Laser Maze Jr. Is the new rage at my house! The game itself is super easy to understand (my kids took about 3 seconds to figure it out without ever reading one word of the directions). It says it is made for ages 6 and up, but all of my kids from ages 7 up to twin 14 year olds got a kick out of this one. The premise works like this. Your goal is to get the laser to shoot from the laser cannon bouncing through the maze until it lights up the laser tower at the end. But, in order to accomplish that, you have to arrange the game pieces on the board in just the right manner.
Here is how the game play works: You pull out a card that is a map of the board. It tells you where to place a couple of pieces on the board, and it tells you a few more pieces you can use to complete the puzzle. You then actually slide that card into a slot underneath the transparent board (brilliant!) that shows you exactly where to put the pieces on the board. This is so smart because that means people don't have to count squares to figure out where the pieces go (plus it looks wicked cool!). Next, the player tries to solve the puzzle given the pieces they have. Way fun.
It is just challenging enough to make you feel accomplished after having beaten the level, but not so hard that you want to give up while trying. (Perfect for kids!) The only thing really missing from this game is that it is a single player game ... oh wait, my kids immediately figured out a way to make this a multiplayer game. Now instead of following the cards the game provides, my kids favorite way to play is to have one of them design a new level and challenge the other child to solve it. Very cool. the other way to play is to time who takes the longest to complete each level.
All in all this was a great game that also happens to teach logic and reasoning (just don't tell the kids they are learning something - they are having too much fun to worry about that!). You can buy it here on Amazon!