If getting captured in a winding citadel full of cranking levers, trapdoors, and various twists and turns isn’t your idea of fun, you might want to sit this one out. Fox is developing a life-sized replica of Mouse Trap for an upcoming reality competition, Deadline reports.
Rob Wade, the tactical genius behind Lego Masters and Mental Samurai, is designing a non-scripted adventure park that is said to be as physically demanding as it is mentally stimulating; players would have to contend with a supersized version of Mouse Trap with obstacles bigger than Double Dare. The goal of a game is to collect as much cheese as possible and avoid getting caught in the eponymous mouse trap, which can be manipulated with a crank to ensnare an opponent. Players would have to survive successive rounds to make it to the final battle. The participant with the most cheese, or conversely, the last player standing, wins.
Thrill-seekers interested in navigating a board game from hell would have plenty to enjoy in Mouse Trap. It’s going to be insanity on a scale that would typically make sense to mice, but is instead being built to terrify otherwise normal-sized people. It’s a nightmare scenario straight out of Alice in Wonderland, created from a board game that used to entertain children, and we couldn’t be more excited. If standard jungle gyms could be elevated to appeal to bodybuilders in American Ninja Warrior, there’s no reason Mouse Trap can’t amuse — and simultaneously horrify — adults.
Geno McDermott, President of U.S. Alternative Programming for Unscripted Television, teased audiences about Mouse Trap, among other popular children’s toys and board games, back in April. “Right when Lego Masters worked really well is when Hasbro acquired eOne, and the light bulb went off,” he said. “We have all this IP so we started developing shiny floor shows and different types of formats where we’re starting with a piece of IP instead of starting from scratch.”
The original Mouse Trap was a postwar creation by Marvin Glass, manufactured by Ideal Toy Company in 1963. It was a three-dimensional board game centered around a Rube Goldberg-type mousetrap that could be constructed from scratch. The structure incorporates elements of Ideal’s other big hit, the Rubik’s Cube, into its central mechanism, relying on careful strategy and the principles of probability to mislead players into getting caught in said nightmare citadel.
The object of a Mouse Trap match is to trap enemies on “cheese spaces” by using “trap spaces” to manipulate the mousetrap to one’s advantage. The last player standing wins. A Rube Goldberg machine is a complex web of interconnecting devices using the “snowball effect” — otherwise known as a chain reaction — to achieve the same goal. Think Dr. Emmett Brown’s dog-feeder from Back to the Future.
Mouse Trap has since evolved to include actual cheese pieces. Random triggers were hidden across the board, and the dice were replaced with a spin wheel. Players can now pull levers to activate traps instead of cranking gears. The object of every game has shifted from being the last person alive, to collecting as much cheese as possible. The Fox reality show will reportedly encourage participants to amass cheese as opposed to bagging enemies, though this could still be amended over time.
A niche section of Hollywood is no longer interested in comic book movies and live-action remakes. The great new trend is to adapt beloved toys, board games, and collectible cards into fresh IPs, from a Sunday cartoon inspired by Garbage Pail Kids to a feature film about Polly Pocket. Tara Long, Matt Walton, Matt Prichard, and Mark Herwick of Hasbro’s eOne have their pockets full with several new projects: an animated Clue, a live-action Dungeons & Dragons, a version of Risk written by House of Cards’ Beau Willimon, and a competitive Mouse Trap from Rob Wade. An Uno game show and a television version of Whac-a-Mole, courtesy of Mattel, are also on the way.