22/06/2024

Labyrinth

 Another change of subject today!

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City...

You may not remember the exact quote, but I hope it sounds familiar enough. If not, the title of the post should provide a hint of what I'm talking about. If even so you still don't have a clue, then you are insultingly young. Whatever the case is, you should keep reading!

 

Go watch the movie. Watch it again

I got the chance to get a copy of the game from my local store some time ago, an English version at quite a cheap price, so it was a no-brainer, I had to get it.

Before I start talking about the game, let's have a look at the minis. Regular plastic miniatures, nicely detailed. I mean, you won't expect Weta Workshop quality, sure, but these ones are really cool, something above regular quality. Let's start with Sarah:

I had a hard time with the vest

Then her nemesis, Jareth the Goblin King:

Uhm. No, not this Goblin King

I mean this Goblin King

Then Sarah's allies. Hoggle:

Maybe the most accurate mini in the game. Really sweet

Ludo:

Don't you want to adopt this puppy?

And finally, Sir Dydimus riding his loyal Ambrosius:

You cannot paint this mini if you haven't ever painted a Bretonnian first

This pic is only to show that I painted the livery on both sides

Jim Henson rules

Well, now we can play! The game is really easy going, even quite simple. It somehow follows the story in the movie, so the four heroes must wander through the Labyrinth and face different challenges.

The board is beautiful, I love the art

No matter how many players you have, you must use the four characters. It helps the narrative, which is key in such a game. Labyrinth is a cooperative game, so the player(s) control the four characters and the antagonist's actions are just determined by a deck of cards. As you can see in the pic above, the characters have to start on the corners of the board, while the Goblin King remains on his throne.

All the characters have a stats card like this one:

Not complicated, I give you that, but enough for my purposes

You have to take account of three skills: speed, wit and brawn. You don't have permanent values for them. Instead, each time you have to use one, you  have to roll the corresponding die:


Besides, each character has a certain number of willpower points (the Jareth's eye tokens), which you may lose if you don't endure the challenges of the labyrinth. We'll go into that later on.

Let's see how the game works. It will have two separate parts. In the first part, our heroes wander through the Labyrinth and if they succeed, they may find the way to Jareth's castle, where things will work quite differently.

Each character rolls their "speed" dice and moves accordingly (you can roll a lesser die if you want, but you have to move the whole resulting number.

You just move through the tiles, no actual labyrinth involved :(

Then you draw a card from the deck and do as it says. It cannot be easier.

Quite self explanatory

In this case Hoggle chooses to run. He rolls his Speed die (D6, the green one) against the Purple Die (D10). He succeeds and nohing happens! May had him failed, he would have lost 2 willpower tokens.

Some encounters are easy...

...but some others are impossible

In this case poor Ludo had to test his Wit (the green D6) against the mighty blue D20. Quite unsurprisingly, he failed, and so...

...the Goblin Clock moves one hour forward!

That ain't good, for sure!

Ambrosius wisely decides to run, to Sir Dydimus' shame

In the meantime, Sarah bravely confronts some ugly Goblins!

That's quite the whole thing, there's little else to the game (or at least to this first part of it). You move, draw a card and roll for the test.

From time to time you can have some really nasty encounters!

 So it's not only random events which are solved in the same turn, but some cards can delay their effects, or extend them through several turns. For example, Ludo drew this card and got caught:

In fact it took him like four or five turns to get out of there!

Funny thing these cards were drawn by the same characters that in the move (this Snares one by Ludo and thre Peach by Hoggle, for example), it made the game more movie-like, but the whole system is purely random, so it can happen to anyone.

Here you can see an in-game example, Sir Dydimus fighting against the Faeries:

Chances were on him

General overview

You can see that the game is pretty simple. There's just this outer ring of tiles where you'll have the random encounters.

You can even fall into the Bog of Eternal Stench (and get a "Smell Bad" token)

You keep on moving along until you eventually draw the Entrance to Goblin City card (which, due to the mechanics of the game, won't be available until you have had several adventures first).

Hooray! At last! We found the entrance!

Then we get into the second part of the game, where things change quite a bit:

Down down down to Goblin Town

 When our heroes get to the entrance, they'll have to face some mighty enemies. They are represented by these tokens, but I believe there are plastic models too.

First rival is the Humungous:

Bravely defeated by Sir Dydimus

Then you have to face the Goblin Infantry

Only to face the Goblin Cavalry!

 If you lose an encounter (in this case all of these are solved with the Brawn attribute), you may lose a willpower point. What happens if you lose them all?

