Ages: Sorry! = 6+; Trouble = 5+
Players: Sorry! & Trouble = 2 to 4 players
Time Frame: 15-30 minutes each
Both games share a similar mechanic in that you are moving your pieces around a board in an attempt to get them to the safety of Home. Along the way you can land on opponent pieces and send them back to the Start position.
Sorry! uses a deck of cards to determine each player’s movement. There are 11 types of cards that affect the movement of the pieces. The deck is face down in the middle of the board and players take turns flipping over a card and following its directions if able.
Trouble uses a six sided die inside a plastic bubble in the middle of the board. Upon pressing down on the bubble and releasing it, you “roll” the die inside. They also use a unique board style that is plastic and each space on the board can actually hold the piece in place.
Both games can flow pretty quickly and get into a nice rhythm. With that flow it creates an upbeat mood amongst the players. With the sending home aspect players quickly learn that what goes around comes around and that is a solid teaching point for a parent. Lastly, both games reinforce basic counting skills.
Sorry! brings a few nice features by itself as well. The cards bring with it basic strategy concepts as it is not always about just moving forward. The cards also allow for other variations of the game to be played, such as Team Play and Playing for Points.
Trouble itself is just unique with its board design and its Pop-O-Matic die roller. The track for the pieces along with the die roller makes the game much more mobile as well. Trouble also tends to play a little faster as there are fewer choices to make.
Both games, while they generally play fast, can drag on due to players being sent home and just not getting the numbers you need to move. Those moments can also be amplified for the younger players, however that does make it a good teaching point for patience.
Sorry! will have you cycling through the deck of cards fairly fast so there will more than likely be multiple shuffles per game. Players can gang up on one player due to the choices of the card system.
Trouble is a bit noisy due to the Pop-O-Matic die roller and it gets popped repeatedly. Younger players may struggle a little to press the bubble down to roll the dice.
“When I was a fairly young kid I was sleeping over at my cousins’ house. When we all went to bed, the girls went to their room and played a game of trouble. I remember convincing myself that there was a ghost outside the window that was coming to get me with a stapler. I was quite scared that night, but very relieved the next day when I learned that it was just the girls.” James W D
Overall these are two great starter games for families with young kids. They help build a solid foundation of board game skills that will get used over and over again. They generally play fairly fast and offer an easy method of determining a winner if you run out of time.
Personally I like the challenges that these games bring to the kids. There will be many moments to help teach your kids to be patient as well as being a good sport with the sending of pieces home. Just remember that it is important to set a positive role model for the kids.
If you have played these games before I welcome you to share your stories! Also, if you have any questions, ideas, or tips please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I am looking forward to hearing from you!