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Mouse Trap

Posted by Big Boo on October 27th, 2008

Mouse Trap is by no means a product of the 1980’s, indeed it was first conceived in the 1960’s.  The game was based on a drawing by US cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who drew images of weird and wacky inventions which were generally built out of everyday objects and completely over engineered.  If you’ve ever seen a Roadrunner cartoon think of the kind of outlandish designs concocted by Wile E. Coyote.

The game itself would however be fairly run of the mill if it wasn’t for the plastic contraption in the middle of the board.  This weird device was meant to be a mouse trap, but rather than a piece of wood with a sprung loaded trap and a piece of cheese this mouse trap consisted of a weird obstacle course that would give the mouse plenty of time to escape!

Turning a handle attached to some cogs wound back an arm which then flicked a boot that kicked over a bucket containing a ball bearing.  The ball bearing rolled down a set of steps and then a chute where it hit a long pole with a hand on the top.  Jogging this caused a ball in a bathtub to start rolling, which then fell through a hole onto a see saw, propelling a little figure of a man into a wooden tub.  This finally caused a cage to start to descend down a pole to catch the poor unsuspecting mouse!

The rules of the game were very simple.  Each player has a mouse shaped token that they move around the board after rolling a dice.  The centre of the board starts off empty, with sections of the mousetrap being added as the players land on certain squares.  The final sequence of squares on the playing board form a circle and the players continuously go round this section.  One of the squares in this section allows the player to turn the crank to start the mouse trap, allowing them to trap a player and remove them from the game if they happen to be sitting on the square under the cage.

To add to the excitement players collect pieces of cheese as they go round the board, and when they land on the crank square they can use these cheese pieces to move an opponents piece around the board, in the hope of landing them on the mouse trap square.

Mouse Trap is still available today, although it appears that the mouse trapping contraption has been given an overhaul after all this time, and the game now features three ways in which to catch a mouse!  You no longer set up the trap during the course of the game, and there are more opportunities to set the trap going during the course of the game, which given that this was the main reason to play Mouse Trap in the first place is probably no bad thing.  Follow the Amazon link below to pick up a copy of the new version, or alternatively it is also available from Seven Again where it is a little cheaper!

Buy Mouse Trap at Amazon.co.uk