Build your own Crystal Maze at Home
I recently discovered a TV channel which shows endless re-runs of the game show The Crystal Maze, and it got me thinking: what resources are available to help the younger generation experience the wonder of this iconic show? Well…
Enter the Crystal Maze
If you’re too young to remember The Crystal Maze, or if you come from a country lacking this nugget of TV gold, let me explain. A band of fairly useless contestants ran around a huge warehouse decked out to represent four zones: Industrial, Aztec, Futuristic, and Medieval. They were accompanied by a wisecracking host in a fancy coat, Richard O’Brien.
The contestants would enter rooms to play themed challenges – the categories were mental, physical, mystery, and skill – with the aim of winning crystals. If they messed up, they were locked in the room forever (well, until the end of the episode). For every crystal they collected, they’d be given a bit more time in a giant crystal dome at the end of the programme. And what did they do in the dome? They tried to collect pieces of gold paper while being buffeted by a wind machine, of course!
Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Here are some free resources that will help you recreate the experience of The Crystal Maze in your living room…without the fear of being locked in.
Make the classic Crystal Maze game, but this time with a digital marble! Use your Sense HAT to detect pitch, roll, and yaw as you guide the marble to its destination.
Bonus fact: marble mazes featured in the Crystal Maze board game from the 1990s.
Guide the hook along the wire and win the crystal! Slip up and buzz three times, though, and it’s an automatic lock-in. The beauty of this make is that you can play any fail sound you like: burp wire, anyone? Follow the tutorial by community member David Pride, which he created for the Cotswold Jam.
Why not recreate the most difficult game of all? Can you traverse a room without setting off the laser alarms, and grab the crystal? Try your skill with our laser tripwire resource!
Forget the crystal! Get out!
I would love to go to a school fête where kids build their own Crystal Maze-style challenges. I’m sure there are countless other events which you could jazz up with a fun digital making challenge, though the bald dude in a fur coat remains optional. So if you have made your own Crystal Maze challenge, or you try out one of ours, we’d love to hear about it!
Here at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we take great pride in the wonderful free resources we produce for you to use in classes, at home, and in coding clubs. We publish them under a Creative Commons licence, and they’re an excellent way to develop your digital making skills. And massive thanks to David Pride and the Cotswold Jam for creating and sharing your great resources for free.
You’re missing a zone and I’m harking back to 1989.
Series 1-3: Industrial, Aztec, Futuristic and Medieval
Series 4-6: Ocean, Aztec, Futuristic and Medieval
For fun I built a laser trip wire / laser maze for part of my son’s 7th birthday party last year (and half way through a write up of the setup in the classic 90% done, 90% still to do fashion). This was great fun and worked very well with a small smoke machine making the beams easy to see.
You can get small lasers off ebay quite cheaply but do be careful as you need to make sure you get the very low power lasers that you can see but will not do any harm (as long as you don’t look straight at the beams. In my desire to ‘do a proper job’ I almost bought a batch of small and low powered lasers before realising that these were the type you use for replacement parts for laser engraving machines… whilst these were a bargain offering, I considered that risking cauterising a gaggle of 7 year olds might make the laser maze a respected obstacle, some parents might not react well to the smell of burning hair or flesh of their offspring.
As engineers we sometimes find that we live in a world of excess health and safety but this one might be worth bearing in mind.
Without wishing to go off-topic, The Adventure Game deserves an honourable mention!
(Riff Raff) It’s astounding
Time is fleeting
Madness takes its toll…
(Riff Raff) But listen closely…
(Magenta) Not for very much longer…
(Riff Raff) I’ve got to keep control.
I remember doing the Time Warp.
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me.
(Riff Raff & Magenta) And the void would be calling.
(Guests) Let’s do the Time Warp again.
Let’s do the Time Warp again.
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