Tuesday, November 23, 2010


GREETINGS!! Several computer issues and many months later ( 12 to be exact ) it is time for a new Red Earth Game Review!

New to the shelves this year, 'Build it yourself' boardgames by Lego!

I have loved the people and products of Lego since I was a boy and now that I am an adult I find the appeal has not waned! When this new line of boardgames debuted I was very short on cash but now that the holidays approach I found this latest gem on sale for a mere 20.00$ and bought it instantly!

Without anymore ado, let's get to the review!!

CREATOR: LEGO! I scoured around the box and instructions for info on the actual game designer but for now it is some anonymous person or persons at the sacred hall of all things Lego!

PLAYERS: 2-4 players, ages 7+, 20-30 minutes of play time not counting construction.

GAME BASICS: In the Greek myth, the Minotaur was the illegitimate/punishment/love child of the Queen of Minos and a holy bull sent by the gods of Olympus. The Minotaur was fed delicious greek youths and thus catastrophe was averted. Yes, I know how it sounds. No, this is not what the Lego designers recreated.

In the Lego game Minotaurus, a maze is built with heroes in the corners and a menacing Minotaur within the center. Through the randomly generated numbers and colors of the Lego dice, you try to be the first player to get a number of your heroes to the center of the board. In your way and also prompted by the roll of the dice, the Minotaur can be sent your way to stop your heroes by the opposing player.

GAME DISSECTION: One piece at a time....

ART: Even the most stalwart curmudgeon has probably heard/seen a Lego advertisement or logo at the store. The style is distinctly Lego and is understandable by all. The style even serves double duty in that the instructions for construction are, as always, wordless. A picture by picture diagram system caters to the burgeoning engineer within all of us!

PRICE: As I said, I bought my copy for 20.00$, but it has been more from store to store as these 'evergreen' products usually produce a reliable profit and therefore many stores increase their asking price. Online prices I have seen average out at about 25.00$

REPLAY: If you know anything about Lego products, its that replay value is easily measured in hours, months, and years. Minotaurus is no exception and in the rulebook the players are even encouraged to change the rules for added gameplay, not to mention they include a small Lego wrench tool in the game to help you adjust the dice so as to automatically add value to the game. I built and played the game with my girlfriend and we played three times in a row. ( Me 1 GF 2 )

MECHANICS: The basic mechanics are followed by doing what the rolled dice tells you to do. However, where the Minotaur goes is up to the players, so to are movable wall pieces that can protect them from the Minotaur or block off your quick escape. The turns are short but full of player interaction. Add the possible mazes that might be created by the players and the varieties in every game will be endless. Lego even supports an online location to upload and post your new 'house rules' to share with the Lego gaming community.

FUN: If you have not guessed by now, I found the game to be extremely fun, for many reasons. The fun of Lego construction is stress reliving and uses parts of my brain my day-to-day routine does not clamor for often. The 'in-your-face' gameplay of the ever moving Minotaur and the 'underdog' advantage of moveable walls adds to the simple gaming joy!

GAMER PROFILE: "It takes many bricks to build a wall, each depends on another." ~ Fargo Cumberland

CASUAL: This is a game for casual play, pure and simple. Its quick to set up and once set up the whole kit and kaboodle can be put fully assembled back into the box ready for tomorrow. You can play this with children or with another adult to while away the afternoon for its on par with a good game of checkers. (without the annoying stalemates!) Moreover, you get to play with Lego Blocks!

ACTIVE: MINOTAURUS is the Lego game I bought and reviewed and its worth a place on the game shelf. There are many other 'build and game' sets out there that you could add as well. If you are an active Lego user, it might have already occured to you to build games with your bricks and blocks. Add this game to your collection and enjoy the double duty power!

GAMER: If you're smart you'll give MINOTAURUS a try, play the bricks out of it and post all your wild creations on the online site provided by Lego and improve everyone's level of enjoyment of games! Personally, I want to buy at least another set and build a mega-maze!

CREATOR: Most of us do not own a high-quality plastic brick making factory. I know I don't, but what I do have in common with this latest venture of Lego is this: Ingenuity. Taking what they had and adding to it a set of game rules Lego capitalized on the dual nature of people's most basic of ambitions "Building and Competing." They added the very popular 'rearrangable' feature for fresh gameplay and even encouraged people to share their own ideas on what a 'fun' game is for everyone.This is the very important lesson: Never lose touch with your greatest resource, The Players!

FOR THE LADIES: My girlfriend, a.k.a. 'Pinky' encouraged me to buy this game and much to my happiness actually read through the rules. In most circles I end up reading through new game rules for people and so I appreciated her hand at it this time. As stated before she beat me twice, quite ruthlessly manipulating the Minotaur and Walls to hedge me into certain doom. She had alot of fun building with me as well. It was a nice night in for the both of us.

ABOUT ME: I'm a gamer, game designer and an all around good guy that enjoys sharing games with people! If you have any questions or comments add one to the forum here! Thanks!

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