With the US presidential election a little over a month away, I decided to look for a political themed board game in my collection to play. I ended up choosing Sammy The White House Mouse Game which is a game I found at a thrift store about a year ago for like $0.50. For those of you who are not familiar with Sammy The White House Mouse (this included myself until I looked into the game), it was a 1970s children book that was written by Elizabeth St. John about a mouse that is destined to become the White House Mouse. Being a 1970s children game made by Milton Bradley I wasn’t expecting much from Sammy The White House Mouse and unfortunately the game lived up to my expectations.
How to Play
Each player chooses a playing piece and places it on the start space. Shuffle all of the cards and place them face down on the “Cards” section on the gameboard. Each player takes turns drawing cards until one player draws a golden horn card. This player will start the game.
On a player’s turn they draw one card and move their mouse to the next space that features the symbol on the card that they drew.
If a player lands on the same space as another player, the player who previously occupied that space is sent back to the previoius space that features the same symbol.
If you should run out of cards, shuffle all of the cards already used to form a new draw pile.
When a player reaches the White House space they win the game.
Being a children’s game I wasn’t expecting much out of Sammy The White House Mouse Game. Being a 1970s game it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Sammy The White House Mouse Game is a pretty typical movement game. Just like with games like Candyland you just draw cards which determines where you can move your playing piece. That is basically all there is to the game. Draw cards and see which player is luckiest to get to the end of the board first. Other than drawing the next card there is absolutely no player input or decisions to be made in the game. Just like with Candyland the outcome of the game is determined as soon as the cards are shuffled since players are unable to change their fate in the game.
In addition to having no strategy, Sammy The White House Mouse Game has other issues especially with the beginning of the game. In two games the exact same thing happened twice. One player got out to an early lead while the other players kept drawing the same symbols sending each other back to the start space. Maybe players just got unlucky but Sammy The White House Mouse Game seems to have a serious logjam problem at the beginning of the game. This logjam lead the player who got out to the early lead to breeze to victory in both games.
While the gameplay is pretty bad, another issue with Sammy The White House Mouse Game is the fact that the game’s components are pretty cheap. I have to admit that the mouse playing pieces are kind of cute and are probably the best part of the game. The gameboard’s artwork is also kind of cute. The problem is that the quality of the components outside the playing pieces is pretty bad. The gameboard is quite thin and the cards are made of pretty cheap cardboard.
So I have been pretty harsh on Sammy The White House Mouse Game but I think a lot of it is warranted since it just isn’t a very good game. I will admit that I am far from the intended audience though. The game has a recommended age of 4-8 and I didn’t play the game with any young children. While I wouldn’t recommend any adults play the game unless they are playing it with really young children, I think young children could enjoy the game. Like with Candyland, Sammy The White House Mouse Game is really easy to play. I can’t see young children having any problems with the game. I think young children would like the theme of the game as well.
Another positive with the game is that it is really short. If you play the game at a decent pace you can easily finish the game in around five minutes. I haven’t played Candyland in many years but Sammy The White House Mouse game seems to be considerably shorter than Candyland. The board doesn’t have all that many spaces so you can move through the entire board pretty quickly. The main reason why the length is a good thing for the game is that adults don’t have to endure the boredom of the game for that long.
Sammy The White House Mouse Game is clearly not a good game. The game relies entirely on luck and has no player input. The outcome of the game is determined solely by the shuffle of the cards. The game is just so boring that I can’t see it appealing to anyone except for really young children. Add in some poor component quality and Sammy The White House Mouse Game is not a good game. If I were to judge the game for adults only I would have probably given it 0-0.5 stars since I would not recommend it to any adults. The game was made for children though and I think some younger children could enjoy it. It is still not a good game though so I would probably only give the game 2-2.5 stars for young children.
It is honestly hard to recommend Sammy The White House Mouse Game even if I am clearly not in the game’s target market. If you don’t have young children the only reason to even consider picking up the game is if you are a board game collector and you can find the game for really cheap. Otherwise I would stay far away from it. If you have younger children they may get a little enjoyment out of the game. If you think the theme would appeal to them and you can find the game for really cheap it may be worth picking up.