It is a fact that everything can be improved if you add lasers. The music of Pink Floyd? Check. Missiles? Check. Cats? Check. And now, we have a demonstration that single-player board games can be vastly improved with lasers, in the form of Laser Maze.
The game is simplicity itself: You draw a card from the deck that comes with the board, and slide it in the card holder. Then you place the pieces according to the instructions, which gives you the laser beam to track. Then, you have to use the rest of the pieces, or only what the card allows you, to redirect the laser to your goal.
Like most logic games, it starts off fairly simple but quickly becomes a mind-bender. Another nice side effect is that you learn a lot about lasers. Although obviously this isn’t research grade equipment, you do get to play with a lot of standard tools for working with lasers, such as beam splitters and cell blockers, in addition to the usual angled mirrors that you’d expect.
This may sound a little familiar to board game geeks, and there’s an excellent reason for that: It’s essentially a single-player version of the popular Khet, and was in fact developed by the same company. But as we all know, it’s difficult to find a second player for some board games, and Laser Maze has the distinct advantage of being a bit more space-efficient, with a seven inch by seven inch square game board. You won’t run out of challenges soon, either: The game comes with sixty cards in difficulties from beginner to expert, and more cards will likely be on the way if it sells well.
If you want to see if adding lasers enhances the experience of playing with yourself, Laser Maze will run you $30.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.