Pros: Quick game, easy rules.
Every home with children should include a game of Trouble. I loved that popping sound of the PoP O Matic bubble with the contained die. Ingenious! You don't need to worry about losing the die, and kids love to pop it and hear that noise.
Trouble is an uncomplicated game which despite it's simplicity is fun to play. Afterall, isn't fun the object of a game? Ostensibly, yes. But playing Trouble fosters social skills, number recognition, counting skills, color recognition, and a sense of independence and accomplishment.
Two to four players can be included and the only hurdle you might encounter is an argument about who gets to be which color: red, blue, yellow, or green. It's interesting to watch the kids work it out. I'll mediate as a last resort only, because this is a skill children can build. If you're lucky, the color thing won't be an issue.
Each color has 4 playing pieces and the object of the game is to move out of player home base (by "popping" a 6) and then return to player home base. Popping a 6 also earns you an additional pop, for an additional move around the game board. Once a player piece is out, that piece can be moved sequentially around the board according to the popped number.
Things can happen along the way. If a second player lands on your player, you can be sent home, where you are subject to once again popping a 6 to get out of home.
For the official rules, please visit: http://gamebits.gameroom.com/RULES/015_Trouble_Rules.html
The game is fairly quick, despite the numerous opportunities to send players back and waiting to pop that ever popular 6. And players can range from the very young (depending upon the child) to the very old. My mom (69) still plays this with my daughter (13) when they come to dinner on Sundays. They have been playing this game for at least 9 years, and it's the same game we purchased way back when.
My neice ,the youngest in the family is 7, and my son the oldest in the family is 15. When my sister and brother in law come over for holidays, or dinner, my 2 children will play with my sister's 2 children. Everyone is happy. We take it to the beach and mountains, and even though we have Playstation 2, Wii, and Xbox 360 this game still gets some play time. My son doesn't exactly look forward to playing, but he knows the kids have fun with it and he's really good about keeping them entertained.
My son and daughter "team" babysit the young children next door. They'll take Trouble over to engage the 3 kids constructively, and to take a break from video games.
Earlier I mentioned that we're still playing with the same Trouble set we purchased years ago. My kids have always been pretty careful with their things, but Trouble is well made. When I was younger, I recall the Pop-O-Matic sometimes ceased working. Hasbro seems to have found the fix since them. The box is pretty flimsy, but it's another game that actually fits back in the box unlike --- LIFE! We have managed to retain all playing pieces, but I will admit to getting plastic snack bags for each set of colors.
The player pieces are plastic and could be a choking hazard so watch out for little ones. The "board" is covered with a durable clear plastic with circular holes in which the player pieces are placed. No quality issues, the pieces fit easily. It's brightly colored.
Did I mention Trouble is inexpensive? It is. I can't remember but I'm certain I paid less than $10.00. It lasts forever, and it can entertain kids of incongruent ages. If our set broke tomorrow, I'd go out and replace it just to have it on hand.
Highly recommend. Mattel's recommended age is 5-12.