Circuit Maze

CircuMaze-1008-HiResSpill

  • Circuit Maze: Electric Current Logic Game
  • Publisher: ThinkFun
  • Plays 1
  • Ages 8+ (realistically, 5+)
  • Playing Time: varies
  • Initial Release: 2016
  • Elevator Pitch: Solve puzzles by connecting a sequence of blocks to connect an electric current and turn on one or more lights.
  • Roar Score: 5/5

I’m on record with how great I think ThinkFun’s products are. When it comes to educational (yet still FUN) games, they set the bar pretty high. Circuit Maze is one of their newer offerings, and it’s basically a variation of Laser Maze, which is another of their logic puzzle games. (I reviewed the excellent Laser Maze Jr. here.)

This one is a single-player electricity puzzle game in which the player must build a circuit pathway across the board to light up one or more beacons (there are three). It’s a brainburner of a logic puzzle game that also subtly teaches kids how current flows through an electrical circuit.

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Inside the box, you’ll find:

  • a sturdy 5×5 game board
  • 60 double-sided challenge cards
  • Start and Finish tokens
  • 3 beacons (with integrated LED)
  • 13 tokens (in 7 different designs)
  • instructions

Gameplay is relatively simple. Choose a challenge card (labeled Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, or Expert) and pull out the tokens and beacons required for the particular challenge. Each card indicates the starting position — which pieces need to be placed where. Once placed, these tokens cannot move.

Each challenge card also indicates tokens that the player should add to the grid. These are the pieces the player must use to make a complete circuit and light up the beacons. These tokens can be moved and rotated at will, but if they’re included in the “add to grid” list, then they must be used in the solution.

The “challenge” box on each card shows which beacons must be lit to successfully solve the puzzle. Some of the more advanced challenges include beacons in the solution that are not supposed to be lit.

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The Start and Finish tokens are “where the magic happens.” The Start token houses three AAA batteries and is connected to the Finish token by a thin wire. A correctly completed circuit will connect these two tokens.

The (seven different) tokens and the beacons snap into place on the game grid and have metal strips in various configurations. Connecting these tokens (and the metal strips) create the pathway and make the circuit.

The instruction booklet gives a little detail about resistors and closed, short, series, and parallel circuits, so it’s a must read for kids who want to dive a little deeper. Like Laser Maze and Gravity Maze (and most of ThinkFun’s games), this is a fantastic game that engages kids in brainburner logic puzzles and still manages to teach them something – whether they realize it or not.

I can’t think of any Thinkfun products I wouldn’t recommend, but Circuit Maze is definitely a great one to challenge the young brains in your house. It retails for $29.99 and is available at Barnes & Noble.

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(ThinkFun provided me with a review sample of this product. All opinions remain my own.)

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