Chutes and Ladders
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
I was interested in which games were popular in a particular decade, but of course "Chutes & Ladders" has remained popular for so long because it relates to young children, not the children of a particular decade. I would certainly go along with the consensus that "Candy Land" is the first board game you buy your kids and "Chutes & Ladders" is the second.
This game has three strong qualities which recommend it to small children. The first is simplicity, so that the child can easily understand it and start playing immediately. The second is luck, so that the child has a fair chance against older siblings, babysitters, parents, grandparents and the family cat. The third is repetition, so that the child can grasp the basic structure of such games and be prepared for those board games that are rites of passage down the road as they mature. As an added bonus, "Chutes & Ladders" certainly helps young children learn their numbers.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 1999
The object of this game is to reach square 100 first, using a spinner numbered 1 through 6 to indicate how many spaces to move ahead on the board. Some of the squares are "rest" spaces -- nothing happens to the cardboard children that the players move around the board. Other spaces have chutes (more commonly known as slides) the character swoops down, back toward the beginning of the game, on which are depicted scenes of children behaving badly -- pulling a cat's tail, breaking a window, stealing cookies from the jar. Of course, there are also ladder squares, with illustrations of the children performing samaritin-esque good deeds (helping someone across a street, mowing the lawn). Each of these scenes is a narrative -- first the action, good or bad, then the consequence at the top of the ladder or at the end of the slide.
The scenes depicted are truly unobjectionable moral issues (who can argue that pulling a cat's tail is not such a good thing for a child to do?), but the randomness of the spinner removes the players a bit from the feeling that they're actually being rewarded or punished -- it's just a game, with a subtle golden-rule theme.
I played this game many, many times as a child, preferring it by far to CandyLand!
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
This is not the game you remember from your childhood. This newer version of Chutes and Ladders has a board about 3/4th of the size of the the one I had 30 years ago. The board is tiny and the squares are so small that each piece can barely fit. Because of the size, the board is way too busy- chutes and ladders run all over the board and cover the squares.

Chutes and Ladders is supposed to tell the story of choices and consequences. The illustrations in this version are so bad, and everything is so crammed, that all meaning of the game is lost. I don't even bother to point out anything to my son, I just help him keep his place.

Lastly, the spinner is horrible. You'd think a spinner would be a pretty simple design for Milton Bradley, but the arrow on the spinner covers the number. So you spin and then have no idea what number you have. I don't know how that got passed the designers, but it's pretty obvious they were counting on nostagia to sell this game.

Don't waste your money.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
As a British child, one of the games I played frequently was Snakes and Ladders. It remains one of the most popular games in Britain for young children. Many years later, I discovered that American children play this game too, but with the snakes replaced by chutes. There are other differences too (at least as far as this particular product is concerned) - the die (a simple, solid cube) used in the British game is replaced by a less durable spinner, while the counters (simple circular pieces of plastic) used in Britain to move around the board are replaced by cardboard characters that fit into plastic stands - again, much less durable than their British equivalents. Perhaps these fancy pieces are designed to make the game seem more interesting. The British game is sufficiently appealing to children without them - the snakes are colourful and much more attractive than chutes can ever be.

Aside from these differences, the British and American games are the same although the layout of the board may vary from one individual product to another. I played the game on several different boards (from different manufacturers) and the positions of the snakes and ladders certainly affected the game. On this particular American version, I can see that having three chutes close together near the end would be particularly frustrating - if a game is too difficult to finish, enthusiasm wanes somewhat.

While it certainly helps if the children playing the game recognize the numbers 1 to 100, it is also true that if they play the game often enough, they should eventually understand which way they have to move their pieces, though parents or older children may need a lot of patience while this process happens.

The result of the game is pure luck with no element of skill so, no matter how often you play, you cannot improve your chances of winning by fair play, so everybody has an equal chance. This is an advantage in a children's game - they learn all about winning and losing and the emotions involved.

This is a fun game for young children of school age. Bright children of pre-school age might also enjoy it but these children will grow out of it at an earlier age than average children.

