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Minotaurus 3841 Review


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#1 brickbitz

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:03 PM

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So after placing a S@H order on the day of release (1st July), lo and behold with speedy delivery my LEGO games have arrived. To be honest personally I haven't anticpated a set arriving as much since the Castle advent calendar.

So without further ado here we have it.

3841 Minotaurus
Pieces: 211
Micro Figures: 12
RRP: GBP £17.59 / USD n/a

The box is just large enough to fit a 32x32 baseplate and comes shrink wrapped in the form of a standard lift off lid as found with most board games.

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Empty out the contents to discover there are a couple of bits hidden out of view.

We have three bags of LEGO pieces, the die , a template , a game instruction book and a building instruction manual.

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The inventory page from the building instructions.

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A random page showing the use of the template. This is a great idea to speed up the build process. During the game certain wall pieces can be moved around so this enables a quick setup again ready for the next play.

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A shot of the instructions detailing how to play the game. The booklet is multi lingual, so there are also french , german , italian and spanish pages as well.

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A shot of the unmade dice and tiles, I can't help but feel LEGO have missed a small opportunity here. There is no tile for 1 or 2 , which I feel would be really useful to enable a standard dice to be made. If this were included as an extra in all the games I think it would open up the possibilities for everyone to create MOC's of their own favourite games and perhaps enhance the sales of the LEGO versions along the way.

The black tile is used to indicate the Minotaur should move and the grey piece is used to indicate a wall piece may be moved. The numbers are for the player pieces to move.

The rubber edge around the dice gives it an unpredictable bounce when rolled.

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Of course this is one of the games with a large number of micro figures, 3 of each colour to be exact. They are a single molded piece so there is no swapping parts around. Each has a slightly different expression and I've included a 1x1 cone for size purposes. Each figure occupies a single stud space.

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There is no print on the back and also you can see the slight arm bulge similar to the old school minifigs before they had proper arms.

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The completed game in starting positions except for the minotaur who starts in the middle. You'll see him in the next shot.
The maze is designed to fit back into the box when built so it doesn't need to be disassembled.

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The brick built minotaur and the left over pieces. The white 1x1 plate does have a hole through the middle , I think this part also comes with the cheaper Robo Champ game.
The minifig tools are actually included to assist in getting the tiles off the dice face to change them around. The screwdriver part acts as a lever and does make it much easier with the rubber edging in the way. The green tile can be used instead of a numbered piece to change the gameplay yet again. The manual includes some tips and hints to make your own modifications to the rules.

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All in all I give the whole concept a 9/10.

It's a bit subjective as to whether you like the actual game or not. This one is a simple maze chase type game, avoiding the minotaur and being first to get you man to the middle.
Having said that, the whole range has introduced some great concepts. The LEGO dice is a definite winner, although it would be better if  the numbered tiles were easily available to make a standard die as well as the custom ones used in most games. The micro figures are cute and I'm sure will start appearing in mocs. The piece to price ratio is good , there's plenty of lime green in this set plus a baseplate. All in all you can have some fun playing the game and when you get fed up , either invent your own version or simply build something else with the pieces. I see a promising future for this idea , hopefully they will decide it's worth releasing to the US market, but then it's down to you guys to buy them.

Edited by WhiteFang, 24 November 2009 - 12:58 AM.
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#2 LegoLyons

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:32 PM

Nice review, thanks for getting this up so speedily. Looks great fun for the kids. I am gonna get Creationary.  :cry_happy:

#3 Joebot

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:33 PM

Thanks for the review! I'm very excited about these new games. Boardgames are my second-favorite hobby, so combining Legos and boardgames is like mixing chocolate and peanut butter!

Can you talk a little bit more about the game itself? I'm assuming you're trying to get your three dudes onto the approriately colored L-shaped piece in the center of the maze. What function does the minotaur perform? Can you move him around (maybe when you roll the solid black tile on the die)? And then what happens if you roll the grey tile? I'm guessing that lets you move one of the grey wall sections.

It is just a boring roll-and-move game, or is there some actual decision-making?

#4 Matn

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:57 PM

Thanks for the review. I'm not sure about the game itself, but as a partspack this seems rather nice. Don't get me wrong, I am excited about these new games. That Egyptian boardgame seems interesting, so does Creationary. I will probably get the Creationary game out of Germany, since they won't be released here soon.  :classic:

#5 Erdbeereis

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:48 PM

Thanks for the review! :thumbup:

I wonder what the purpose of having a hole in the round 1x1 plate is... I was hoping it would be a double sided stud, but I guess it's not. :sceptic:

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#6 ILikePi

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for the review!

This set looks really good, and I like how the box is designed so that the game can just fit back in without being disassembled!

