Kill off your opponent’s pawns and take their Moneybag Tokens (Tokens) while trying to get your pawn(s) safely out of the mansion before the game ends. The player with the most Tokens at the end of the game wins. This game is for 2-4 players ages 8 and older.
The board is a dazzling display of colors and three-dimensional pieces that give a fun exciting mood to a game that is otherwise pretty morbid, but really fun to play. Think about it, a main part of the game is killing off your opponent’s pawns with various traps set up on the board. But because of the colors and cartoony look of the board and pawns, it’s more reminiscant of a stroll through Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory than a stroll through a house of booby traps.
All the traps are made of strong plastic. So, unless you get pissed off at the game and throw a piece across the room, or if 300 lbs. Aunt Martha sits on them, they won't break.
Setting up the board takes a little time. The wall at the back of the board is the most difficult. Don't get me wrong here; you don't have to be a rocket scientist to set it up. It's just a bit more difficult to set up than the rest of the pieces.
There are 16 Pawns that are made from thick card stock that depict light-hearted cartoon illustrations of various people. In general, I prefer that pawns are made of plastic or wood, but because of the style of artwork used on the board, using card stock with cartoon like illustrations carries the artistic feel of the board through to the pawns. Wood or plastic would not be able to duplicate that same feel. Since the cardstock is thick and ridged, they will stand up just fine during normal play.
There are two sets of cards that are used; Heir Cards and Playing Cards. Both are made from standard glossy card stock and have the same style of illustration that is used on all the other bits of the game.
There is also a colorful thick card stock piece called Aunt Agatha’s Will that is an important part of the game.
Two six-sided dice.
There are two complaints I have about the game as far as the pieces go. However, these minor shortcomings are not enough in my opinion to avoid buying this game:
1. The bottom of the wall gets a bit tattered because it has to be wedged into stand pieces that are a bit too tight. A small piece of scotch tape on the bottom edge of the walls should fix that problem.
2. The plastic stands that the pawns are placed in are too loose and fall off as you move them around the board. Using some glue will fix that problem.
There are 16 pawns that are set up in the middle of the board. Each player is assigned pawns that are kept secret by dealing out Heir Cards. These cards have a picture of a pawn and a funny tid-but about that particular pawn. The tid-bit has no bearing on the game. The number of Heir Cards each player gets is determined by how many are playing the game.
There are three things you do on your turn:
1. Roll two six-sided die and move ANY two pawns on the board the distance of one die each. Unless you roll doubles, then you have the option to move one pawn the distance of both die.
2. Take a card from the Playing Card Deck (Cards) for each pawn you move onto a Trap Space.
3. Play one or more Playing Cards if you want to.
Unlike most roll and move type games; you can move any of the 16 pawns that are on the board when it is your turn. However, in order to win the game, you must use at least one of your assigned pawns to get the Tokens out of the mansion before all of the Cards are used which ends the game. If your pawn(s) are in the mansion when the game ends, you do not get credit for the Tokens THOSE pawns have.
The trick to this game is that you need to bluff to prevent other players from discovering which pawns on the board are yours for as long as possible. You do this by moving other pawns besides yours, moving your pawn away from the exit, or even taking a chance and moving your pawn under a trap with the hopes that no player has a card that allows them to trip that trap before you move the pawn out of there.
If you are not sneaky, other players will be on to you, and can do things to your pawns to prevent you from getting out of the mansion; such as playing cards that send you further away from the exit, moving your pawn on their turn away from the exit, or move your pawn under a trap to attempt to kill that pawn off.
If your pawn gets killed off, any Tokens that pawn had gets passed along to the next pawn that is pictured on Aunt Agatha’s Will. So, you need to be aware of who is next to you on the Will and calculate how to kill those pawns to get their money. Unless of course the pawn next to the one that was just killed off happens to be yours as well, and then you still can try and get that one out of the mansion.
This is a fun medium-light game. There are clever devices used through the game that make it a challenge. Just when you may think that you are home free and out of the mansion, something can happen to set you back big time. There are even cards that allow a player to randomly take one of your pawns and it’s Tokens. So, you may have worked to load up that pawn with Tokens and now another player gets to benefit from all the hard work you did to get those Tokens. Of course, you can try and stop him by preventing him from getting out of the mansion one way or another.
I recommend this game highly. It’s a game that can be played over and over with a different outcome every time. The novelty of the traps adds to the fun, the clever bluffing that you need to use adds strategy to the game, and its one of those games where the game isn’t over until it’s over, or until the fat lady takes a header down the stairs.
- Last edited Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:45 pm (Total Number of Edits: 4)
- Posted Sat Mar 4, 2006 8:21 am
"Or the fat lady takes a header down the stairs."
I am serious this made me laugh like crazy. I've wanted this board game ever since I first saw the commercials on tv for it like.. 4-5 years ago, and I'm a 22 y/o woman! It's nuts, but it's definitely the sort of game I would have so now I absolutely must have it.
Thanks for your informative review!
Thanks for the compliment Heather. I'm glad that you found the review informative as well as entertaining.
I think this game is out of print but you can always check Ebay. If you buy a copy, post back here and let me know what you thought of the game.