You can’t DIY (do it yourself) when all you’re doing is tapping a touch screen. So how is a child to learn anything about the real world when digital is so alluring? By opening ThinkFun’s CIRCUIT MAZE and taking out what is inside.
CIRCUIT MAZE is not a board game but an “experience” of working with electronics, specifically electricity and what it can do. Billed as an “electric current logic game,” It’s all about dealing with challenges and creating solutions disguised as a game of assembly— all the while introducing electricity and its basics to the user (8 years old and up). Actual physical pieces must be placed on the “circuit board” in order to accomplish the needed tasks, which takes this past the blather of the digital gaming realm. It stimulates the imagination and lays the groundwork for logical thinking.
What the “player” needs to do is to arrange the tokens so that they create a circuit that will conduct electricity (provided by “AAA” batteries), with the end result being that “Beacons” get lit up. Obviously there’s more than one thing to do: there’s 60 challenges in all and they range in difficulties so as to prod thought and logical reasoning. In other words — this is a game that lets you get “hands on” and requires thinking, not just fast reflexes. Learning about electricity by doing drives concepts into one’s mind in a way that just reading never can. Pretty good for $29.99 retail
ThinkFun also knows that real socializing comes from people actually getting together, not looking at pictures and videos on social media. That’s why their Escape the Room games are fun: they’re designed for 3-8 people to play as they work together to solve challenging clues and unravel a mystery. This is all done in the “real world” without any special effects except those found in the imagination. In the Secret Of Dr Gravely’s Retreat, the location is Foxcrest Retreat in 1913, where there’s a dark secret in this exclusive and secluded “health resort.” What this secret is must be solved, and the only way to do that is to locate clues and solve puzzles. Oh, there’s a time limit on all of this too.
The game consists of a scene card, sealed envelopes and a solution wheel (plus an instruction manual so as to proceed correctly through the he game). It’s designed to be a fun experience where the players have to think (think fun…) but not designed so as to totally frustrate. It’s a good evening’s experience and can be repackaged so as to be passed on to others as well. A fun evening for a family night or small groups and certainly appropriate for all ages with a $21.99 retail.