For Christmas 2010 the youngest RockyMountainNavy sailor got The Magic Labyrinth. This is a labyrinth game, but with a twist.
The “grid” or maze is set up using wooden walls inserted into a heavy cardboard frame. Then, the mapboard is placed over the maze and the box spun so that players cannot remember what the maze looks like. The mapboard has various locations for the magic tokens to be placed. One token is randomly drawn and placed on the board. Players then roll a die to see how many spaces they move. The player tokens look like chess pieces but have a magnet through which a ball is attached below the board. If the players move and hit a wall the ball falls away forcing players to go back to their beginning corner and start over again. The first player to collect an agreed number of tokens wins.
This game plays very well as a family game. In the RockyMountainNavy family, the kids (ages 6-15) play well together and there is no real advantage for an older player. The difficulty of the maze can be adjusted by using more or less walls; we find that the recommended intermediate level (18-19 walls) is well balanced for the family.
We actually gave a second copy of this game to the grandparents to have at their house so that the kids can play when they visit. Once we show the grandparents how it plays I am sure they will use it as a filler game in the evenings too!