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Subject: The Trouble with Trouble rss

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Joe Ritter
United States
Westfield
New Jersey
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Again, my 8 y/o daugther received a 'retro' game from my childhood. Yes, she received a copy of Trouble in a Christmas grab bag this year. I wish it was something better, but beggars can't be chosers. So, she brought it home and we had to play. Here are my thoughts on the game:

Pieces
Believe it or not, Trouble is actually "Assembly Required". Who knew? You don't need an engineering degree to put it together, but you do need to attach the 'colorful' display that sits under the plastic board.

Once you slap the cardboard to bottom of the tray and attach it with the little white rubber 'feet' that hold it in and stop the board from slipping you're good to go. (Note to Parents: if you have a baby around, make sure to throw out the extra white rubber feet and the punchouts from the cardboard as they are very small)

The rest of the pieces include 4 game tokens for each color (red, green, blue and yellow) and the rules.

Rules

The rules are pretty straight forward. You 'pop' the dice using the "Pop-O-Matic" dice roller. If you roll a 6, you get to move a token out of your "Home" area into the playing area. If you don't roll a six and you have no tokens in the playing area. Your turn is over.

Once you are in the playing area, you have to move around the board once and make it into your 'finish' area. In order to move into your finish area, you have to roll the exact number to get in.

In order to win, you have to be the first player to get all four tokens around the board and into your 'finish' area. The only trick is to avoid being landed on by your opponent and sent back to your home space.

As I just mentioned, you can send your opponent back to their 'home' area by landing on their piece with an exact roll. This automatically sends them back to their 'home' space to start all over again.

Conclusion
I'd write more, but there isn't much more to say in terms of rules. The game play on the other hand wasn't too bad.

The worst part about this game is using the "Pop-o-Matic" to roll your dice. It is neither quiet nor 'fair'. By not quiet, I mean it makes an annoying click-POP noise when you push down on it to roll the dice (not very sleeping baby friendly). By not fair, I mean that it is very easy for it to get stuck on the same dice roll for 5, 6 or 7 turns. Which means, you can be rolling a 1 over and over and over again. I'd much prefer and actual hand roll for the dice or for the true BGG a dice boot. But, what are you going to do. The "Pop-o-Matic" is probably a registered trademark or something (and it wouldn't be Trouble without it).

The game can take a very long time (30-45 minutes). I'm not opposed to 30-45 minute games, but when you're just 'racing' around a circle once the 30-45 minutes seems like an eternity.

We've played a number of rounds of Trouble since my daugther received it. They haven't all been bad or tedious. Its not a 'bad' game per se, but its not great either.

We've played with 2 and 3. I'd say the 3 player version was much more enjoyable than the 2 player. You actually had to think a bit more about your moves and if you wanted to send player one or two back to their home spots (when the situation arose).

All in all, I'd recommend it for BGGs with kids. It's rated 5+, so you can get the whole family in on it. It does teach counting, turn play and a bit of strategy. The more the merrier when playing. The only caution is the time. It can take every bit of 45 minutes to get through a game. Its not like Candy Land where you can pull out the 'special cards' (e.g., Icing Princess, et al) after one time through the deck. You either finish or quit if the kids (or mom/dad) get bored at the 30-40 minute mark.
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James Davis
Australia
Canberra
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i think the one of the reasons for having the popo matic is so small kids wont swallow the dice. which is infact a great idea. but im not sure if thats the reason they made it or not!
 
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Richard Irving
United States
Salinas
California
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Osama Bin Davis wrote:
i think the one of the reasons for having the popo matic is so small kids wont swallow the dice. which is infact a great idea. but im not sure if thats the reason they made it or not!


But there are plenty of small pieces which can be swallowed.
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Dave Pasquantonio
United States
Millis
Massachusetts
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"Trouble" and "Headache" (another pop-o-matic game) are classics from my childhood. You're pretty much right on with your review. I bought the older versions from the 70's on eBay, and the popper seems to be much better than the one on the newer versions. And it's got that real retro feel.

This happened with Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, too -- the newer version, while functionally the same, isn't made quite as well, and therefore isn't as much fun. Pop-o-matic and robot arm technology must have been better in the 70's!
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James Davis
Australia
Canberra
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rri1 wrote:
Osama Bin Davis wrote:
i think the one of the reasons for having the popo matic is so small kids wont swallow the dice. which is infact a great idea. but im not sure if thats the reason they made it or not!


But there are plenty of small pieces which can be swallowed.
yes i was thinking that too. it was just a guess!
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James Weinrod
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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I would have to agree with you. The pop-o-matic, while convenient from a loose parts perspective, is a truly odious creation which would probably be punishable by caning in some countries.

It's perfectly harmless entertainment for children (like my daughter) who require a diversity of games for their enjoyment, but otherwise, don't waste your time here.
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