Friday, September 19, 2014

Quick Review - Mouse Trap

Mouse Trap
Designers: Gordon A. Barlow, Marvin Glass,
Harvey "Hank" Kramer & Burt Meyer
Publisher: Milton Bradley
Quick Review -Mouse Trap
Sure you may say, a classic game like Mouse Trap and this is your first time playing it?  I don't believe it.  Well, it's true.  I think...  I know my sister had a copy of this game when we were kids, but I don't ever remember actually playing it.  Maybe we did, but it couldn't have been more than once or twice.  I do remember setting up the mousetrap a few times and running the contraption, but even that lost its appeal after the first time or two playing the game.

So when my wife said she found a copy of the game at Goodwill for only $.99 I told her to grab it.  I mean, it's Mouse Trap!  Even if it's a terrible game it'll never be frowned upon on a game shelf, especially since I have two young sons.  Last night we played it (my 5 year old was super excited to give it a try).

And let me tell you, there's a reason I don't ever remember playing the game as a kid and only remember setting up the machinery.  The game is about as boring as a game can be, except for the incredibly complex Rube Goldberg mouse trap contraption that you have to build.  The game is about 99% luck based.  The only decision to be made at all in the game is at the very end when players decide to cash in their cheese pieces in an attempt to move other mice to the cheese wheel so they can be captured.  But even that is completely based on luck since every action in the game is based on a die roll.  In fact, because everything was based on the roll of the die my wife never made it past the 15th space on the board the whole time, until I started moving her by spending my cheese tokens!  It was getting hilariously ridiculous how many times she got sent back to start.

That said, my boys both enjoyed the game, even though neither won.  My youngest nearly burst into tears when he lost and was told he had to give all his cheese to his older brother, but we prevented that by saying he could hold the cheese for a while.  Then we made him the cheese banker when it was finally time to hand the cheese over to his older brother.  Even though he wasn't actively participating in the game any more he still enjoyed watching the machine do its work to catch the mice.  And with the amount of chance in the game it could just as easily have been anyone else that got eliminated.

Since my boys had fun, and it was 45 minutes or so that we all played a game together, and it cost $1.07 with tax, I'd say it was a buck well spent.  Had I spent the full $22 retail for the game I'd be very disappointed.  I expect my boys to pull it out a few more times (hopefully they won't beg me to play along), but it'll most likely end up being just a fixture of nostalgia in my game collection.  But for a buck to get the 1986 version (which coincidentally is the same version my sister had when we were kids), I'm ok with that.

Preliminary Rating: 4/10

The trap is under construction.

My mouse is captured!

My wife won, despite not being able to get past the Fat Cat on her own!

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GJJG Game Reviews are independent, unpaid reviews of games I, George Jaros, have played with my family and friends.  Some of these games I own, some are owned by friends, some are borrowed, and some are print and play versions of games.  Where applicable I will indicate if games have been played with kids or adults or a mix (Family Play).  I won't go into extensive detail about how to play the game (there are plenty of other sources for that information and I'll occasionally link to those other sources), but I will give my impressions of the game and how my friends and family reacted to the game.  First Play Impression reviews will only get a single rating of 1-10 (low-high) based on my first impressions of the game during my first time playing.  Hopefully I'll get more chances to play the game and will be able to give it a full review soon.

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