Multi-Level Snakes & Ladders

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

We don’t usually feature simple roll and move games on Board’s Eye View but this 3D take on the popular children’s game literally stood out.

Yes, it’s Snakes & Ladders and it plays in exactly the same way as the regular two-dimensional version: roll dice, move, go up any ladders you land on and go down any snakes. Players are trying to be the first to get to the square marked 100, and they have to land there on an exact roll.

There’s enough going on for this to engage the interest of younger children, though few adults will be entertained by a game where players have no agency whatsoever: you move precisely where the dice tell you and you have no decisions to take or opportunity to exercise any choices or judgement.

Still, it’s fun to see a three-dimensional version of the game. In Multi-Level Snakes & Ladders, the player counters are replaced with marbles which fit into the recesses on each square. On snake squares, however, the hole is wider than the marble and so the player’s piece slides down to a square on a lower level. In the US, the traditional board game is more commonly known as Chutes & Ladders and that would perhaps have been more appropriate here because the marbles quite literally descend and run along a chute. In a rather nice touch, several of the chutes are partially concealed so players aren’t sure in advance where their marble will end up.

The multi-level board takes a while to assemble. It’s not difficult but it is likely to be too fiddly for children who are of an age where they will most enjoy playing this game. The components are mostly cardboard and the board will need assembling and disassembling with some care so as to avoid damage. It probably has a limited life before the cardboard gives in to fatigue, but by then your children will probably have progressed to more challenging games.

Multi-Level Snakes & Ladders isn’t going to win any awards for game play but it has great novelty value, and maybe nostalgia value too for adults with fond memories of their long-lost youth.

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