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Who is your favorite Toa?


 June 9, 2004

Review: Mask Of Light: The Board Game
Mark: "BIONICLE Mask Of Light: The Board Game" is a fun board game which can be enjoyed by two to six people per game. If you are familiar with "Quest For Makuta Adventure Game", then you are familiar with many of the elements included in this game. For example, there is a central hexagonal game board piece to which other game board pieces attach.

You don't build this board as you play though. The exact configuration varies depending upon how many people are playing. Each time you add a player, you add another Koro (on an arm-shaped piece) to the board. Two players use two arms, three players three arms, and so on up to six players and six arms.

Another familiar element are the Toa markers. There are six TOA markers from the previous game. This is a tad unusual in that the markers should feature TOA NUVA instead to keep in line with the story. It is obvious the markers are left over from the earlier board game when you realize that there are three dice included in this game, one of which plays no part in this game but was essential to the previous game. What is more, the TOA markers serve no useful function in this game. They spend the whole game just sitting in the center of their Koro.

The goal of the game is to be the player with the most MATORAN at the end of play. Each player starts with six MATORAN in their Koro. The MATORAN are flat paper discs with either black or white on their face-down side.

MATORAN are collected and lost throughout the game whenever RAHKSHI invade a Koro or bump into TAKANUVA. And speaking of TAKANUVA, his image is prominently displayed throughout the board game, but he is always (incorrectly) identified as TAKUA.

The six RAHKSHI, identified by their powers, circle around the playing board in search of TAKANUVA. Little do they know that TAKANUVA is himself racing around the playing board trying to get to the "Finish" space. Who gets to move is determined by rolling the green twelve-sided die. Odd rolls result in RAHKSHI moves, even rolls result in TAKANUVA moving. The number of spaces moved is determined by the role of the white six-sided die.

Challenges between RAHKSHI and TOA take place whenever a RAHKSHI invades a Koro or bumps into TAKANUVA. Each challenge uses one of several RAHKSHI Cards (with three bars of color: red, yellow, and green) and a Mask Card. Which Mask Card is used depends on in which Koro the challenge is taking place.

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The Mask Cards really do mask all but one of the three color bars on the RAHKSHI card. Red bars result in lost MATORAN, yellow bars result in MATORAN getting sent to the "Finish" space, and green bars result in adding another MATORAN to your group.

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Play continues with RAHKSHI and/or TAKANUVA moving around the board until TAKANUVA rolls an exact number which will take him to the "Finish" space. The player moving TAKANUVA to the finish square gets to collect all of the MATORAN discs left there. Things are not finished yet, though. You still have to take on MAKUTA.

MAKUTA is defeated when both of his eyes match in color. Two wheels control the left and the right eyes, respectively. Players take turns turning the wheels trying to make a match. Before each attempt, a Matoran is discarded on the "Finish" space. If the flip-side is white, the right eye wheel is turned. If the flip-side is black, then the left eye wheel is turned.

The player matching the eye colors wins all of the Matoran which were previously played in the "Finish" space. At this point, all the players count up their discs. The player with the most Matoran wins.

"BIONICLE™ Mask Of Light: The Board Game" has enough strategy ("Which RAHKSHI should I move?") to keep things interesting and enough luck so that even the youngest of the recommended gamers has a good chance of winning. Over all, it is a very pleasant game which does not usually eat up too much time.

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BIONICLE™ Mask Of Light: The Board Game

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