Duel Maze: Labyrinths and Dice Movement Review
|Game: Duel Maze||Players: 2|
|Publisher: Player4’s Games||Age: 12+|
|Time: 45 minutes||Replayability: 5.5/10|
Duel Maze is an interesting and easy concept board game. You will be moving your dice through the board, which will be made a maze, attempting to score them. You and your opponent will take turns setting up the board by placing down one of your colored walls at a time until all the walls have been placed. You may place down your walls freely however, you must leave room available for the spawn and the goals. Once they are all placed, you will both take turns spawning dice, which will have their own specs based on what you’d like to spawn. Higher attack (higher dice number) means it will be a slower unit. So a 6 can only move 1 block at a time. When you pass over an enemy’s dice, depending on it’s level (lower number loses and ties will defeat both dice) you may have to remove your dice from play. You will also be pulling cards to take actions from a deck available to both players. First player to make it to the goal three times wins.
I played Duel Maze with my brother, who is becoming more experienced as these reviews come out, and we found it interesting. My initial strategy was to have a nice blend of both low number dice and high number dice (that way I can work with speed and attack). I found that this was not the best choice because while playing we used dices of threes and fives. This can have a better outcome because of their balance; they are not as difficult to destroy while being relatively quick on the board. When it came down to mid-game; we both began spawning sixes (which had the game drag a bit). I started finding the cards I drew for actions were definitely heavily waying in my advantage when I was using them to alter walls. I was able to swap around and rotate corners whoch gave me a clear path to my goal. I began racing my dice as fast as I could down the corridor (yes, I started spawning ones again). I eventually won by being able to take advantage of this awesome opportunity and also because my brothers sixes weren’t quick enough to get to my ones.
I found this game had a fairly long setup time. It took us well over a few minutes placing down walls that we just threw them on. While I think the concept was awesome, I found it a bit underwhelming when we would use simolar strategies (playing only sixes). This strstegy had us destroying dice consistently because we only setup one corridor toward the goal. Maybe if Duel Maze had some preset mazes that were balanced and available for beginner play, I could see it working out for new players(because our setup was a disaster). I thoroughly enjoyed the spawning idea because it was a fresh concept. It’s a good mix of ‘take that’ with little blend of clever strategy. The game does not have much of a learning curve being it’s about spawning dice and moving your way to the goal. I also appreciated that the game will be coming with both a reference sheet and the rules printed on the back of the board (incase you lose your reference sheet). My particular prototype copy did not have a reference sheet so I took a photo of the rules before I played the game so I would have access to the them during play.
You will like this game if you’re good at setting up mazes and are interested in strategic play.
You will not like this game if you want quick game setups, and something that is thematic.
However, the game’s appearance of simplicity masks some clever strategic elements and a good dose of “take that!” which generates worthwhile replayability and cutthroat competition.