Thrift stores are full of vintage roll-and-move games like Monopoly, Backgammon and Chutes and Ladders. Unless I’m looking for game parts to use in other prototypes, we typically leave these treasures for someone else to enjoy. This week we came across a different example of the roll-and-move mechanic and had to take it home with us – Double Trouble by Milton Bradley.
The original game of Trouble has been around since the 60’s and is a simplified version of the ancient game of Pachisi. Double Trouble shares some of the features of Trouble, like the Pop-o-Matic way of rolling dice. But the movement around the board is different enough that we thought it warranted a second look.
One advantage of buying a preowned game is that they may already be assembled. In the case of this copy of Double Trouble, the prior owner took the time to carefully attach the Pop-o-Matic bubbles to the board along with required plastic spinners. For us, all we had to do was gloss over the rules and get it to the table!
The object of Double Trouble is to be the first player to get both of their pawns off the board on the opposite edge. Each player receives two matching-color pawns which have arrows on the top. One is put on each of the two starting spaces. On your turn you will pop both dice and determine which result will move which pawn. The arrow on the pawn is always kept forward as you cannot change direction of movement on your own.
Each player’s turn happens in the same manner in clockwise order. Pop both dice and move both pawns. Where you land determines what special thing might happen. If you land by exact count on a star space, turn any one of the four plastic detour wheels in any direction ninety degrees. If there are any pawns on the wheel, they are already set into custom notches that hold them in place while turning. Once turned, they will point at the new path they will take when exiting the wheel. Additionally, if you land on the center star space, at the beginning of your next turn you may move your arrow in any direction you choose.
If you happen to land on top of your other pawn, both pieces are sent back to the start. When landing on an opponent’s piece, one of them will be sent back to the beginning. At this point a Pop-Off occurs where both players race to pop their dice until one person rolls a “six”. The other player is sent back to the start while the winner of the Pop-Off continues forward on their next turn.
To win Double Trouble, you must land your pawns by exact count on one of the three Finish spaces on the right side of the board. When you do, remove that pawn from the board and only pop one die on subsequent turns. If you pass over the finish area, you must loop back around and try again. The first person to remove both pieces from the game board wins Double Trouble!
The chaotic movement of this game makes it quite different from its predecessor. Not only can you send someone home by landing on them as in the original, altering their path by spinning the wheels is just as, if not more, satisfying. Even though this is the first time we’ve seen this game, there are plenty on eBay for reasonable prices. And you don’t have to worry about losing the dice!
Did you know this follow-up to Trouble existed?