I also like the fact that the number tiles are printed, not stickered. :laugh:

The inclusion of a template for easy building was a great idea, too.  :classic:

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#7 BlueBard

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:26 PM

Thanks for the review! Looks like a nice game, and a little hope for a possible Lego Greek theme lovers  :wink:

#8 posades

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:39 PM

Seems like a decent way to get your basic bricks in lime green.  The microfigs are nice, although I'm not sure how useful they'll be in other MOC's with the unique heads/printing.

And the price really isn't all that bad considering you get a 32x32 green baseplate with it.

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#9 Clone OPatra

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:54 PM

Thanks for the review.  I'm sure none of these games are very challenging, challenges were never LEGO's thing.  They do have some good parts, though.  

Do the microfigures have standard studs on their heads so that they can attach to things?  Is it possible to put a hat on one?
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#10 Athos

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:44 PM

I'm less impressed now that I was before. The games look elementary and the part selection is poor. The microfigures don't seem to be of much use to me.

View PostJoebot, on Jul 6 2009, 03:33 PM, said:

combining Legos and boardgames is like mixing chocolate and peanut butter!

Seems more like combining pizza and ice-cream. Both good separately, but not so much when mixed.

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#11 brickbitz

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 04:03 PM

View PostJoebot, on Jul 6 2009, 03:33 PM, said:

Can you talk a little bit more about the game itself? I'm assuming you're trying to get your three dudes onto the approriately colored L-shaped piece in the center of the maze. What function does the minotaur perform? Can you move him around (maybe when you roll the solid black tile on the die)? And then what happens if you roll the grey tile? I'm guessing that lets you move one of the grey wall sections.

It is just a boring roll-and-move game, or is there some actual decision-making?

You guessed correctly , in fact you pretty much summed up the game. If you roll a black tile you move the minotaur 8 spaces. I suspect there is some strategy to how you choose to move the minotaur towards the other players and not your own. If the minotaur and a microfig meet the microfig goes back to his start point. If you roll a grey tile you have to move a grey wall, again you would position it for your benefit and to the detriment of other players. There is also another version where you can add the green tile to the dice and take off the number three. This then allows some jiggery pokery with the hedges. The winner is the first person to get his men to the centre corner plate of his colour. It's certainly not the most strategic of games , but slightly better than just rolling and moving.

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Do the microfigures have standard studs on their heads so that they can attach to things? Is it possible to put a hat on one?

Yes they do. You can add a minifig hat but it is a bit oversized. You could also use any other standard piece that will fit, so there are some possibilities
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#12 The Cobra

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 05:55 PM

Multi lingual instructions and they're only selling these games in UK and Germany?
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#13 prateek

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 06:03 PM

Good review :thumbup: If not for the game, this set is good for the pieces and base plate alone so if it is cheap enough, I might buy it

#14 Commodore Hornbricker

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 06:43 PM

I hadn't seen this game yet.  Good review!  I am not too sure about these games.  They don't look that fun and they don't seem to have very interesting parts.
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#15 Mariko

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 06:48 PM

This wasn't one of the more exciting games for me, but it still looks pretty good. I'm hoping some of the other games will be a little more challenging (although it looks like, with the green tile on the die, LEGO gives you an option to make it more challenging). I also hope that the US will get at least a limited release, like the UK with SPIII.

When you say that you move the pieces a certain number of spaces, is one space just one stud?

#16 Joebot

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 02:52 PM

View Postbrickbitz, on Jul 7 2009, 11:03 AM, said:

You guessed correctly , in fact you pretty much summed up the game. If you roll a black tile you move the minotaur 8 spaces. I suspect there is some strategy to how you choose to move the minotaur towards the other players and not your own. If the minotaur and a microfig meet the microfig goes back to his start point. If you roll a grey tile you have to move a grey wall, again you would position it for your benefit and to the detriment of other players. There is also another version where you can add the green tile to the dice and take off the number three. This then allows some jiggery pokery with the hedges. The winner is the first person to get his men to the centre corner plate of his colour. It's certainly not the most strategic of games , but slightly better than just rolling and moving.

Thanks for the clarifications. It does sound pretty simple, maybe about equal in complexity with something like the boardgame Sorry.

I have to admit, that's a little disappointing. Supposedly Renier Knizia, a very well-regarded German boardgame designer, had some part in the design of these games (his name is on the box for the Egyptian-themed game). I expected something a little more innovative and challenging with him involved.

It cracks me up how most of us here on EB are studying and analyzing these games based solely on the parts, rather than the GAME. I guess it just goes to show that deep down, all AFOLs are parts-monkeys.  :classic:



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