The Who Framed Roger Rabbit? board game reviewed
The board game based on the phantasmic film isn't that great, writes Deanna Dahlsad, but will be a coveted rarity for fans
Based on the movie of the same name, the Who Framed Roger Rabbit? board game was produced by Milton Bradley in 1987. According to the manufacturer, the game is for two to four players, ages 10 and up.
At the start of the game, each player is dealt an Identity Card. The four Identity Card options are Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit, Eddie Valiant, and Delores. But don't squeal if you get your favorite character! You must keep your identity a secret. For in this game, like Clue, you have to figure out identities -- only instead of who did it, where, and with what, you have to figure out which character each of the other players are. That's step one.
Once you've done that, you have to find the Will and then escape back to your home space -- while managing to avoid the other players, the weasels, and The Dip. Then you are the winner who has saved Toontown!
Movement around the board is based on the roll of dice. There are a total of six dice in the game, which can make it pretty intimidating when you open the game box. In reality, however, it's pretty easy to play. You roll both the white and the die for general movement around the board, with the number on the black die being optional. For faster travel, you can take the Trolley (which has its own track and die) -- or, if you land on a Benny Space, you can roll the Benny die and move extra spaces. Both the Trolley and Benny die have stop signs on them, and you can roll until you get the sign to stop -- an actual stop sign.
The remaining two dice are only used when you wish to steal the Will from another player. One is the die for the Dip Cannon, a moving wheel in the center of the game board armed by the dreaded Judge Doom. The Dip Cannon can only be used when players' pawns are located in the ring around the cannon. The Weasel die is used when you send a weasel out to steal the Will. The weasel token starts from the same space on the board as your game pawn, and moves the number of spaces shown on the die. The weasel moves this way until the weasel lands on the space where the opponent with the Will is standing (and you've successfully weaseled the Will away!) or until you roll the "bonked weasel", in which case the weasel is removed from the board and your turn is over.
The best thing about this game, obviously, is the fact that it is based on the movie, giving you plenty of opportunities to quote from the film and regale (or annoy) other players by saying "P-p-please!" and "Oh, my God! It's DIP!" Therefore, it is highly recommended that any children you play this game with have seen the movie. (Tip: Hours of any rainy day can be filled by watching the film and then playing the game.)
The worst thing about the game, however, is wide variation in how long it takes to play. Despite the three steps required to win the game, the multiple means of stealing the Will, and the plethora of ways to move around the board, the game can be over in a flash. Or it can last quite a bit of time. Frankly, how long the game lasts is really dependent upon your piece's proximity to its home space once you've got the Will and just how close the other players are to you. Since you don't know if the game play will last 15 minutes or an hour, it often makes it difficult to fit a game into your family's busy schedule.
Overall, fans of the film will love the Who Framed Roger Rabbit? game just because it is connected to the film. Collectors will covet its rarity. But, length of the game aside, game players may find it only about average in terms of its game playing appeal.
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