- designer: Manfred Ludwig
- publisher: Selecta/Rio Grande
- date: 2002
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 813/7.06
- age: 4+
- # of players: 2-4
- print status: in print
- cost: $27.86 (Boards & Bits)
"I like Mouse Trap. You roll your dice... You move your mice... nobody gets hurt."Bob is simply expressing a bedrock truth - one of the time-honored themes of kid gaming is cats chasing mice: Cat & Mouse (there at least 5 different games w/this name in the BGG database), Pounce!, Cheese Chasers, Mouse Trap: The Card Game, So Ein Kase, Mause-Rallye, and the ever popular Mush Mouse & Punkin Puss Game. (OK, it's not ever-popular... but it was published the year I was born, so that oughta count for something.)
OTOH, Bob is not talking specifically about Viva Topo, a game where you do roll your dice & move your mice - but somebody is gonna get hurt, 'cuz the big orange cat is on the prowl.
Each turn, players roll the die & and move one of their 4 mice (5 mice w/2 players) out of their burrow & around the track. 2 sides of the die have a 1 and a cat on them - when you roll these, you move one of your mice a single space and then advance the cat along his track.
When the cat makes it three quarters of the way around the track, he picks up speed & begins moving two spaces per turn - and every mouse he passes and/or lands on is "captured" (aka: "eaten").
Meanwhile, the mice are scurrying along, trying to get to the various cheese storehouses along the route. The earlier to jump to safety & grab a cheese, the less it will be worth. For those mice who are fleet of foot (read: roll high), they can even reach Cheese Paradise, where their reward is an entire wheel of cheese. (Since this is a kids game, the mice are not given wine or pretentious conversation to go along with their cheese.)
There's a nice balance between kid friendliness & game tension here - the cat comes on like a steamroller in the late game, but if you can position your mice where they can make a leap to safety. Scores tend to be close, unless kids make crazy "run one mouse & leave the other three behind" decisions... but they only do that one time.
The components are, as is common with Selecta games, top-notch. The mice & cats have felt ears... and the mice get string tails as well. This is simply a pleasure to play - and it's wonderful that Rio Grande is importing the game so it's available at a very reasonable price.