Pros: FUN FUN FUN. Can be played with a group, or individually.
Cons: Lots of moving pieces that don't always work. Dangerous marbles.
I absolutely loved Mouse Trap as a child! In fact, I distinctly remember my dad taking me to purchase it as a treat for our family. So, when my own family needed a new game to play together, I suggested my old favorite. Today?s Mouse Trap looks the same as the one from my childhood, but like most things in my ancient memory, it just doesn?t seem to work as well as it used to.
In any case, Mouse Trap is like no other board game out there. Player roll the dice and move their little colored plastic mice around the game board accordingly. When you land on a space which has a number on it which matches the number of people playing, then you get to build a piece of the Mouse Trap. In addition, there are spaces that instruct you to go ahead or move back a certain number of spaces, lose a turn, and to take a little cardboard piece of cheese from the pile or to steal one from an opponent. You also get to take a piece of cheese each time you build a piece of the trap.
At the end of the game board there is a loop that players travel around until the trap is completely constructed. Once construction is complete, players attempt to land on the ?Turn Crank? space while an opponent is on the ?Cheese Wheel? space, which happens to be right under the net that catches the mouse. If you land on the ?Turn Crank? space and there is no opponent on the ?Cheese Wheel?, you may use those little cheese pieces to attempt to move him. To do this you return a cheese piece to the pile, roll the dice and then move your opponent the appropriate number of spaces in the hopes of landing him on the?Cheese Wheel?. Once you?ve got an opponent on the ?Cheese Wheel?, you then turn the crank which sets the trap in motion. If the trap works correctly and catches the mouse, that player is out. Play continues until all mice by one are captured. The remaining mouse wins the game!
SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS MOUSE TRAP?
I?m so glad you asked! The Mouse Trap which player construct in this game is what makes it so much fun! It is made of many funny shaped plastic pieces and gizmos, baskets and barrels, rubber bands and marbles, and a little plastic man. Piece by piece the trap comes together in an orderly fashion. Once completely constructed, the trap works when a player turns the handle on a 2 piece gear which springs back on an arm that causes a swinging boot to hit a bucket that dumps a metal marble down a zigzag maze and into a curvy sloping channel. At the end of the channel, the marble hits the bottom of a pole that has a hand on top, which pops up and hits another marble at the top, which falls through a bathtub with a hole in the bottom. This marble then drops on a seesaw, causing a little plastic guy in a bathing suit on one end of the seesaw to get flipped into a tub. The tub has a wobbly base, that causes the net, which is mounted at the top of a pole, to come falling down over the unsuspecting opponent mouse below. (Wheew! I?m out of breath just writing this!).
The whole contraption really is a lot of fun! But it doesn?t always work. I assume this disfunction is by design, since the instructions clearly state that if the trap fails to trap the mouse, play continues and the threatened mouse moves to a ?safe? space. However, when I played Mouse Trap as a child, is seemed like the trap almost always worked. Our new Mouse Trap seems to work about half the time. I also don?t recall the cheese pieces.
Children love this game for obvious reasons. They love to see things work especially when they build it themselves! And while we do play this game together as a family, Adam sets the trap together by himself or with a friend quite often with out actually playing the game. So Mouse Trap can actually be an individual activity as well as a family game.
Besides being a lot of fun, Mouse Trap is an educational aspect as well. Remember learning about Simply Machines in 6th grade science class? Well, this fame is just full of those things! There is a gear, several levers, a couple of inclined planes, and probably as few others that I can?t identify because I slept through that day of 6th grade science.
Mouse Trap comes in a sturdy box that makes it easy to store all the pieces and game board. All the trap pieces come in a couple of plastic bags and are all ready to be played with. You must punch out all those cheese pieces. The instructions come in both Spanish and English, but are not really written in an orderly fashion. You may have to review them a couple of times to get all the rules to make sense (or maybe I?m just slow).
You can play Mouse Trap with up to four players and is recommended for kids ages 6 and up. However, after constructing the trap a few times, Adam, who is five, doesn?t have any trouble with it. I wouldn?t recommend it for ages under five however, as kids can easily become frustrated by all these neat moving parts that don?t always work. Also, be very careful with those marbles. Toddlers love to put marbles in their mouths, and even older children seem to be fascinated with the metal variety which is included.
I highly recommend Mouse Trap as a great family activity and for an independent child who likes to build things. And I have found that it makes an excellent gift for child that you have no clue how to buy for. We recently gave it as a gift to a set of triplet for their 5th birthday. Once that Mouse Trap is build it?s hard for anyone (mom and day included0 to resists turning that little handle that sets all those fun gizmos in motion!
THANKS TO WANBLI_GLESKA FOR SPONSORING THIS FAMILY GAME NIGHT WRITE-OFF. PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE:
bmcnichol, bleuchance, Crazy3237, char.mike, eplovejoy, IowaMommy, jo.com, KateTPZ, klywood, manky, Mrs.NormanMaine, sloving, straight_up, tekki, Wanbli_Gleska