If you buy this particular product, I recommend replacing the spinner with a die and the cardboard pieces with more durable pieces. Do that and the children will have plenty of fun.
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125 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2003
We ordered Chutes and Ladders for our four year old. He enjoys the game, but there are a few things that we don't like.
1.The child needs to be able to visually recognize the numbers 1-100, so that they know where to move. If your child, like ours, can't do this yet it becomes frustrating with having always to tell them where to move. It feels like you are playing for them. So, we play lots more Candy Land that Chutes and Ladders. So, this game probably isn't good for preschool children - unless you are willing to give them considerable help (which means no games played among just the children themselves).
2.The game pieces are made of cardboard that fits into little plastic stands. After several times of putting the cardboard into the stand the cardboad becomes compressed and will no longer stay in the stand. So, you will need to try to leave the stands on all the time, or you'll have to glue the pieces into the stands. Considering how classic a game this is and that families will play it for generations and hand it down, it would have been nice if they could have come up with better pieces (like the nice plastic pieces in Candy Land's anniversary edition).
3.In the last row of game play there are three chutes with only a couple of spaces separating them, which makes it VERY difficult for anyone to win and the game to be over. This gets annoying after a while and frustrating to little people.
So, we like this game, but it isn't our favorite. Be aware of your child's ability to recognize numbers and handle game frustration.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2001
This is not the Chutes & Ladders I remember playing as a child in the 60's. The redesigned version is hard to follow for 3-4 year olds who don't recognize written numbers up to 100 and have a hard time following the arrows for which way to go. So do mom and dad! A path rather than a grid would be much easier. The main problem is the moving pieces...they keep on moving every time the board is slightly bumped - which happens all the time with children. In other words, they tip over WAY too often, thus losing your place on the board. The designers need to do some major changes. It still is a good game for teaching children that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and for counting how many spaces to move.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2000
I remember this game when I was a kid. Now my daughter is 4 yrs. old and wants to learn to play the game. I think there is a lot of educational value to the game; there's poetential to teach a child number recognition and maybe even simple adding if they are older. My only gripe is, I wish that the spinner and playing pieces were sturdier than just cardboard. Candy Land had the right idea when they made the playing pieces out of plastic.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
That half-gallon of orange juice has been shaved down to 59 ounces. Your 8-oz. container of yogurt is now 6 oz. What used to be a half-gallon of ice cream is now 1.5 quarts. It used to be that T-shirts you purchased held up for at least a year. These days, they're paper-thin and fall apart after a single washing. And now...

I discover that even board games are not immune to shrinkage. With the cost of rising raw materials, manufacturers attempt to increase their profits without hiking their prices. A common tactic is to decrease the amount of materials used to make the product, which is what Hasbro has done.

Their strategy fails miserably with Chutes and Ladders. Did Hasbro even product-test the new version? First, I want to say, I think C&L is a great game. It's educational because it tries to teach beginner math skills and instill some morals through the pictorial depictions on the game board. I have fond memories of playing it as a preschooler during the early 1980's (yikes), but this current version, which my daughter has, fills me with annoyance every time she drags it out.

The size of the board is now 20"x15". I seem to remember it being closer to at least 24"x20" (don't quote me on that by the way, I just know that it used to be a lot bigger!) If that's true, then the playing area has been reduced by a good 40%. The base of the player pieces are now circular instead of rectangular. If two players land on the same spot, they can't both fit. I don't remember bumping into each other being an issue in the old version.

For what it's worth, Candy Land (also by Hasbro) has shrunk to 20"x15", too and now includes smaller gingerbread men playing pieces and color block cards. I'm not thrilled about that, either, but the new Candy Land is still playable. Some games can tolerate more shrinkage than others.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2003
I really like Chutes and Ladders for its educational value. It teaches children how to count to 100 and how to take turns. The pictures on the board also show the difference between cause and effect (ie: you break a dish you have to sweep it up). It is also no so very long although if you get caught up in some parts of the board it can drag on a bit. Still a very fun gave to play. Simple, no reading required.
A few problems though. It would be very nice if it was in a plastic case, that way I wouldn't have to keep taping the boxes which always seem to get broken. Also, the maekers used for keeping your place are in two pieces. It consists of a card with a boy/girl on it and a plastic piece to hold it up. I wish it were all one piece so that they wouldn't fall apart all the time when you go to move your marker. That's all though.
I still gave this game 5 stars because these problems that I have named are small compared to the fun that a family can have playing a game together!!!!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 1999
I've given this game to several of my nieces and nephews, and I've received rave reviews from to each child that I've given it.
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