Snakes and Ladders has been around for a long time and there are so many different versions out there - giant mats, cloth editions, small board games and more. Cardinal Industries has produced one that comes in a durable storage tin.
Snakes and Ladders in a tin
The tin is quite large, at around 27cm by 16.5cm. I don't think this size is actually necessary, as the game takes up hardly any room inside. In fact, for me, it only served to cause disappointment when I first opened it and saw the game looking so small inside.
However, Snakes and Ladders is only one of a number of games Cardinal produces in these tins, so the size may be justified by some of the other games in the Classic Games range, which also includes Checkers and Bingo.
Inside the tin
Once I got over my initial disappointment with the game, I realised that it isn't actually that small. Unfold the board and it's full size, at around 30.5cm by 30.5cm, and made of pretty sturdy cardboard. You also get four plastic playing pieces and a die.
In addition to the game, there is a single slip of paper which provides you with instructions in both French and English (it's hardly very impressive, again, but who needs more information on Snakes and Ladders?)
The game comes with a board, four playing pieces, a die and instructions
I hadn't played Snakes and Ladders in a while when I got the Cardinal tin out and I ended up thoroughly enjoying the simplicity of it, though the game did last for longer than I expected as neither I, nor my opponent, could get past a particular section of snake heads for quite a while.
Playing the game
The one thing I would change about this Cardinal edition of Snakes and Ladders is the placement of some of the snakes. I'm not referring to the area that ultimately caused me to lose the game (sections like that ensure it has an element of unpredictability). Instead, I'm talking about the way some of the snake heads are placed in relation to the squares around them.
Sometimes, it can be ambiguous which square is the one you need to avoid. My opponent and I were good sports and willing to go down the snakes even if it was unclear if that was necessary, but I can imagine more competitive people might find themselves in arguments about whether they are safe on their square or not.
Some of the snake heads are not clearly limited to one square
While Cardinal's Snakes and Ladders in a Tin wasn't what I expected when I opened it, I think it's definitely a decent purchase all the same. You won't pay much - I got mine for less than $10.00 - and the storage tin means it should last for ages.