Das Labyrinth der Meister
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You've got the magic formula that will make you the Master Magician. But where can you get the rare ingredients you need? Off you go into the labyrinth in search of crystals, madrake, emeralds and more. But be careful: the winding corridors shift constantly, and it's easy to get lost!
On each turn you will shift the maze one square, then go in search of the magic ingredients. Twenty-one ingredient tokens can be found in the labyrinth. Numbered from 1 to 25 they have to be retrieved in that order. Try to gain extra points by achieving your secret assignment. When all the tokens have been collected, the player with the most points wins.
Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews
You want to batter your head? You want to be filled with a huge throbbing desire to murder your friends? You want to feel the glorious joy of pulling off a move so astounding, so amazing, so wondrously clever that your co-wizards' mouths hang agape? Then buy this game.
The principle of Master Labyrinth is simple. Each turn you try to reach the next magical ingredient token in the sequence, trying to gain as many as possible (especially the ones on your Secret Recipe Card). This is accomplished by moving one row of the maze by inserting the spare tile, then moving your token any distance along any open path available. Simple.
Except it isn't simple. It isn't simple at all. It's frustrating, it's a brain-wracking experience and so, for me, everything I want from a game: move to get a token, move to frustrate your opponents... and the most glorious moment of all, when with one simple move you trap 2 players in nigh on impossible positions and open a path across the maze from corner to corner for the final token on your recipe card. Beautiful, elegant and huge fun.
Ravensburger haven't let me down yet. I'm on the lookout for more to join this and the equally good Scotland Yard.
Master Labyrinth could be seen as something of a competitive tile-laying game. The difference is that the tiles are already there when the game starts, and the players push them around on the board, making and breaking pathways in the process. The changes the board can undergo in just one turn can alarm, delight or frustrate, depending on if it helped or hindered the path to your destination.
The aim is to collect ingredient tokens, in numeric order, all the while trying to keep your opponents from doing the same. In addition, three of the ingredients belong to a special recipe - a secret goal card you get at the start of the game, different for each player - and are worth big points if you get them. You also get three wands that you can spend to give yourself another turn right away - useful if the next number is on your secret ingredient list and you need two turns to get there.
If you miss out on an ingredient for your secret recipe, the rules allow players to trade route information for tokens or wands. In practice, I find that this rule is never invoked.
The game plays satisfactorily with two players but it can get a bit slow at times because one player is essentially just trying to counter the other and prevent them from getting the next token. It plays much better with three.