Colonel Mustard In The Lounge With The Chainsaw

Err. . .that last part might not be right.

It seems like most people are more interested in playing Wii, PlayStation, or Guitar Hero these days. Which I’m sure are all enjoyable, but I miss old-fashioned board games. As illustrated in this blog, I can be quite a dork, so this should come as no surprise.

Sitting around the table with the board game spread out in front of everyone. Everyone choosing which piece/color/character they’re going to be. Drawing cards, performing tasks, making decisions, physically moving your piece around the board. The physical exertion, the actual touch of game pieces, and interacting with other human beings face-to-face are all aspects that make game night and board games an enjoyable and nostalgic feat.

It should come as no surprise, either, that I love words. I play Scrabble-esque games on my phone with friends, but it’s just not the same. I love the board. I love the clink of the letter tiles. I love the feel of the tiles between my fingers, and their smell. I love placing each tile on a square on the board. I also love actually adding up the score of the word(s) I play. It’s convenient that the phone or online versions do most of the work for you, but I do enjoy using my brain and miss that aspect. Playing the game in real life also makes you think more about your letters and the words you can play. In the phone and online versions you can place letters on the board and it shows you if it’s an acceptable word or not. In real life, you have to know the word, and you have to be sure before you place it on the board. More brain muscle is used in the real life version. There is no automation to lean on.

I accuse you, sir, of murder! The ultimate “who done it” game, Clue, has always intrigued me. Maybe it’s the little weapons. Maybe it’s the colorfully named characters. Maybe it’s the idea of being in a big gloomy mansion with a murderer. Maybe it’s the ridiculous 1985 movie starring Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, and Christopher Lloyd, among others. Whatever the reasoning, I love Clue. Here is another game that let’s you use your brain, a game of reasoning, deduction, and strategy. Trying to outsmart your opponents, accusations, and racing to be the first to figure it out are all a part of this role playing and fun game. And how cool are those mini weapons? I thought it was worth mentioning again.

The chance to make decisions and take risks, all while your plastic pegged little person enjoys the ride in his or her plastic car, that you might not normally take in real life is one of the great aspects of The Game of Life. You grab your colored car, snuggly fit your person in to start the journey, and start choosing which paths to take. Do you go to college or get a job right away? When will you get a raise? Do you buy a bigger home? Do you take the family path or the risky? The one thing about this game that I find amusing (and a little irritating), is that it MAKES you get married, you have no choice. Toward the end of the game, you may have a car full of children pegs, you may be a millionaire, you may be a best-selling author, you may run for Congress. . .wait, I just remembered how depressed this game makes me. It exposes just how unexciting my life is, and the things I haven’t accomplished. Thanks a lot, Life.

Twister (maybe not exactly a board game) might be considered a child’s game, only for the young and limber, but I still love this one. This one stretches your ability to, well, stretch. It is silly, it is absurd, and it can induce fits of giggling. Everyone may collapse on top of one another, but that is just one of the highlights of this game. You might have your right hand on red, your left foot on green, and your left hand under your left leg on another green when the spinner whirls around and lands on right foot red, this could cause you to perform your best pretzel imitation. Can you handle it? My gangly monkey arms and giraffe legs make me a natural at this game. I will accept anyone’s challenge in Twister!

These are just a few of the games I love playing and wish I had the opportunity to play more. Monopoly, Dominoes, Yahtzee, Trivial Pursuit, Masterpiece, and Sorry! are ones I would love to partake in, as well. But if anyone really wants make me happy (and I do have a birthday coming up in a few months), I would love to have the Fraggle Rock board game. I remember my great-aunt Helen had this game at her house. We would play it every time we went to visit her. And yes, I know it says it’s for ages 6-12, but like speed limits, that’s just a suggestion. Who doesn’t love the Fraggles!?

So grab your dice, your favorite colored game piece, and let’s get gaming! Who’s going first?

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8 thoughts on “Colonel Mustard In The Lounge With The Chainsaw

  1. Growing up, every Christmas our family would recive a new board game from ‘Santa’ my parents (or rather Santa) continued this tradition well into our late teens. We’d save it for after dinner when we’d all had our fill of our individual gifts and settle down to play together, we’d carry on all night, but then it would be stowed away in a wardrobe to never see the light of day again.

    Clue was always Cluedo in the UK, I wonder why they changed it? I expect many are adapted to the intended market, I thought this for Monopoly as London streetnames would mean nothing to other countries, so was shocked to read it was an American game originally after a quick Wikipedia search. I would have proclaimed that game as our own!

    Great post – I always enjoy reading your entries

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    • Thank you. πŸ™‚ Aw, the games were only enjoyed for a day? My parents still have a hallway closet full of games, stacked up on the top shelf, collecting dust. I always contemplate stealing them when I go back, but they don’t usually fit in my suitcase. It is interesting how they change games and such to adapt to different regions or countries. In terms of Clue, Americans might be too lazy to pronounce the ‘o’ at the end? That’s my best guess, hahaha.

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  2. Huge board game fan. Played all the ones you displayed (except Fraggle Rock, but I will admit to watching a couple of episodes). At the peak of popularity with Trivial Pursuit, my wife and I would engage in marathon sessions with friends that lasted for hours on end. Well done!

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    • Thank you! Trivial Pursuit is one of the tough ones! Dp you still play? I have never played that one as an adult, and I remember being a kid, and always wondering how people would know the answers to those questions. I definitely remember reading the cards to try and make myself smarter. Not sure how much it helped! πŸ™‚

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    • That sounds like a fun day! When I was younger, our family would play numerous games of Yahtzee and rummy. It was such a good time! I don’t know how to play Parcheesi and I never had a Spirograph, but Shrinky Dinks were seriously cool, still are!

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  3. I was a huge board game fan. (I made several of my own as a kid and would love to again, but that’s another story) I’d love to get my hands on Fraggle Rock as I still ironically watch the odd episode late at night (while half baked) on a Retro Cartoon channel.

    A few lesser known games that were my favourites include:

    Stop Thief: Part game. Part puzzle. You were a detective trying to catch a crook on a crime spree. Except you didn’t know where he was on the map. An electronic thingie gave you sound effects of walking, riding subways and broken glass. You had to figure out the patter and get there first to claim the reward. Unfortunately the fun stopped when I broke the electronic thingie throwing it at my brother’s head one day.

    Titanic: With the aid of some interesting game design, the ship is literally going down. You have to rescue as many passengers as you can and make it to the lifeboats before the passageways get cut off.

    The Great Game of Canada: Absolutely impossible to fathom these days, but little Canadian companies produced board games exclusively for Canadians. This gem was probably the best game I ever played. Using planes, trains, automobiles and dogsleds, you had to visit your 5 random (secret to others) Canadian cities before your competition visited theirs. Special cards gave you the power to do things like block opponents using the train with strikes or the roads with, yup, a snowstorm. Almost anything could happen. Including getting kids to learn geography and a few facts about Canadian cities while having fun. (It’s the only game listed here I was able to save from my evil parents’ cleaning sprees. Killjoy bastards!)

    With some exceptions (games aimed at board game geeks) today’s boards games suck. Walk into any board game section of a store and you’ll see 60 different versions of Monopoly, various (cheaper made) versions of some classics, but the rest seem to be trivia or paper-thin premise games that are usually just cross promotional cash-grabs.

    Ironically, one of the better games I ever had was the 1976 Happy Days game. It played very well. It was about winning or loosing “Cool Points” by getting dates, being embarrassed or praised at school or winning the drag races run down the centre of the board. Quick moving fun.

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