Fireflies are friends of all heroes. Though monsters are running around, these little creatures do not have to worry. Foolish monsters ignore them, so they can shine green and red and help warriors of good. In the woods there are items needed to defeat the raiders.
Designer Kai Haferkamp created the new Luxantis game for HABA invites us to the maze between forests and walls. This is a new interactive game with illustrations by Stephanie Böhm, which enlightened the Christmas market in 2018.
Novelty in the yellow jacket ranks alongside the big children’s games from HABA and on the lid of the massive box, we see some adventurers surrounded by darkness and fireflies. Inside, players will be especially interested in a large plastic board, whose area is littered with a bunch of tiny spaces and each one has a small hole in it. Some parts of the area are separated by a wall or a bush, but the most important for players at the beginning is a round plane in the middle. Everyone places their chosen plastic hero miniatures there.
It is necessary to prepare also a board with the castle, where monsters are approaching. And only players can find items in the forest in time and stop them. From the offer of cards, players draw a random eight monsters and four of them are spread picture side up into the lowest row. To start playing, you will need to insert the required AA batteries into the slot below the plan and pushing the green button on the plane will start up the entire mechanism.
Players in the game cooperate as they try to save the Luxantis kingdom and above all the local castle. At the beginning, you need to press the vortex button, after which the fireflies scatter into the individual boxes. They turn lights on for a moment with red and blue colors, showing the heroes which paths are safe (blue).
Turn of each participant then consists of two parts. First, a player can take his pawn and move it to adjacent boxes (in rows or columns). In doing so, they try to arrive as quickly as possible on positions with some of the items. The good news is, if the hero stops his movement on some icons and it is located as a weakness on the card of any of the visible monsters. Such an item can be immediately used by players to hurt the monsters and overlay the corresponding pictures on the visible cards of the attackers using tree tokens.
After all his efforts, active player must roll a die. The result may be four different options. And while blue color will give players safety and only repeat safe paths, red means danger. In both cases, players press a red button on the clearing. If one of the heroes is standing in the danger are and red light is lit under his feet, he must escape and return to the clearing, bringing his owner sadness.
Similar situations may occur, if a black dot is rolled on the die. But here, players are no longer able to influence anything and have to rely on luck. The player pushes the vortex button to chase away fireflies, which settle in new positions. Suddenly, it can happen that the safe blue box is suddenly red and dangerous, sending his inhabitant immediately back to the meadow.
The last option to roll is the monster symbol. This means that one of the enemies moves one step closer to the castle. The players themselves will choose, which of the cards will advance and will become danger of conquering the castle. However, free positions must be filed immediately, if there are some monsters still in drawing deck.
Heroes must move on the map as quickly as possible and plan well to collect all the items needed to defeat the attacking monsters. If players can overlay all the symbols on the enemy’s card, they can make this monster retreat from the attack. And if they can do it with all creatures, then they can celebrate victory. On the contrary, sad defeat awaits the whole team, when one of the monsters arrives at the castle.
Luxantis is once again fascinating us with its unique feature. The huge amount of LED lights makes the game a great attraction for children. Fortunately, however, processing is not all, so there is an excellent children’s play underneath the interesting face.
From the beginning, players have to prove they can communicate well together and plan movement of their heroes as optimally as possible. If there are more icons needed along the way, they should take advantage of that chance. And then it’s only about avoiding dangerous sections. In course of game, heroes can not skip walls or bushes, so miniatures can always run in rows and columns only, sometimes taking a detour.
But planning itself is not enough. In addition, the team must have excellent memory. It is not possible to remember position of each firefly and its color. Moreover, the players really have only a moment to see it, until their lights go out.
Here it is clear, that the game contains everything needed to have fun. But in addition to the wandering on the board, there are monsters also attacking on the separate plan. This is where the locomotive and the wagon connection of the story fails a little. But you just have to imagine heroes looking for the items – the weaknesses of the monsters – scattered in the woods. And every concern about theme is blown away. Overall, however, gameplay will be real help to the overall game time, which can be pressed for twenty minutes.
Since it is a co-operative game, it is not as important as how many players will participate in the rescue of the castle. On the other hand, the monster deck allows scaling of difficulty, either by increasing the number or by adding the advanced ones with three or four weaknesses. So many items are no longer easy to collect. Fortunately, it is possible to use every item for all the revealed monsters.
Unfortunately, the biggest spoiler here is luck. It is not a red dot. Here the resulting failure is the consequence of the risk the players have been aware of. The unpleasant effect of bad luck, on the other hand, stands out, when a black vortex dot is rolled. It has the power to completely rearrange the light, which is on one side exciting, but on the other it can completely spoil the player’s successful trip. Fortunately, the heroes only return to the center deck, which is not so much a punishment.
A great weapon is the processing, or the overall concept of the game. The use of battery-powered things may not always be a plus, but this time is all really decent and just adds to the gameplay.
Luxantis forces the children to plan well and to do so, they use their visual memory. It is not even about remembering anything specific, just to know in general, where a safe route is going. And this family direction is a great way to keep the game from scratch to the end, making Luxantis a truly glamorous entertainment.
Luxantis takes place under the glow of fireflies. They tell players, which routes are safe and where they are in danger. But they’re shining only for a moment and the illuminated roads need to be remembered by the players instead. Even within the game, these zones may change. In addition to memory and luck, the game will also test teamwork and ability to plan the right route. Thanks to the combination of these outstanding qualities, Luxantis is truly an exceptional child's play.