Tabletop Review: ‘Super Mario Labyrinth’

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My first introduction to Labyrinth came a few years ago when I picked up a copy of a Swiss edition of the game. I thought it looked fun, and like something my middle child would enjoy. But when I got it home, it was my husband who freaked out about this beloved classic game from his childhood. I find it really interesting when something classic escapes my notice for so many years. My kids quickly took to the game, and my husband revelled in nostalgia playing this with his family. It quickly became a favorite in our house, as it had been in the house of my husband’s childhood.

Put simply, Labyrinth is a maze manipulation game in which players attempt to locate a specific set of “treasure” faster than everyone else. The treasure you are seeking changes each time you play, as does the board, which also changes while you play. It’s a simple premise and a great family game. It also lends itself really nicely to franchise editions, which is how we ended up playing Super Mario Labyrinth. My kids are huge fans of classic games being adapted to their areas of interest, and we have several Super Mario themed games in our collections already.

For my six year old, who was too young to play when we got the Swiss edition of Labyrinth, this is the next step up from one of her favorite games Furry Foodies. Being familiar with the mechanics of that feline game really helped her with the rules of Labyrinth and allowed for less arguing with her siblings.

Components

  • 1 game board
  • 34 square maze tiles
  • 24 picture cards
  • 4 playing pieces

The board is well constructed; it will last until your great grandkids are playing it. The playing pieces are a bit disappointing, however. With such a franchise at their disposal I would have expected mini figures instead of standard wooden pieces. Never mind, we have enough in our own personal collection to make substitutions at whim!

How do I play Super Mario Labyrinth?

The rules are no different than the original format of Labyrinth; 35 years of gaming can’t go wrong! Once you have added maze tiles to complete the board, each player receives an even amount of treasure cards. Your playing piece is situated on the board on one of the arrows and this is your starting position. Each player takes turns attempting to reach one of their “treasures” by inserting the extra maze tile and sliding a row until an end piece is pushed off the board, thus changing the direction of the maze.

You may then move your game piece to any connected space on the board. Once you reach a tile that matches one of your cards, simply turn that card over and begin to make your way to the next “treasure.” The game is over when a person has turned over all their cards and returned to their starting position, thus winning the game.

In the Super Mario version you are not simply seeking treasures but characters from the game. We all enjoyed that some lesser known characters were included along with the major players. While my daughter is always happy as long as the three princesses are included, my husband did lament the omission of the Hammer Bros.

Should I buy Super Mario Labyrinth?

Labyrinth itself is a simple but fun game that holds up to being played over many a family game night. If you don’t currently have a basic edition, and are a fan of the Italian plumber, then this is a great version for you. If you are looking to help your screen obsessed pre-teen back away a little, this can be a great way to do so. You can even combine it with screen time to ease the transition. Maybe play minigames in Mario Party where the winner of the mini game gets to move an extra tile. Play Mario Kart, and have the winner of the race get to start the game on one of their “treasure” tiles. As integrated play or as a standalone game for family game night, Labyrinth continues to be a great asset, and this version is a world of fun.

GeekMom received Super Mario Labyrinth for review purposes.

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