The Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 Big Box is kind of like a cube maze because each of the pieces is essentially a maze. The set comes with 72 different small cubes: 18 bottom exit cubes, 36 single exit cubes, and 18 double exit cubes. The idea is to build up your creation, and then drop in the marbles, trying to figure out which way they'll go. You can build your own creation or follow the plans on the website qbamaze.com. The individual cubes go together two ways. You can either slide them together to create a stair-step pattern or stack them atop one another to build up levels. The trick is to combine the levels and the stair steps to create patterns that the marbles can follow. We built a moose that was pictured on the website, and the idea is to see how the marbles drop in from the top and go all the way out to the bottom. The instruction booklet shows you how to build a basic, stable seven-cube base that can be the base for any building creation. But the different configuration of cubes sometimes gives the marbles options, so it's a combination of physics and gravity to see where they'll come out.
This is an incredibly intriguing and challenging construction toy/marble maze, which, once we got the hang of it, proved to be absolutely addictive in terms of play. This is outstanding, open-ended, creative play that requires kids to think through processes, imagine outcomes, and test ideas as they build. The concept may be simple, but the possibilities and opportunities for creative play are extraordinary. This uses both left-brain and right-brain thinking so it creates a very engaging and complete play experience. Plus, the bright colors, high-quality construction, and kid-centric play make this an exceptional addition to your toy box.
Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 Big Box is for ages 5 and up, and we think adults will like this, too. It would make an awesome coffee table toy.
At first we found the plans from the website a little hard to follow, but once we got the method of construction (building up from the bottom layer by layer) it became very simple to do.
Be careful that the steel marbles are kept well away from kids ages 3 or younger.
If you have the original Q-Ba-Maze, the pieces will not be compatible, and if you plan to print out the plans from the website, make sure the colors are clearly discernible from your printer. We found that the blue and green, for example, sometimes could be a little bit confusing, but that might just have been our printer. None of that should stop you from checking out this amazing toy, however.
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