Playing a Lego Theseus

Geek Culture

Recently Lego launched a series of games covering a range of subjects from Grand Prix racing to a Lego-style Pictionary. The budgets range from £7.79 to £24.49 (prices in your local currency may vary).

During a recent holiday near Brighton, UK, we made a pilgrimage to the local Lego store, and on the recommendation of the sales assistant, picked up a copy of Minotaurus. A board game based game where the object is to move your little Lego warrior to the centre of the board before your opponent whilst avoiding getting sent back to the start by an encounter with the resident and eponymous Minotaur.

photo: Greig Chisholmphoto: Greig Chisholm

photo: Greig Chisholm

Of course, being Lego, the game requires some building before you can start playing. We made it a family effort and the game board and pieces were built and ready to play in just over 10 minutes.

There is only one potentially complex part in the building process: the placing of the walls within the maze. Looking at the illustration on the box, I thought that this would be more annoying than challenging, but Lego has helpfully provided a cardboard template which helps with the placement of the pieces. This greatly speeds up resetting the game between rounds. Also included is a nice chunky die with rubberized edges.

The instructions are quite brief running only three pages. They are very clear though and packed with pictures to illustrate the game-play. Very much in the spirit of Lego, the game encourages you to create your own rules and upload them to the Lego website, though at the time of writing, this feature was marked as “Coming Soon”.

The game-play is similar to Ludo with some added twists. As mentioned above, your goal is to move one of your three Lego warriors from their starting area to the centre of the board. You move the number of spaces rolled on the die (three to six) with a couple of exceptions:

  • If you roll the black tiles, you can move the Minotaur eight spaces and if it touches a player during its move, then your warrior is sent back to your starting area. Now, no Lego game would be complete without some construction element and here it is.
  • If you roll the grey tile on your die roll, then you can pick up one of the grey-coloured wall pieces and place it anywhere in the maze. This tactic is usually used to block the advance of an opponent towards his goal. The game is not to minifig scale: the little warriors you move around are only one stud wide.

We’ve had some good times playing this game. The chunky pieces and bright colors give it a pleasing tactile quality and the rules are simple and have enough variety in what you can do to maintain interest throughout the whole game.

Wired: Easy to get into and there is good variety in the play with opportunities to move your warrior, the Minotaur or parts of the maze.

Tired: The game board is quite big and the Minotaur can easily end up spending a disproportionate amount of time at one side of the board leaving some players free from his attentions.

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