Labyrinth is an interactive box-style game that challenges the player to navigate a marble through a maze by controlling the level of the maze itself. By tipping the floor of the maze to the front and back, and side to side, the player controls the “fall” of the marble until the marble reaches the end of the maze. The level of the maze floor is controlled by turning two handles that are situated on two sides of the box. When one of them is turned one way or another, the floor tips frontward and backward. When the other handle is turned, the maze floor tilts to either side according to the direction of the turn of the handle.
Marble Labyrinth has been around for a long time. In 1946, a company from Sweden named Brio created the game, but it was not brought to the U.S. until a few years later. The Swedish company, Brio, began in northern Sweden around 1884 and was a very successful wooden toy company. They made all kinds of wooden toys, including toy trains and board games.
Marble Labyrinth is made of wood and looks like a closed box. On two of its sides, there are handles that turn, and on the top of the box is a movable maze with holes covering its surface. These days, there are many different variants of the classic Swedish game, but the original was made with very high standards for quality.
The challenge of the game is in the placement of the holes, which are located on the way out of the maze. The player cannot simply tilt the maze floor and let the marble glide alongside the walls of the maze on its way to the finish line. Because of the holes in the maze floor, the player must find creative ways around the “pitfalls” so that he may get the marble to the end of the maze without letting it fall into the box. The key to successfully navigating the maze is to control the roll of the marble as slowly as possible without allowing it to roll too quickly. A player’s ability to stop the marble just shy of one of those deadly pitfalls means the difference between a completed game and having to start over at the beginning.
If you are up for the challenge that this classic game offers, you should start with the original. Although many good-quality copies have been developed by other companies over the past seventy years, starting with the original will give you the feeling of where it all started and how far it has since come.