Pros: fun for all ages, hours of entertainment
Cons: too many small pieces, huge game board, pieces can easily get lost.
Those of you that know me realize that I am almost twenty-one years old and normally write reviews on movies and books. However, a recent visit from my parents has prompted a run down good old "memory lane" so I've been reviewing several things from my childhood in the last few days, especially games.
This is a tough one as there are dozens and dozens of pieces but I will try:
1 game board
directions (written in both spanish and english i believe)
4 small plastic mice
1 small silver marble and one larger rubber ball
several small cardboard pieces of cheese
assorted plastic pieces (including a staircase, a cage, a lamp post and a plastic man in a bathing suit)
a pair of dice
Mouse Trap can be played with 2,3 or 4 players. The point of the game is to roll the dice and move your mouse around the board. When you land on a space that has the same number on it as the number of people playing you get to build part of the trap. There's are several spaces telling you to do other things like go back to go, take two pieces of cheese, or move back whatever number of spaces to make things more interesting.
At the end of the path is a collection of spaces known as the "cheese wheel" where mice must eventually end up. When on the "cheese wheel" you want to avoid landing under the trap while trying to get yourself on "turn the crank" and your opponent under the cage. If the trap is completed and you are on "turn the crank" but no opponent is under the cage you can give up a piece of the cheese you accumulated and make an opponent roll again to try and trap them. Once a mouse is trapped it is out of the game and the last mouse remaining wins.
This game is fun for all ages. It's great for a family game night because it can have several players. It also seems to be amusing to small kids to just build the trap by themselves instead of playing the game. It's a great way to kill time. In short, with THE PROPER SUPERVISION I think it's a wonderful game. But that brings me to my bad points....
Major Bad Points:
My first major bad point is the age recommendation. According to the box this game is recommended for kids age 6 or older. That part may be fine but nowhere does it say "constant adult supervison required" and I really think it should. There are sooooo many pieces in this game that kids either love to put in their mouths on purpose or could accidentally swallow. I think it's a wonderful game but please be VERY aware of possible choking hazards.
Second, same problem, too many pieces, but in this case the issue is loss of pieces. Losing cheese pieces is not too bad because there are tons of them and they are easy to recreate. However, if you were to lose a piece of the trap construction...well there goes your game. I have been lucky. My game is still fully intact except for some cheese and I've had it for years.
Third, this game also requires the use of a rubber band (elastic)and it must be JUST the right size to make the trap work. It cannot be too small or it breaks and if it's too big nothing happens. I do not remember if such a rubber band is included or if you have to supply one but I can tell you that I have gone through several dozen and it's very difficult to get just the right fit. Also, again, I cannot stress CHOKING HAZARD enough! Please be careful when you let little kids play!
Secondary Bad Point:
In this section I just want to point out that it is a slightly over-sized box so storage can be slightly difficult but not too bad. This is nowhere near a major problem but I thought it was worth informing you about it.
My first suggestion is simple, watch your kids. Don't let them play unsupervised. Also, this suggestion applies to animals as well. Keep in mind that pets can be just as interested in small toys as kids.
Second, you my want to consider storing and playing your Mouse Trap game in one room, the same room all the time. This will minimize the possibility of pieces being accidentally vaccuumed/swept up or being carted all over the house.
Check out my epinions on scrabble, boggle, monopoly, or guess who for some thoughts on alternative games. Also you could just try a plain old card game. Card games like UNO or Skipbo are easy for young ones to learn and don't have any small parts.