Ghosts have their big secret. Such, that no one else knows about it. They are from time to time also afraid of something. And when fear takes over, they are screaming and running away. Many people get scared by these ghosts, who had just lost their courage. Without these unfortunate accidents, ghosts could be our everyday friends.
Box has a classic medium square size. On the cover, we see a spirit, that would like to play, but is trapped with a steel ball on his leg. But as you know, ghosts do not have legs, so he simply carries his weight in one hand.
Box inside is then ruled with a firm hand by square game board of same footprint as box. Bottom itself is divided into four parts (triangles). And in them are stored wall tiles – eight parts with notches, from will players be stacking four walls. In addition, there is also a pile of task cards for ghosts and one paper mask. But even that does not stop, because round metal coins will be equipped with a set of stickers and create offer of magical items, but also angry ghosts. Game also includes necessary magnetic magic wand (magnet in one end) and digital stopwatch.
At the beginning of the game, players remove all components from the box and cardboard padding at the bottom will serve as support for square board. It has to be places, so colored dots match colors on the box. Four holes in this board are here to provide space for cardboard walls. Metal tokens have to be shuffled and randomly placed on a gold and purple position. Out of fifteen shuffled tiles, players choose six to play with. Around the plan, square color tokens of ghosts are placed and timer is set for eighteen minutes.
Starting player gets a mask and a magnetic wand. He immediately places tip of the wand into a semicircle of the same color. This is starting point. From that moment, he must try to keep the wand perpendicular to the surface. But before movement starts, he has to put a paper mask over his eyes.
But all participants will cooperate in going through the castle, although only one of them is really holding the want. Success is their common goal, so everyone, who does not have a mask, will have to navigate active player and give him advice. But there is nowhere to go, until one of the team members reveals the top tile, a task which will determine two magical items identity. Now player must blindly deliver it on any of the starting boxes (one of four).
Others can navigate him as they wish, not only by direction, but also speed. Cooperation is essential, because player also has to avoid obstacles and especially ghost tokens. Because the magnetic wand can easily attract anything metal, so even angry ghosts. And if it all goes well, player must return with such a collection to one of the colored spaces. Additionally, all angry ghosts, that were dragged together with regular items, gradually occupy positions around the board. They represent a margin for error of players. When there is no more free space, its end of the game and all the players lost.
But in the meantime, before they reach victory or defeat, players will alternate. Once active players manage to bring his counter to safety, wand and mask is passed further to his teammates. New players gets a new assignment, but pad is again exposed after covering his eyes, so the player does not know symbols he should bring and navigation all depends on his teammates. Players can always check the status of the timer, which also has the power to end their efforts prematurely by a loss. Only when players join forces and fulfill all the tasks before time runs out, they win as a team.
Spooky Castle offers blind search of path. But it’s not all about luck or skill, but even more about communication skills of other players. Only by proper and balanced guidance, tokens can be obtained quickly and baton passed to the next player. It is absolutely crucial, that players do not somehow unnecessarily scream one over other. On the contrary, it is necessary to provide guidelines clearly and evenly.
In doing so, they all participate in navigating. But this is also currently the biggest problem, because in group of children, one usually is the more assertive and assumes role of navigator. Other participants then have weak position and do not enjoy rounds as much. The most fun is however, when your eyes are covered with a paper mask.
Whole fun is designed for two to four players, who are always all participating. Who does not move a wand, navigates. Then it all perfectly harmonises with game time, which is between fifteen and twenty minutes for beginners. Gradually, you can even reduce time limit and thus end the game (victory or defeat) after just twelve minutes.
The game contains simple usage of magnets, which are one of the greatest instruments to guarantee child attention. With the want, game also gives a fairly strong emphasis on accuracy. Attraction pulls stones already from some distance and it is not easy to avoid obstacles. While ghosts are always in the same place, you are blinded and have no idea, where you currently are. The faster you are trying to move, the greater the likelihood of errors, but without speed, there is no success. Time given for a player clearly exerts a pressure, that they will not do their task in peace.
As it happens with cooperative games, players can adjust difficulty of their efforts. Its five levels, beginning with the easiest for young players. Thanks to twentyminute limit, ghosts may roam around the house calmly and six years old children, who will play blindfolded, can have fun and even win. However, giving hints to such small children is harder, which means, that parents shoul act as navigators in these games.
Spooky Castle is a place, where all desires for victory are combined into one. Path through castle will not be easy, because the players have magical magnetic wand, which finds not only desired items, but attracts also patrolling angry spirits. The basis of everything is communication. If we take into account child audience as the main target group, then Spooky Castle can be recommended as a very successful attempt to invite us into a ghostly world.
Spooky Castle is not so scary, because all the participants stand together as ghosts. One of them will have a magic wand in hand with a magnet on the end. He will be blindfolded and try to guide his ghost throughout the castle to some goal items. But he must avoid angry ghosts. This is, where a clear task for all teammates starts. They must navigate the player on his way. This emphasis on communication is an excellent feature and it really works as training for patience and skill. Cooperative element carries the risk, that some of aggressive children seizes the navigation for itself. Spooky Castle is an excellent children's game with an emphasis on magnets and having fun together.