Harry Potter Labyrinth is a themed, licensed version of the original Labyrinth game, from publishers Ravensburger. The rules from the original game remain, but the playing materials have taken a magical, Harry Potter, twist. No specific Harry Potter knowledge is required in order to understand and enjoy the gameplay. This truly is a game which can be appreciated by Potterheads and those new to the Harry Potter franchise alike.
One of the most attractive features of Harry Potter Labyrinth is its rule simplicity. The gameplay is so easy to learn. The rules easily fit into three small pages, within the smaller than A5 sized rulebook. They only take about five minutes to read. For those who have played the original Labyrinth game, or the Star Wars variant, then they will be able to pick this game up and play it straight away, as the format of gameplay is identical.
Preparing your aMAZEment…
Simplicity runs throughout Harry Potter Labyrinth and this is reflected in the game’s set up. All that is required to play the game, is the game board, 34 square maze tiles, 24 picture cards and 4 playing pieces. The main set-up is to randomly position 33 of the square maze tiles into the game board, any way you like, creating a random and different maze for the start of each game. 24 of the maze cards contain pictures, matching the 24 picture cards, of the biggest characters from the series.
Set up is completed by splitting the 24 picture cards, amongst the number of players. A maximum of 4 players can play each game. Perhaps the hardest part of the set up is deciding who will represent which of the famous Hogwarts Houses. There is no sorting hat provided to help you!
In total the game set up takes 5 minutes to complete. Players new to Harry Potter Labyrinth should be able to get started within 10 minutes of opening the box.
Prepare to be aMAZEd.
The aim of the game is to be the first player to visit all the characters within the labyrinth displayed on their picture cards and then return to their starting square. Sounds easy right!? Not when you consider the labyrinth changes shape! With each player’s turn, your pesky opponents will do their best to make reaching your characters as difficult as possible!
The game board holds 33 of the 34 square maze tiles in one go. Each one contains part of a labyrinth, which may, or may not, connect to the maze tiles next to it. This results in there always being 1 spare maze tile. A player’s turn consists of them inserting this spare maze tile into the game board in one of the insertion slots marked on the game board. These are always denoted by red and black arrows. Inserting this tile will then push another maze tile off the game board. This is then used by the next player and so on, until one player wins. Inserting the maze tiles with precision can be required to ensure the maze tiles do not get stuck and move freely within the game board.
The Cutting HEDGE of Maze Humour
With each turn completed, the shape of the labyrinth changes. Players can find their chosen route, may now no longer be available to them, or even the maze tile they were trying to each is no longer on the game board and will have changed position completely, when the next player reinserts it into the game board on their turn!
Player’s must choose each turn, whether to insert the spare maze tile to their advantage, or to disadvantage of one of their components. This choice can be very difficult! Player’s will not know which of the characters their opponents are trying to reach!
Each game varies in length but usually an entire game would be completed within 30 - 45 minutes, depending on how strategic players are in their game play.
Harry Potter Labyrinth is a brilliant, quick to learn, intriguing and strategic game suitable for players aged 7 – 99 (apparently!). The game could easily hold its own in any family game session, or in a more serious board game group. Not many games can claim this!
The strategic choices players can make during the game play and the randomisation of the labyrinth at the start of the game, mean no two games will ever be the same, so the replayability of this game is huge.
Every good board game collection should contain a version of Labyrinth! There are plenty of hours of fun in this game!