I used to really be a sucker for any of the puzzle games like Rush Hour and the like. Logic puzzle types of games that would gradually increase in difficulty and be something all (or most) of the kids could work with to just force them to think differently.
But we were forever losing pieces and I just don't have any of them left any more.
Laser Maze is a puzzle like that, only since it is more "game-like" as far as size, I think we'll have an easier time keeping track of it. The basic idea is that you have various pieces with mirrors and angles, and one piece that emits a laser-light. The cards tell you where you must place various pieces (and sometimes exactly what direction the piece must be in, sometimes you have to figure out the direction to face it), and you set those up that way. The card also tells you how many and which other pieces you need to put somewhere on the board. You need to then position the pieces in such a way that when you depress the laser, it will light up the appropriate target.
It is far more straightforward than that description sounds, at least at the easy levels. Once you work up to the harder levels, you definitely need to be really thinking. Especially for spatially challenged individuals like me. Once you figure out a solution, you can flip the card over to see if you are right. So far, none of us have found a different solution than what is on the card.
As you work up in difficulty, you are introduced to different piece types. The base of the pieces are color-coded, so it is always pretty easy to figure out which one is which.
The only real complaint I have about this is with the storage. The box has a plastic insert that allows you to safely store all the pieces, and every tall piece fits into any of the little compartments. One compartment is a little bit deeper than the others, and that is where you are supposed to put the laser piece. The laser piece, however, will fit into any of the other compartments, but just sticks up a bit.
Which isn't all that noticeable if you are, say, an 11-year-old. (The game is for ages 8+)
If (hypothetically speaking) you are 11, and you put the pieces back any old way, put the cover on the box, and put the box back on the game shelf... then the next person to come along and play with it is going to find that the laser piece needs a new battery. Because it has been stored with the laser-activator-button pushed down.
Hypothetically speaking, of course.
I do really wish that either a) all of the little wells in the plastic were just a smidge deeper, so it wouldn't matter which piece was put where, or b) the spot where the laser-piece goes would be far more blatantly obvious, such as the plastic being colored to match the piece types.
The good thing is that we discovered that it is really easy to replace the battery in that laser-piece, and it is a fairly common watch battery. At least, it is one we already had around the house, and we don't have all that many of the watch battery types around.