Let’s see if I can squeeze this in before I inevitably lose power. Why will I lose power? Well if you haven’t heard, New England is getting its first hurricane in 20 years. Bad news for sure, but it certainly presents an opportunity to make an otherwise pointless article somewhat relevant. You know what you’ll find on most hurricane prep lists? Board games. Yes, the old staples of world before video games and smart phones, these types of games can provide endless entertainment for the time you’re without power. I should say, I don’t recommend any of the following games unless they’re all you have. If you have the choice of any game, get Scribblish.
The game that dares to ask the question: How many marbles can this wet paper towel hold before it tears? It’s for the kid with no discernible board game related talents, a game that is won purely by luck. Do not be proud of yourself, winners of Thin Ice, you have achieved nothing, you have learned nothing, your victories are hollow.
Mentally, I lump this game in with Don’t Break the Ice, Ants in the Pants and Don’t Spill The Beans, as one of those cheaper board games that doesn’t even technically involve a board. I’m pretty sure they were all made by the same company. Looking back, I now realize I’m just being unfairly harsh to games that were designed for 3-5 year olds. I refuse, however, to feel bad for what I’ve done, and you can’t make me.
Speaking of games without boards that are won entirely on luck, it’s Rock Jocks. The only board game based around the thrilling sport of rock climbing. Actually, it’s more based around going rock climbing, having your safety cable snap and then holding on for dear life, praying you don’t fall. In the game, this scenario also involves mountain goats, eagles and yetis jumping on your back, because nature hates you and has decided it is your time to die.
The game is pretty straight forward; you weigh down your elastic armed rock climber with whatever animals the cards determine for you, and the first one to fall off loses. Let me tell you from experience, those suckers can hold a lot of weight. I’ve had one of the climbers stretch so far that he touched the ground. Looking back, that should be grounds for immediate victory. Work it into your rules if you still have Rock Jocks, and your climbers stretchy arms haven’t dried out to the point that adding too much weight turns it into 127 Hours: The Board Game
Ask Zandar is a game for people who thought the Magic 8-Ball lacked direction. Or it’s just yet another game designed to capitalize off the idea that teenage girls will buy anything that answers life’s important questions. You know, like “Does Bobby like me?” or “Will I drop out of high school and have 3 kids by the time I’m 22?” The game lacks any real challenge, all you do is predict his answers and if you guess the most correct, Zandar reads you a special fortune. Really, you just draw a card with a subject like “A boy you like” and Zandar makes a vague statement about it.
True story, my sister owned the game and Zandar’s predictions never came true. Also, I eventually decided to liberate him from his plastic dome prison and I got not a single word of thanks. I did the only logical thing in the face of such ungratefulness, I severed his hand and kept his crystal ball as a trophy.
Like most people, I don’t really remember the game itself, but I sure remember it’s commercial jingle. When I recite it, I’m so precise that I even include the joy filled “Yeah! Yeah!” heard at the end of the ad. Go big or go home, am I right?
From what I can gather, Cross Fire involves shooting ball bearings at a couple objects in the middle of the board. The goal is to use your ball bearings to push the object into your opponent’s goal. So it’s like tiny, violent, metallic air hockey. I’m really only including this one because of it’s absolutely epic commercial. After watching the ad, one has to wonder what sort of terrible futuristic punishment the loser was subjected to after seemingly disappearing out of existence. I like to think he’s now trapped in some sort of Superman 2 style prison, floating through space.
Don’t Wake Daddy
The game that shows you to sneak out of your house late at night, it’s Don’t Wake Daddy. Granted, in this game the object is simply to sneak into the kitchen and get a midnight snack, but it’s not hard to see how this game is just a training a generation of future delinquents. It’s a simple concept, get from your room to the kitchen, without causing the giant daddy character to wake up. Whether or not he wakes up is determined by how much noise you make while you’re sneaking around, which is based on how many noise cards and squares you land on.
Really though, I think this game was a repressed cry for help from its creator. Whoever made this game clearly lived in fear of their father. It’s obvious their house was so strict that even something as small as a snack past their bed time would be grounds for swift and presumably horrible punishment. It’s very likely that “Don’t Wake Daddy; Or He’s Going to Tie You to a Radiator and Beat You with a Belt” was the original title for the game. Well that was grim. Um…they also made a version of this game featuring Marvel Comic’s Hulk!
Well, stay safe out there everyone! I hope your hurricane activities involve better board games than these!