Tuesday, March 26, 2002


In my
earlier entry about dexterity games
, I mentioned Pounce as one of
my favorites. I got a request for more details, so I figured I'd
describe it here.

Pounce is not a German game, but an older (early 90s, I think)
American game, though clearly aimed at adults (the box art depicts
only adults playing). Sadly, it is out of print. This game has has
everything. And by everything, I mean it has a miniature toilet
plunger and rubber mice with elastic tails. Oh, and
cheese and dice.

The games comes with a trifold cardboard game board which depicts a
piece of cheese. In the center is a circle. Additionally, each
player gets a rubber mouse (a couple centimeters long) with a long (30
cm -ish) elastic tail and fifteen units of cheese.. All players place
their mice in the central circle and hold onto the tails. The player
whos turn it is removes their mouse from the circle and takes the
minature plunger (actually, the plunger part is full sized, the handle
is just short) and the pair of dice. They proceed to roll the dice
and one of three things can happen:

  • They roll a 7 or an 11. In this case, they must slam the plunger
    down on the table, trying to capture the mice which are sitting in the
    circle. Simultaneously, the players try to pull their mice out of the
    circle. If they are captured, they pay the active player one cheese.
    If they escape, the active player pays them one cheese.

  • They roll doubles. Play passes to the next player clockwise.
    The player with the plunger puts their mouse back in the circle and
    the next player takes the plunger.

  • They roll anything else. In this case, nothing should happen.
    They should just roll again. If however, the plunging player plunges
    or the mice players pull out, they pay a penalty. If the plunging
    player plunges, all captured mice are payed one cheese. If a player
    pulls out, they pay the plunger a cheese. If the plunging player
    plunges and a player pulls out, no cheese changes hands, since both
    players were in error.

That's it, and it's a great game. The game ends when one player runs
out of cheese. The player with the most cheese is the winner.
Obviously, this is a serious twitch reflex game, but there's also the
key tactic of psyching out the other players. When you're
plunging, regular fakes are critical for both encouraging mice to
prematurely flee and to desensitize them to the plunging motion when
you do roll a 7 or 11. Further, mice players can motion as though to
flee in order to try to get their opponents to erroneously do so.

The idea sounds simple, but boy is it fun. Here's some photos of the

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