straight lines, around corners, across pathways and even include switch and bridge options. There are 3 Beacon tokens included that light up to confirm that token placements are correct. Power is provided by a battery pack/token that uses 3 AAA batteries, which are not included.
To get things started, there are 60 Challenge Cards, each containing a starting setup and a list of the tokens to be used to complete the circuit and the challenge. The cards range from beginner to expert. The early challenges have a player place just a few tokens on the grid to complete the circuit and light the beacon. But as the difficulty increases, the number of tokens required increases as well, and the game gets a bit more interesting.
Players will quickly learn that electrical current must flow in a certain direction, and if the current is reversed in error, the beacons will not light. There is also the fear of a “Short Circuit,” where connections are made that do not properly pass through the LED/resistor on one of the Beacon tokens. In such cases, the batteries may be impacted and heat up slightly.
There is definitely a learning curve regarding the proper placement of the circuit tokens. But, to make things easier, ThinkFun has provided a pair of special Legend cards, which can be used as a handy guide regarding the various types of circuit tokens, as well as addressing polarity issues.
The Toys Bulletin staff passed “Circuit Maze” around, with each of us trying to see who could complete the most challenges. Our best staffer did the first 40 challenges, but it took them quite a while, and several us think he may have peeked at some of the solutions (which are nicely provided as well) along the way.
“Circuit Maze” nicely complements the other “Maze” games from ThinkFun, and gives younger players a great introduction to electricity, circuits and general logic. We would not be surprised to see parents playing this for several hours themselves, once the kids have gone to bed. Look for it at Amazon.com for $29.99.