Friday, June 27, 2014

A Sampling of Old School Games

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we are constantly on the lookout for games that we can play for fun.  Recently, I was able to play different “old school” games, many from my childhood.  Indeed, I spent hours playing Clue and Battleship.  To this day, Clue is one of my favorite games--it hasn't changed over the years and I enjoy it as much today as I did when I was twelve.  Like Clue, some of the games hold up well and are just as fun to play today as twenty or thirty years ago, some not so much. 

Let us take a trip down memory lane.

Perfection, Lakeside
This dexterity and shape recognition game pits players to be the quickest to fit all the shapes into the matching holes in the tray that pops up.  Set the timer, and press down the tray. Are you quick enough to match all 25 shapes before time runs out and the pieces go POP? A snap to learn, Perfection is tough to play.  The board for the game is a 5x5 grid with 25 shapes.

Battleship, Milton Bradley
Each player deploys his ships (of lengths varying from 2 to 5 squares) secretly on a square grid. Then each player shoots at the other's grid by calling a location. The defender responds by "Hit!" or "Miss!". You try to deduce where the enemy ships are and sink them. First to do so wins.  Players call out from 1 to 5 shots at a time depending on the amount of ships the player has left Players each start off with 5 ships, so they start off with 5 shots. As ships are sunk, the players get fewer shots. This version of the game is closer to the original pencil-and-paper public domain game.

Snake Eyes, Selchow & Righter
A casino game that is open to any number of players. The game has levers labeled from one to nine. Initially all the levers are in the 'up' position.  The first player rolls two dice. They then knock down the levers as dice are rolled.  The player's score is the total value of the numbers left uncovered. All the levers are then raised again, and play passes to the next player.

Trial of the Century, Companion Games
A spoof of the legal system, the media, and law & order. Players (as lawyers for the prosecution or defence) attempt to win their case while hindering the case of the other players. The humour comes from the illustrations, and the game mechanics. Based on the O.J. Simpson-trial, complete with a bloody glove card.

Careers, Parker Brothers
Devised by sociologist James Cooke Brown, players have set victory conditions in order to win. A secret "Success Formula" consists of a minimum amount of fame, happiness and money that the player must gain. Players set their own victory conditions before the game begins. Victory points can be obtained more quickly on occupation paths and each has more opportunities for certain types of victory points than others.

Clue, Parker Brothers
For generations, around the world, Mr. Boddy has met his end at the hand of one of six infamous suspects in this family game. As you search the mansion's nine rooms and secret passages, be on the lookout for those murderous suspects. And watch out for those deadly weapons. The mystery changes every time you play. If you can collect the right clues and make the right deductions, you'll solve the mystery and win.

*All product descriptions are from the manufacturer.

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