True to the Scooby-Doo storyline, The Scooby-Doo Mystery Mine Game follows the gang as they try to solve the mystery of who is hiding in the mine. The culprit is one of the eight characters pictured on the cards. To play, turn over all the clue cards, and select one. Then place it in the holder so nobody can see it and begin. On each turn, players move up the path and around the mine. When they land on a clue space, they can open one of the doors on the clue holder. By the time you see all three clues, you should be able to guess who the miner is, but watch out! If you land on the mine cart space, the mine cart is released and could knock you off the path as it careens down the track and activates the seven different traps built into the mine. The first person to get to the top and correctly guess the miner is the winner. The game is for two to four players.
This is a cute concept and a nice way to bring the popular Scooby-Doo characters to a game. But the idea is better than the gameplay. The guessing is very simple for even a 5-year-old, and the mechanism was frustrating to work with. It's not always clear which way the pieces are supposed to move, and things didn't work consistently.
The game is designed for ages 5 and up, and given how simplistic the guessing is, it's definitely for younger age kids.
We had a couple of problems with this game. The mine cart is on a ball bearing, so it swivels and won't always go fully down the track because it pivots and gets stuck. The instructions acknowledge this, but it can get a little bit annoying for kids. Getting the stuck car out from the back of the track can be frustrating, especially for adult fingers when you have to set it up again. You may have to ease the cardboard up a little so the cart won't get stuck on the turns. Be careful not to crease it.
We get it: These games don't always work, and it's been that way since the original Mousetrap in 1964, but this one was particularly frustrating.
The game took us about 10 minutes to set up, but you have to be careful with the cardboard pieces to ensure they stay in place. You'll also want to pay close attention to how the path is described in the instructions as it's not always clear which steps follow which.
You'll also want to make sure the game is being played on a level where players are looking into rather than down at the mine so they can see the whole playing area. That's going to make it a little clumsy for adults who want to play with kids.
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