Title: The Crystal Maze Challenge
Author: Neale Simpson
Publisher: Headline
Genre: Non-fiction, Games, Television tie-in
Book format: Hardback
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Description: The Crystal Maze is back and there’s no place like dome!  With this book you can create your very own maze experience with friends and family in the comfort of your own home.  Packed full of over 100 weird, wonderful and quite frankly ridiculous mind-benders, games and riddles.
Venture through the Aztec, Medieval, Futuristic and Industrial zones as you lead your family and friends through a time-travelling adventure towards the fabled Crystal Dome.
Discover the story of how the show came to be and hear from the geniuses behind the original series.
Don your most garish clothes and take on the all-important role of the Maze Master (head shaving is optional).
Learn how to build a full-size maze in your own home (good luck sourcing the 80, 000 screws you’ll need to put it all together).
Adventurers, The Crystal Maze is ready and waiting…will you start the fans please!

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review: This is such a fun book and perfect for anyone who’s a fan of The Crystal Maze, old or new! ‘The Crystal Maze Challenge’ is a complete guide on how to recreate the Crystal Maze experience in your own home. The hardback book’s about A5 in size and filled with thick glossy pages which not only feature games you can play, but also lots more about the making of the Crystal Maze series.

The Crystal Maze Challenge book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

I’ve always loved watching the original Crystal Maze series and have been a fan of the new one since it came back to our screens, and I have always, secretly, wanted to take part, so when I saw this book on how to recreate the maze in your own home with friends I jumped at the chance to read it. The start of the book has an introduction explaining a bit about the show as well as explaining how the book works and how to be a maze master, before moving on to the games themselves. Now nobody at home can possibly recreate all of the games that exist on the tv show, but this book is packed with so many ideas that they’re all equally fun and challenging to play.

Each game is part of a zone, and the games are arranged in zones. One or two pages show you how to play each game and the instructions for both setting it up and playing are very fun and easy to understand. The instructions are actually written in a way that will make you laugh, and there are so many games to recreate that everyone will find some they will enjoy.

Like in the tv show the games are marked as being physical, mental, skill or mystery and each one of them looks like a lot of fun to play. Some of the game ideas are things such as: ‘Balls Up’ where players wear a plate strapped to the top of their head and have to put balls on top of it and then walk around a room of obstacles without dropping any of them (an automatic lock-in if they drop them three times), ‘Totem Pole’ which recreates the totem pole game from the actual show where you arrange pieces of the totem in the correct order. There are so many games it’s impossible to list them but there are a wide variety from the more normal games such as riddles, coin flipping, card stacking to some really ridiculous ones like ‘Victory of Bust!’ and ‘Head Hockey’ which are so silly you’d have a hard time playing the game from laughing so much at the props!

The book lists a lot of games but you only need to play a few from each zone, like in the show. This means that you can recreate The Crystal Maze experience at home again and again, each time playing new games. The book even explains how you can recreate the Dome experience easily although you’ll need a lot of time to set it up. All of the games in the book are easy to recreate at home using everyday items and the way they are explained is easy too, with many of the games having added images making it easier for you to understand how to play it. some of the mental games feature riddles and the answers to them are at the back of the book rather than on the page which is good if the person reading it wants to later play the game rather than be maze master.

The book isn’t just about recreating the maze experience (although that’s my favourite part of it). It’s also a book filled with information and interviews about the creation of the original maze as well as the new one. There are interviews with the makers of the original game as well as Richard O’Brien, the original maze master. There’s also information on how you can remake the whole Crystal maze yourself to scale, although I wouldn’t recommend trying that! And lots of other information which I am pleased to say I didn’t know, such as how exactly The Crystal Maze was invented – the original idea for the tv show was going to be something very different. All of these parts are filled with wonderful and clear photos or images. These extra parts of the book make it much more special and a because it’s in hardback it feels like a special celebratory gift for any Crystal Maze fan.

The Crystal Maze Challenge book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

This book will definitely appeal to fans of The Crystal Maze tv show but it can also appeal to anyone looking to have a fun games experience at home with family and friends. I personally can’t recommend this enough, but then I’ve always enjoyed watching the show. Whether my own attempts at recreating it are any good I’ll have to see, but I’m going to have fun trying and I’m sure anyone picking up this book will enjoy reading and trying it out too.

-Review forst appeared online October 2017 – now republished here.

Have you ever watched The Crystal Maze?  Does this sound like a good book to use with family when stuck at home?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