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Flashback Thursday - The crazy games of my youth

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25 Mar 2021 02:23 #321191 by KingPut
Flashback Thursday:
For some strange reason I was thinking back at my childhood and thinking about some of the unusual games me and my sister played. Yeah, Risk, D&D, Monopoly and Clue were super influential in our life and I'm still going to therapy for the fucked up brain damage shit Uba came up with when we played Mastermind. But I was thinking about some of the trippy games from the 1970s.

Happiness Happiness Milton Bradley 1972 embraced the hippy world around them to create the Happiness game. I remember you had to complete 5 or 6 different happiness feats to win the game. Looking at the board, it reminds you of something from the Beatles Yellow Submarine movie.

Ecology: Game of Man & Nature. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/7458/ecology-game-man-nature
Wow this was a super heady Euro / Phil Eklund style game. From 1970 - Way before it's time. But a super random game. In this game you start in the stone age and you could work your way to the atomic age and draw a card that blow you up and you have to start back in the stone age.

Well not so trippy but still an under rated game was Careers. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/7458/ecology-game-man-nature . Yes it was a roll in move game developed in 1955 but the secretly planning your goals between fame, money and hearts was really cool and before it's time.

A couple of other fun games that I remember playing as a kid included Which Witch 1970, Masterpiece 1970 and the Gambler 1975.

Anyone else have some gaming gems from childhood?
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25 Mar 2021 06:03 #321192 by Erik Twice
Weirdly enough, I played Escape from Colditz as a kid. Sadly, it does not work very well with just a couple kids. Ideally you would play it with 5 or 6.
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25 Mar 2021 08:19 #321195 by the_jake_1973
Growing up in the metro Detroit area, Beat Detroit was one we played since it was a bit of a hometown thing.

We were partial to Careers, Breaker 19, Life, Mastermind, and lots of Backgammon.

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25 Mar 2021 10:16 #321207 by Shellhead
My family was really into the classic family board games: Clue, Sorry, Aggravation, Monopoly, Stratego, Battleship, Risk, Life, Scrabble, Boggle, Chinese Checkers, and Pit. But my dad somehow randomly decided to buy Acquire, and that became the official game of my childhood. Board gaming wasn't a hobby yet, so there weren't any public venues for playing board games with strangers, aside from Chess. First he taught my mom to play, but it wasn't a good 2-player game. So he taught me to play at age 5, and we averaged about one game a month until I went off to college. Anytime we had company, my dad tried to get guests to play, and Acquire came along on all our family vacations.

Then my dad started buying other board games that were a little off the beaten track, as Christmas presents for me. I never really got the hang of Battle Cry, so he taught the doctor next door how to play. But Dogfight was a big hit, and we played it until the cards got beat up. My dad eventually bought me Panzer Blitz, my first war game.

My mom was a big fan of puzzles and murder mysteries, and that's how our family became obsessed with Mastermind for a couple of years. We got a couple of the Mastermind variants, too, but they were a little too hard to be fun.
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25 Mar 2021 10:24 #321210 by Shellhead
I just remembered an odd one that we played a lot for a few years: The Magnificent Race. The theme was about a race around the Earth. There was a roll and move board, and money. Periodically, someone would land on a space that would trigger a racing event. Each player would place from 1 to 5 marbles in this device that was like a cross between a roulette dish and a bowl. Someone would spin the device, and the marbles would travel around and around until finally it slowed to a stop and one marble would end up in a divot next to the knob in the center. The interesting catch was that there was an NPC racer named Dastardly Dan who had his own purple marble in every race. And I suspect that purple marble was slightly heavier than the player marbles, because Dastardly Dan won a disproportionate number of those races. In at least 90% of our games, Dastardly Dan won the whole game instead of one of the players.

One of my mom's favorite board games was Stop Thief!, which was a neat deduction game using a board and a handheld electronic device that gave audio clues about the thief's movement. It was a great game until the electronic device broke down.

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25 Mar 2021 11:11 - 25 Mar 2021 15:46 #321213 by southernman
That's a long waaay back to remember - here goes. Wargames for the young boys of Dogfight and Hit the Beach, and we must have had a copy of Battleships at some stage. Detective game called Manhunt that was I suppose Clue but you had to visit parts of a city and consult a 'scanner' that read a simple punch card for the case, also had some type of battery powered 'computer' that was basically a plastic box with dials that went around but computers did not exist in the mid-70s so it probably seemed amazing. Mastermind was around and then, around mid-teens, a mate had this mining economy game called Coober Pedy that had a bit of tactics/strategy in like buying machinery to help mine more plus there was some stockmarket game buying shares and the market prices could go up and down. Also mid-teens I discovered strategy and rpg games in some scifi mags I would read and got games like Stellar Conquest, Godsfire, Magic Realm sent over from the US along with Tunnels & Trolls Solo dungeon books - but the problem with living in a very small town in a rural area is that I never found anyone to play them so only got into the Tunnels & Trolls solo stuff. Then I left home for my first job at 17 and discovered alcohol and pubs and parties and women and travel, and that was gaming done with for twenty odd years.

