Pros: a little entertaining
Cons: gets boring quick!
I am another one of those that had the Mouse Trap game as a kid. It was a Christmas present that was meant to be shared between three brothers.
We opened the box, dumped out the pieces and started assembly. After about a half an hour we had the thing assembled. We turned the crank and it didn't work --- one of the marbles went flying across the room. As one of us got up to chase the marble, part of the trap got knocked over. An hour later, the trap was back together and worked. I honestly believe that is the last time that we touched the game.
We never played it as a game and I don't recall ever reading the rules.
Mouse Trap is a crazy contraption that you assemble by drawing cards from a deck and placing the proper piece in the trap. I think the winner is the one that gets to actually turn the crank and capture the mouse.
If you want something to create wacky machines, get a software game similar to "the Incredible Machine".
If your kids insist on having one of these games, buy one at a garage sale, flea market, or second hand store. There are plenty of used ones out there. (That should tell you something!)