SNAP Review – Inspector Mouse: The Great Escape
Inspector Mouse needs your help! He’s put a lot of crooks behind bars, but now these criminal masterminds are planning a great escape! You’ll need a good memory and great detective skills when the alarm goes off.
Foil the escape attempt by figuring out which criminal was the last in the cell where the escape tunnel was dug. Who has the sharpest memory and is able to capture the most escaped criminals?
This is a SNAP review for Inspector Mouse: The Great Escape.
Inspector Mouse: The Great Escape is an unusual memory game for 1-4 players, ages 5 & up, designed by Markus Nikisch.
It’s published by HABA Games.
It’s so clever! The board layout has 3 boards sandwich together (with the help of Inspector Mouse to keep them from falling apart).
As the inner board turns, pieces will be dropping through a hole on the bottom board and onto an “alarm bell”.
The illustrations by Valeska Scholz will pull kids (and adults!) into the game. There are 15 different criminal tokens, the board design (which has stuff “buried underground” for the bottom board), and even the little “offices” and storage rooms that are inside the box.
Every player gets a series of mugshots and a “magnifying glass”. A single criminal goes into the open jail cell on the board.
On your turn, you roll the die and use Inspector Mouse to rotate the jailhouse in the direction shown. Keep rotating until an empty cell appears, or until the alarm sounds.
If the alarm sounds, a criminal is trying to escape! Everyone tries to deduce which crook it is. Place your magnifying glass on the mugshot of the person who you think escaped. When everyone is ready, lift the game board out of the box and check who landed on the alarm.
If you got it right, the criminal has been recaptured! Put a reward star in the color-coded “office” of each player who deduced correctly (inside the box) and remove the criminal tile from the game.
But if no one got it right, the criminal has made it to the getaway car!
Either way, it’s the next player’s turn.
The game ends when the getaway car is full (and everyone loses), or when the last criminal is placed back in jail. Remove the board again, and count stars in each player’s office to see who won.
It’s a yellow-box HABA game, so we figured it would not be too hard for younger kids to play, and fun for all ages.
We also figured it would have great tactile pieces, which is true. Inspector Mouse and the die are wood, and the reward stars are little plastic pieces. The alarm bell is super cool! It’s just a little piece of metal, but it makes a really good “clink” every time you hit it with something.
I was super excited to see the inside of this box with a grid. You know what that means? This is a game that cleans up while you play!
But just like the basement underground, there’s a lot of things that surprised us about this game.
First of all, it’s so exciting (even as an adult) to hear the “plunk” of a possible escaping criminal on the alarm bell!
There is a lot of suggestions in the rulebook about ways to make this easier for the youngest players in your family (use fewer criminals or play cooperatively), or even more challenging.
<<Anitra>> I particularly liked the “who’s the boss” mode, in which you start with a face-down criminal in the getaway car. At the end of the game, everyone guesses who it is (after all the other criminals have been seen) to win bonus points.
The memory and the attention that are needed make this a challenging game for younger kids – it was a challenging game for me, but I was only 1 cup of coffee in – it is hard to remember all the different criminals that were inside as you’re turning Inspector Mouse back and forth.
Conversely, it can be a little too easy sometimes, if you end up with die rolls that leave you rotating the board one way and then the other, so it’s always the last criminal put in who is the next one who tries to escape. That part all comes down to luck.
One last shout-out for the amazing immersiveness of the art in this game. I expect good art from a HABA game, but this one really raises the bar. It’s great, especially the 3-level spinning board. There’s no snaps to put together, or anything like that; it just comes right apart when you’re done.
I wholeheartedly recommend for a parent to play with their younger child (5-7 years old).
It’s best at 2 players for the younger crowd, and at 4 players for a mixed group of older kids and adults.
You will forget. The first couple of things you put in here, you think you’ll remember everything – nope! When you start turning that back and forth, it’s all over.
We give Inspector Mouse: The Great Escape 4 reward stars out of 5.
Look for it on Amazon or at your local store for toys and games.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Inspector Mouse: The Great Escape from HABA Games USA.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Inspector Mouse: The Great Escape
Number of Players: 1-4
Age Range: 5-99
Playtime: 20 minutes