Update: Ah_Pook kickstarted my memory, I also had Dungeon in the group of imported games from the US and it was simple, and fun, enough to play with my younger siblings.
Last edit: 25 Mar 2021 15:46 by southernman.
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25 Mar 2021 11:20 - 25 Mar 2021 11:24 #321214 by Ah_Pook
@Shellhead I believe Restoration Games did a new version of Stop Thief a year or two ago, if you're interested in revisiting it. No idea what changed or if it was good etc.

The two big ones from my youth were Dungeon and By Jove. Dungeon is a very basic dungeon crawl published by TSR in the early 80s. The board art and the crazy monsters really blew my mind when I was like 6. My brothers and I played this game tons. By Jove was a pretty basic roll and move game from what I remember, but it was themed around ancient Greek myths. It had really cool art and cards, and came with a big book of Greek myths so you could read more about the stuff featured on the board. This one would almost assuredly not hold up, but I loved it as a kid. That book of myths was super cool.

You can see some examples of the board art here, and I still think it looks pretty cool :)
boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3028/jove/images
Last edit: 25 Mar 2021 11:24 by Ah_Pook.
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25 Mar 2021 11:29 - 25 Mar 2021 12:03 #321215 by ubarose
Oh gosh, we played so many board games when we were kids.

Happiness was probably the trippiest, with that hand with the little metal balls inside.

Class was probably the strangest. We got it at a garage sale. You drew cards that made you make choose between moving up or down the social ladder, and losing or gaining happiness as a result. We were too young to get the jokes, but our dad would chuckle, so I thought he really liked the game. Also it had very cool heart tokens. Wonder whatever happened that game. I'm guessing our parents chucked it when they moved.

Breakthru wasn't crazy, but it had those really cool metal pieces. I remember playing this one quite a bit.

After looking at the pictures Ecology, I absolutely remember the box/cards/money, but I have absolutely no memory of playing it. Although I think we got it at the same garage sale we got Class at.

Mostly, I remember King Put always winning at everything, except Master Mind. And also our Dad buying a copy of Hoyle so we would stop getting into fights over the rules to card games.
Last edit: 25 Mar 2021 12:03 by ubarose.

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25 Mar 2021 11:35 #321216 by ubarose

Ah_Pook wrote: The two big ones from my youth were Dungeon and By Jove.


No way. A friend just gave us an old copy of By Jove a couple of months ago. We had never seen it before. We tried donating it to a school, but even the school doesn't want it.
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25 Mar 2021 11:40 #321218 by hotseatgames
We played a lot of Clue when I was a kid. We lost the knife, so our box featured an actual butter knife in it.

I then moved on to Electronic Detective, which was a really awesome deduction game, although I seem to recall a very odd facet to every case. There were two possible weapons, a 9mm handgun and a .45 caliber. Only one was of course the murder weapon, but BOTH guns could be located in each case. Strange. I still have the game and I assume it still works. I should see how much these things are worth these days.
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25 Mar 2021 11:50 #321220 by ubarose

hotseatgames wrote: We played a lot of Clue when I was a kid. We lost the knife, so our box featured an actual butter knife in it.


We lost the pipe and the rope, so our pipe was a long machine screw and our rope was a piece of twine that our dad knotted up with some kind of fancy sailor's knot.
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25 Mar 2021 11:54 #321221 by ubarose
Just remembered a couple more.

Sub Search - Like 3D battle ship. It was cool until the puppy peed on it.

We also had some game with a helicopter with a hook on a wire that you maneuvered to pick things up. The game sucked, but it was fun to make the helicopter fly around.
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25 Mar 2021 12:06 #321224 by ChristopherMD
In the I think early 80's I had a game based on Kohs Block Design Test using the red-white cubes. It had a four-sided tower that spun with a design printed on cards you insert. You had to match the design with your cubes before the tower spun it from your sight. It wasn't until later in life that I learned it was based on an intelligence test. I ultimately found it too easy so stopped playing it. Never been able to find the name of it since.
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25 Mar 2021 13:10 #321227 by the_jake_1973
I totally forgot the many games of Stop Thief that were played. What a great early 'app driven' game.

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25 Mar 2021 13:48 - 25 Mar 2021 13:49 #321230 by Smeagol
My cousins had Shadowlord, which we played to death along with Dungeon and RISK.

One summer all the TSR strategy (minigames?) games went on sale at KB toys for 1 dollar or so each and that dominated our summer at least and competed with dnd for time for about a year.

I was still regularly playing revolt on antares through my college years.
Last edit: 25 Mar 2021 13:49 by Smeagol. Reason: not sure what those plastic clamshell games were called back then
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