Trapper Keeper – Prospero Hall – Review

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If you remember what they are/were and enjoy light set collection games, Trapper Keeper is a fun (enough) light game that will occupy some of your time.

Drew Vogel

MeepleGamers

7/10
Trapper Keeper - Prospero Hall - Review 1

Theme and What is it?

8/10

As anyone of (ahem) a certain age what they carried their schoolwork in when they were in elementary-to-middle-school, and odds are they’ll tell you a Trapper Keeper brand loose leaf folder. It was a very popular brand in the US, Latin America, and Canada from the 1970s-1990s. 

Prospero Hall, no stranger to IP-based games, has made an entertaining, light game with Trapper Keeper as the theme.

Perhaps the most eye-catching part of this design is that the game comes in a miniature Trapper Keeper, complete with Velcro closure. But open the game, and you’ll discovery that there’s a fun little game here as well.

Gameplay Mechanics

8/10

This is a set-collection game, pure-and-simple. All the School Paper cards are dealt out into a 3×3 grid, with each pile containing 9 face down cards. The top card of each stack is turned face up, and players take turns collecting either one column or one row of cards, or they can use the special Bell Cards (which also function as the game’s timer) to pick up cards in a pattern different than row-or-column. The cards selected are all placed into one side or the other of the player’s Trapper Keeper (they don’t fit very well, but that’s the thematic tie-in).

When there are three or fewer School Papers showing face up, the entire grid is refreshed.

At the end of each round, a new Bell Card is revealed. When the last Bell Card is revealed, the final round of the game begins.

Scoring is simple, and the provided score sheets walk you through the scoring of Doodles, School Papers, Notes, Quizzes, and Signature Cards. Signature Cards pair with either Report Cards or Field Trip Slips to activate their scoring. It’s well explained in the rule book.

Trapper Keeper - Prospero Hall - Review 2

Initial Impressions

7.5/10

Nostalgia certainly attracted me to this title. I carried Trapper Keepers when I was a schoolboy. Closer examination showed it to be a Prospero Hall game. I trust that studio — I know what I’m getting into — typically, IP-based games with a simple, solid mechanic and maybe a novel mechanic or two. This game did not disappoint. It knows what it is, and stays in its lane.

Trapper Keeper - Prospero Hall - Review 3

Game Build Quality

6.5/10

It’s only cards, which are of decent quality (they’re somewhat flimsy, but with such a light game, I wouldn’t bother sleeving them), Trapper Keeper folders, a scorepad, a cardboard first player marker (an apple), and a pencil. Quality is fine for what it is.

Trapper Keeper - Prospero Hall - Review 4

Artistic Direction

7.5/10

There isn’t a ton of art, but the theme is persistent & clearly realized throughout the game. Everything fits toward the school theme, and it works.

Trapper Keeper - Prospero Hall - Review 5

Fun Factor

7/10

It’s a set collection game on par with Cat Lady. If you enjoy set collection games with an accessible theme, either this game or Cat Lady will scratch that itch well. If you don’t like set collection or don’t remember Trapper Keeper, you probably won’t enjoy this game.

Trapper Keeper is a good beginning-of-game-night game, or a longish filler. We had fun playing it.

Trapper Keeper - Prospero Hall - Review 6

The age range is 8+, and it’s certainly playable by kids that age. I don’t know if Trapper Keeper is still a “thing” for that age group. But their parents will enjoy playing it.

This is a really light game.

Trapper Keeper - Prospero Hall - Review 7

Conclusions

7/10

If you remember what they are/were and enjoy light set collection games, Trapper Keeper is a fun (enough) light game that will occupy some of your time.