You fall into the Oubliette

Note to self: Hoggle is not specially good at fighting, and he even speaks of himself as a coward. It's a bad idea sending him to fight against the Goblins!
The character is not dead (this is a family oriented game about a family oriented movie!), but has to remain the next turn in the Oubliette before recovering.
Let's keep on, we're so close to the end!
At this final stage there are some special abilities that may come in handy. You can use them at any point, but I think it's here when they prove most useful. Each character has a card enhancing one of their skills. For example:
 
Just like the movie!
 
This way Ludo defeated the Goblin Artillery! Hooray! Then the way to the inner Castle is open...

Only Sarah can get in. That's the way it's meant to be

 For the final encounter, Sarah must defeat Jareth in a duel of will using her Wit. Every turn Sarah fails, the Goblin Clock moves forward, and if it reaches the thirteenth hour... everything will be lost!
 
Again, a perfect moment to call for your special ability

This way Sarah recues his little brother and wins the game!! Time to come back home!

I've skipped some stuff in the game, but I hope this gives you a general impression of how it works. It's not a complex game at all, you could almost call it a filler, but it serves its purpose and my kids enjoyed it, which makes it all worth of it. Who would tell, they love the movie (which is awesome, given that they're 8 and 5, and they enjoy the movies I watched when I was about their age, like this one!!) and that's what pushed me towards sharing the game with them. So this was absolutely satisfying.

This is it for today! I have some different stuff on the painting queue, but I'm still not sure of what will I finish first, so I'll let you know as soon as it happens!
Cheers!

20 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun game to play with your family Suber.
    Great painting on the minis as well.

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    1. It is a nice, little game, the kids enjoyed it and said they want to repeat, so I cannot ask for more!

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  2. Oh, that's looking amazing mate!

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    1. Thanks! The minis are sweet and the game is fun, so I'm happy!

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  3. The miniatures you've painted are awesome, especially all the heraldry. The game looks very atmospheric, and a good rendition of the movie. It was funny how certain cards got pulled by the same characters from the movie ! LOL

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    1. The minis are lovely, way above the standard I expected. Right, the way we drew the cards was super fun! I had played a solo demo before to get the mechanics before I played with the kids, and I precisely thought how funny would it be if the characters got precisely their cards! So when we got to play I was jiggling the whole time XD

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  4. Very nice painting, especially the dog and waistcoat. The game looks like a lot of fun and the board is very cool. I always really liked the goblins and their town - they'd make a good modelling project.

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    1. Thanks! They were truly enjoyable. I remember watching the movie in the cinema back in the day and I was super excited about the game! I know that River Horse also has some Goblins, I have my eye on them...

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  5. Bought it when it came out but (as usual) haven't played it yet.

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    1. Haha, that's the story of my life! I can totally relate to that! However, I'm happy I got to play this one!

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  6. las minis te han quedado de lujo.

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    1. Son verdaderamente buenas, mejor de lo que yo esperaba para un juego de mesa :)

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  7. That looks like a lot of fun! The paintwork you did looks like its right out of the movie.

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    1. The game is quite easy going for the kids, and that's key to me. But to be honest, I just got if for the models!!

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  8. I LOVED this movie as a youth and watched it many, many times... though I have not seen it in years... possibly decades!
    Your paint job on the miniatures are absolute perfection!

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    1. I remember watching Labyrinth as a kid in the cinema and how I got totally mesmerised by the movie; I can say it left quite an impression! It has aged surprisingly well (with its obvious ups and downs) and I totally encourage you to watch it again!!

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    2. I've watched other movies I loved back in the 80s with my kids... and realized they sucked! I've been reluctant to rewatch Labyrinth, because I have such fond memories and I don't want them to be ruined... I feel like it's pretty safe to do so, with your enthusiastic recommendation!

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    3. Oh, well, keep your expectations low, that's for sure. It's not a Shakespearian play, but you already know that. The good thing about Labyrinth is that back in the day we already knew those monsters were obviously puppets and the walls were made of cardboard, the movie wasn't really pretending to be something it wasn't. Not all the parts have aged so well (in my case, my kids didn't really appreciate the songs...), but the story still looks solid to me (within the parameters of this kind of movie) and there are quite some layers to unveil. It's still a nice, familiar adventures movie. Give it another try!

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    4. Ha-ha!

      I had a cassette tape of the soundtrack. I listened to it so much I wore it completely out. I could probably still sing along to the music! So there's that going for me!

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    5. My kids are super into musicals now, so they might really dig the music!?

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