"Mousetrap" is a board game that combines the challenge of cooperating with fellow players to build a complex mousetrap, with the ruthlessness needed to trap opponents in the same contraption. Two to four players move their mice around the board, collecting pieces of cheese and assembling a trap bit by bit. Once complete, the players try to capture their opponents' pieces, with the one remaining mouse emerging the winner.
Select a mouse for each player and place on the "Start" space. Decide who goes first by playing by age, or rolling the die to see who gets the highest number. Continue play clockwise around the group.
Roll the die and move your mouse the number of spaces shown. Follow any instructions on the space you land on. You can share a space with other mice.
Build one piece of the mousetrap if you land on a build space that has a number matching the number of players in your game. In a 2-player game you can build if you land on 2, 2-3 or 2-3-4. In a 3-player game you can build if you land on 2-3 or 2-3-4. In a 4-player game you can only build if you land on 2-3-4. Parts must be assembled in numerical order following the diagram, and players can add only one piece at a time. Once you have added your part of the mousetrap, collect a piece of cheese.
Add the appropriate number of cheese wedges to your pile if you land on a "Take Cheese" space. If there are none left in the cheese pile, take them from the opponent who has the most. You can split who you take them from if 2 or more players have the same number of cheese pieces.
Return the appropriate number of cheese pieces to the pile if you land on a "Lose Cheese" space. If you don't have enough, return all your pieces.
Miss a turn if you land on the "Dog Bone" space.
Attempt to capture an opponent's mouse when the mouse trap is completed and you land on the "Turn Crank" space. If an opponent's mouse is on the "Cheese Wheel" space, turn the crank in a clockwise direction. If the mouse is trapped, that player is out of the game and must hand over any cheese pieces to you. If the trap misses the mouse, the opponent moves his piece to the "Safe" space. You can attempt to catch more than one mouse if they are on the "Cheese Wheel" space.
Try to move an opponent's mouse onto the "Cheese Wheel" space if you land on the "Turn Crank" space and there isn't one already there, or if you want to try to add another. Hand back a cheese piece to the pile and pick the mouse that you want to move. Roll the die and move your opponent's mouse the appropriate number of spaces. You can do this as many times as you wish, and to as many opponents as you wish, so long as you have cheese pieces to hand back each time. If you get an opponent's mouse onto the "Cheese Wheel" space you may turn the crank and attempt to capture the mouse in the trap.
Win the game by being the only mouse left on the board.