About The Game

see also: ludo

Trouble is a board game originally marketed by Kohner Games, but is now manufactured by Hasbro. Gameplay is very similar to the game Sorry!, but with two key differences:

  • instead of using cards, the moves are dictated by the pop-o-matic die,
  • and players cannot split moves between pieces.
In normal Trouble, two to four players compete to get their four pieces around the board and into their finish area. Double Trouble was an eight player version of the game that basically coupled two boards together.

The game can be fun for children of many ages, and is actually supposed to help kids polish motor skills and social interactions, although it is not marketed as any sort of educational tool.

We're Not in Trouble Yet: starting a game

To begin, each player takes four pieces of the same color and put them into the appropriate "home row." Then the players take turns popping the die (by pressing the pop-o-matic) until someone pops a six. That player can then move her gamepiece onto the board, and also gets an extra turn. (Note: those who pop sixes will always receive another turn.)

Stay out of Trouble!

Players keep taking turns, advancing their pieces around the board. If any player lands on an occupied spot, the piece originally there is in "trouble" and must return to its home row and start over. The contested spot is then occupied by the recently arrived piece.

The Long Road Home

Eventually, someone will get their pieces close enough to get to their "finish area." Unfortunately, you must pop the exact number of remaining spaces in order to move the piece into the finish area. For example, let's say you are right outside your home area, and the first three pieces are safely within. Just one space between you and the thrill of victory.

But you pop a four on the pop-o-matic. You don't get to win yet. You must stay put. Wait for your turn to come around again. You pop a six. Pop again, and a one! Finally!

Usually the unlucky streak will last a bit longer than that.

Things to note about Trouble:

When the pop-o-matic gets old, it doesn't always pop as well. Sometimes everyone winds up rolling many threes in a row (for example).

Parents will hate themselves for buying travel Trouble for the young ones to play on that long car ride- the pop-o-matic is noisy. And since you must get exact rolls to finish the game, sometimes the games will drag on a bit. The kids will get frustrated, especially when they are on the verge of winning, but then they get stuck two spaces away from the end and then their sister wins instead. It can be a recipe for big trouble.

Is it worth the buy?

Probably. Everyone loves the pop-o-matic!

The information for this node comes mostly from my memory and an old copy of the rules I had in my basement.