Booby Trap

Booby Trap is what you’d call a “classic kids’ game.” It’s been around since the 60’s (originally a Parker Brothers game), and has been recently re-released by Fundex. For kids old enough to appreciate the patience, dexterity, observation skills, and luck necessary to win, Booby Trap is a study in fascination.

An assortment 63 pieces (three different discs, each of a different width and color, each with a peg handle in the middle) is literally squeezed in the playing frame so that they are as tightly packed as possible. The squeezing is achieved by attaching a rubber band to a “tension bar” on one side of the frame. The goal of the game, then, becomes to remove as many of the discs as you can without disturbing the tension bar.

The larger pieces are, of course, worth the most points, and are, equally of course, the most difficult to remove. And yet, oddly enough, if you are very observant, or lucky, you might easily pick one that, despite appearances to the contrary, lifts out with the greatest of ease and heart-lightening joy. Of course, after someone’s judgment or luck proves to be less than successful, and the bar moves, and other pieces get sprongged off the board, the tension, for the next player, is considerably, so to speak, released.

There is a rule which can be very difficult for younger children to observe – the one about having to move whatever you touch. The desire to test before plucking frequently overwhelms the need to play strictly by the rules. Those who are old enough to appreciate the sagacity of the touch-it-pluck-it rule will derive immense satisfaction, and the sometimes shockingly violent evidence, of the efficacy of their observational powers, and will be moved more quickly to laughter than to tears in either event.

This restored release of Booby Trap also includes a variation which allows for a shorter game. Six narrow boards are included, one for each of the up to six players. Each board shows a different sequence of pieces that must be selected. It’s a good challenge, and, depending on what happens before your turn, and what size piece is next on your board, often surprisingly more than adequate.

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