Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Aladdin's Cave #1: Heroes Of The Maze

The Aladdin's Cave is a new feature that I plan to run as often as my collection will allow, where I will be taking a look at some older obscurities that I think are well worth owning should you ever get the chance.

First up we have Heroes of the Maze by Waddingtons.

From the outset it would be easy to look at the box and think to yourself that what you have here is yet another 90's dungeon crawler in the vein of say Heroquest. Perhaps an attempt to clone it as copyright really wasn't what it is now back then.

You would be wrong though. Oh so wrong.

For a start, there's not a cardboard component in sight. Even the boards plastic! This is to say the least unusual. It also includes mechanical parts, which is almost unheard of in the context of board games. Well other than Mousetrap that is but, this was no one off as Waddingtons used a similar mechanic in another of their games that I was lucky enough to get hold of, Treasures and Trapdoors.

Also, unlike Mousetrap the mechanical part in this game (that rotates sections of the maze) is actually integral to play, rather than simply being a gimmick to engage younger audiences. Not that I would say Heroes of the Maze is by any stretch of the imagination a game aimed at adult audiences. In my eyes, it is more a toy with rules.

So in conclusion what else can I say about this game?

Well, for one thing the production quality is excellent. Despite my copy being in the ball park of 21 years old the mechanical wheel still functions without difficulty, the dice have not faded with age and, none of the other pieces are showing any signs of wear. Considering how fragile plastic was back then it's clear to me that Waddingtons were certainly a cut above the competition, building games to last.

I would also say that should you decide that you want to pick up a copy for yourself, prices are still pretty low on E-bay as it hasn't really gained any value with time.

So don't buy this game if you're looking for an investment but, should you want a light-fantasy game to play with the little ones there are few finer candidates than the one we have here.

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