Monday, May 9, 2016

Treasures and Trapdoors (1990)

Treasures and Trapdoors (1990)


4.83333 out of 10 with 15 ratings
Board Game Rank: Not Ranked
Children's Game Rank: Not Ranked


Pyramid frame, pedestal, golden cobra, 16 jewels (4 are spares), 4 baskets in 4 colors, 4 ankhs, circular turntable

To collect 3 jewels and an ankh, seize the Golden Cobra and be the first to escape with it to the stairs leading from the pyramid to the outside world.

A simple luck driven children's game based on the Egyptian pyramids.
What is very unique in this game, is the turntable device. It operates as a dice, dictating the moves of the players, and at the same time it opens and closes the traps, causing some pieces to fall into the snake pit and start again.

Additionally when the turntable moves some windows will show the Pharaohs eyes in one of these 3 positions:

OPEN = trapdoor is open
HALF CLOSED = the trapdoor might open next turn
CLOSED = the trapdoor will not open next turn

  • Designer: Mary Danby
  • Publisher: Waddingtons Games
  • Year Published: 1990
  • Number of Players: 2 - 4
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 6
  • Playing Time: 30
  • Subdomain: Children's Games
  • Category: Ancient, Children's Game, Fantasy, Maze, Mythology, Racing
  • Mechanic: Roll / Spin and Move
  • Family: Country: Egypt
  • Alternate Names: Aarteita ja Ansoja, Treasures and Trapdoors



7 out of 10
My favourite game as a child! still a cool mechanic... probably a little lacking these days?

6 out of 10
original turntable system, nice bits. Actually, the game is original, specially the movement. Although, a bit counter-intuitive at first, it has a nice moving system. My understanding from the rules is that the turntable is not changed as part of a player's turn but only when somebody lands on a certain square.

Very little strategy to this children's game, so I'd never play it now, but it was great to have this as a kid. Fantastic production, very interesting and unsual mechanisms for a kids' game, and good fun with stuff falling through trapdoors. I'm keen for kids to play games that are as 'thinky' as possible, to encourage them to grow up to be gamers, but I couldn't possibly begrudge them this one if it were still available - it does reinforce the "all games must be kiddie dicefests" crapness that mainstream games tend to propagate, but the immense fun factor does outweigh that concern in this particular case. Seriously. Wish I could buy this for my nephews.

The 3D pyramid game board makes this something of a precursor to Camel Up (which it is otherwise nothing like). Sadly, my copy seems to have lost its golden cobra :-( Hopefully, it will turn up in another box.

4 out of 10
Bit too much of a kids game to appeal to me as an adult, but we'll see if the kids like it.

Played at least once

4 out of 10
A kids' game with nice bits, lots of plasticky gimmicks but very little substance.
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