After being stripped of all their possessions, a mage, a barbarian, an elf, and a dwarf are forced to go rob the local Magic Maze shopping mall for all the necessary equipment they need for their next adventure. They agree to pull off their heists simultaneously, then dash to the exits in order to evade the guards who eyed their arrival suspiciously.
Magic Maze is a real-time, co-operative game. Each player can control any of the 4 Hero pawns whenever they want in order to make that hero perform a very specific action, to which other players do not have access: move north, explore a new area, ride an escalator… all of this requires rigorous co-operation between the players in order to succeed at moving the heroes wisely, and complete your mission before the sand timer runs out.
Moreover, you will only be allowed to communicate for short periods during the game. The rest of the time, you must play without giving any visual or audio cues to each other.
All of the players win the game if all of the Hero pawns succeed in leaving the shopping mall in the limited time allotted for the game, each having stolen an item.
You have 3 minutes at the start of the game. Sand Timer spaces you encounter along the way will give you more time. If the sand timer ever completely runs out before the Hero pawns escape, all of the players lose the game: your loitering has aroused suspicion, and the mall security guards nab you!
The timer begins once any player take any action with any pawn (move, vortex, etc.)
- Explore the shopping mall to find all four Hero's Items to steal and all four Hero's exits
- Move each Hero onto the Item space (sword, vial, bow & axe)
- When all four Hero pawns are simultaneously on their respective Item spaces, they steal the items, the alarm is triggered, and the four Hero pawns must quickly reach the exit before the sand timer running out!
- Once the alarm has sounded the Theft tile is flipped B-side-up to indicate that Vortexes are no longer able to be used.
- When a Hero pawn reaches an Exit space they can use, remove that Hero pawn from the board. Once all four Hero pawns have left the board, you have achieved victory! However, if the sand timer runs out at any moment during the game, you have met defeat!
- Each player has an action tile with 1 or more actions available to them, possibly with repeats amongst players
- During the game, you can perform the action(s) depicted on your own Action tile at any time, and as often as you wish; however, you cannot perform any actions that are not on your Action tile.
- In this game, there are no "turns": you act whenever you notice that one of your actions may be useful.
- You are never allowed to stop another player’s movement: that player must decide when it is the appropriate time to stop.
- Move North, East, South or West - The Move action allows you to move a Hero pawn as many spaces as you want in the direction indicated by the arrow
- Use a Vortex - move a Hero pawn from wherever it is to any Vortex space of its color
- Take the Escalator - move a Hero pawn from one side of an escalator to the other, no matter which way the escalator is oriented
- Explore - when a Hero pawn is standing on an Exploration space of its own color that leads to an unexplored area, reveal the top tile from the deck, and places it so the white arrow continues from the Exploration space used
- If the sand timer runs out, you have lost the game! But each time a Hero pawn is moved onto an available Sand Timer space, you must immediately flip the sand timer, regardless of whether that gets you more or less time.
- Important: do not use a regular timer instead of a sand timer; the result is not the same!
- Any Hero pawn can be moved onto the Sand Timer space to flip the sand timer.
- Each Sand Timer space can only be used once, after which you must place an Out of Order token on it, beneath the Hero pawn standing on it. For your information, there are four Sand Timer spaces in the shopping mall.
During most of the game, you cannot communicate. You are not allowed to speak, point at something, make signs or signals, or make sounds. The only permitted forms of communication allowed are as follows:
- Staring intensely at another player.
- Taking the “Do Something!” pawn and placing it in front of a player to tell this player that it is time to, well, do something! But this player might not agree, and may immediately place the pawn in front of another player.
- Each time the sand timer is flipped over, the players are allowed to speak for as long as they wish while the sand continues to flow. No actions can be performed during this discussion time.
- As soon as any player performs any action, all communication must cease again!