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Mouse Trap Rules: How Do You Play Mouse Trap


Help build a trap to hopefully capture your opponents. Challenge other players to see who will be the last mouse standing.

Game type: Mechanical, competitive.

Number of players: 2-4

Suggested age: 6+

Game Pieces


4 plastic mice

25 trap parts and 2 metal marbles

52 cheese tokens


Pregame Setup

Place the game board without any mouse parts in the middle of the play area.

Each player chooses a colored mouse and places it at the start position.

Roll the die to see who goes first.

Place all of the cheese tokens into a “cheese pile”

Playing the Game

Roll the die and move your mouse that many spaces forward on the game board. More than one mouse may occupy the same space at once.

Follow the instructions for the space your mouse landed on. Your turn is over after following the instructions. Turns pass to the left.

“Build Spaces” have a series of numbers printed on them. If the number of players matches one of the numbers on the build space then that player collects a cheese token from the cheese pile and then places the next part onto the mouse trap. If a player lands on a build space “in the loop” then build two parts to the mouse trap and collect two cheese tokens.

The game board shows numbers 1-24. That is the expected “build plan” to be followed for the trap.

“Back or Forward move spaces” the player must move to the space shown on the board but will not follow the instructions on the new space and cannot collect any mouse pieces.

“Take cheese space” gives that player the indicated number of cheese tokens. If the cheese pile is empty then that player takes the indicated number of cheese tokens from the player with the highest number of cheese tokens. If players are tied for the most number of cheese tokens then the player may take the indicated amount divided in any way the player wishes between the other tied players.

“Take cheese from rival” gives that player that amount of cheese tokens (or less if they don’t have enough) from the player with the highest amount of tokens. The player may decide how to take from any tie for the most.

“Loose cheese” causes the player to lose up to the indicated number of cheese tokens and return them to the cheese pile.

“Dog bone” does nothing, ends your turn.

“Loop” refers to the 6 spaces at the end of the path starting at “safe space” and ending at the cheese wheel. The loop is the place where mice can be captured.

“Cheese wheel” grants that player 2 cheese tokens from the cheese pile. If the cheese pile is empty then that player takes the cheese token from the player with the most tokens, or any division of those token between players that are tied from the most.

If the trap is complete and an opponents mouse is on the “cheese wheel” space then the player that lands on “turn crank” will activate the trap. If the trap activates successfully and captures another players mouse then the player that activated the trap receives all of the cheese tokens from the player(s) that was(were) captured. The captured mouse is removed from the game and the player is eliminated.

“Turn Crank” also allows a player to use their cheese tokens to force another player to roll. While their mouse is on “turn crank,” that player may pay 1 cheese token to roll the dice for any opponent they wish. They may do this for as many times as they wish, to as many players as they wish, for as long as they can continue to pay the cheese toll. If any of the opponents’ mice end up under the trap during this time, then that player will then be able to activate the trap and attempt to capture them. Any cheese tokens spent in this way are returned to the cheese pile.

If you activate the trap you must also reset the trap.

“Safe space” prevents an opponent from moving that mouse from that spot. They are immune to cheese token lures.

Mouse trap must be built in order, and only 1 piece is added at a time per valid build spot. Turn crank slowly in a clock-wise direction. Make sure all parts are in position before setting off the trap.

Winning the Game

Game continues until only one mouse remains, and that mouse becomes the winner.

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