Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More Thrift Store Archaeology

Right! You know the deal. Let's get started.

Game name: Chit Chat: The HUGH DOWNS game of Conversation
Acquisition: Discovered in my Grandpa's stack of aging board games
Description: Hold on a second while I google HUGH DOWNS. Basically, you get cards with words dealt to you. You have to make a statement using those cards. People are allowed to challenge those statements, which results in a mini debate. Points are scored by making the statements, and by successfully challenging them. Ignoring some mechanics, but that's the basics. One player plays the "controller" who keeps the game moving along. Not a true Game Master, just making sure the rules are followed, not actively making decisions about the game.
The Gimmick: Did I mention this game was made by HUGH DOWNS?
Interesting Mechanics: Probably the best way to make a board game fun is to encourage interactions between players. This game is entirely based around that. It gets people to say something silly and then argue about that. Seems like an excellent mechanic to me. Also, the spinner used to track turns comes attached to the rulebook, an admirable restraint in the use of materials.
Useful Parts: Well, there are two decks of cards with uniform backs and only a single letter printed on the front. Might be useful, but I think I'd rather collect scrabble tiles.
Other Notes: Guinness record for most hours on network commercial television? Shudder. Shudder I say.

There's an old, battered cigar box containing a hopefully complete set of chess, checkers pieces. Gonna hold onto those, might need to get a better box.

Game Name: Scrabble brand Sentence Cube Game
Description: The game is a set of 21 wooden dice with various words printed on them. You put them all in the leather shaker, roll them out and attempt to build sentences in a crossword pattern in the given time. Points are scored for using your words and the length of the sentences built.
The Gimmick: You can figure out how the game works from looking at the box. It's a word puzzle game, and if you're into that sort of thing, you're into this game.
Interesting Mechanics: Eh, I like word puzzle games. This one is playable, but there's not exactly a lot to export.
Usable parts: Pretty much everything but the box. A dice cup is always nice, and I'm pretty sure there's a gag for dice with words printed on them.
Other notes: None

Game Name: Probe, the Parker Brother's Game of words.
Description: Before I even open the box, there's a piece of masking tape on the front that reads "2.00; without instructions". Looks like grandpa got this one at a garage sale, and overpaid at that. Not that easy to learn a game with out the instructions. On the other hand, I've got google at my disposal. Hmm... It looks like glorified Go Fish. You set out the words letter by letter, and people get to ask you whether you have any Qs. They get points and more guesses based on guessing correctly.
Interesting Mechanics: Not really
The Gimmick: From the rules "The 384 cards in this game provide more combinations of letters than any other word game." Guess they're trying to out scrabble scrabble.
Usable Parts: Gonna keep this one mostly together. These decks of letter cards are in a lot better condition than the previous set.
Other notes: Made it this far without making any alien probe jokes.

A stack of assorted game boards, mostly chess and checkers boards in really beaten up condition.

A box of assorted game pieces. Let's see what it contains:

Game Name: Trail Drive: an original card game
Description: The game is supposed to simulate a cattle drive. You start a drive by playing a chuck wagon and two cowboys, then continue it with as many cattle as you can muster. Other players can play rustlers to stop you from laying more cattle. You can deal with that by either using a sheriff on the rustlers or start a new drive.
The Gimmick: It's a kids game about cowboys. Cowboys really don't get a lot of respect in the modern world of entertainment.
Interesting mechanics: Well, building something is always interesting. The rules are pretty simple though, don't expect too much.
Usable parts: Gonna keep this one together, maybe foist it off on unsuspecting friends with small children.

An old Cootie game board, a set of bingo cards and markers, some barrels from that Game I mentioned last time, a couple minor toys, a refrigerator magnet, half a pickup stick, three bills of play money, and a bunch of cards. They've got pictures of people with a country listed and what's supposed to be traditional garb. I think they're singing "it's a small world after all" but I can't be sure. All in all, one large heap of junk.

Other notes: I'm prejudiced against this box, I accidentally dumped it out on two different driveways and had to pick up all the fiddlin' little pieces.

Here's a parcheesi box with the board, the rules for clue and nothing else. Gonna keep the board.

A chess set with pieces and no board to go with the stacks of boards I've found.

Game name: The classic Space Tic Tac Toe game
Description: Yes, they're selling tic tac toe in a box. ONly in this version, instead of a 3x3 grid you get a 4x4x4 volume, with four plastic boards stacked on one another. The rules aren't with the box, but I presume that you're attempting to get a line of four in any of the three dimensions.
The Gimmick: What about this game doesn't scream gimmick?
Interesting mechanic: Well, the idea of a board game in three dimensions is interesting, but I've yet to see it done well enough to make up for the awkwardness of the board design. Hmm...
Usable pieces. A bunch of chips. The framework itself is suprisingly sturdy, I might keep the three levels of it I can assemble.
Other notes: None

Game name: Rock and Roll (?)
It's a dice cup with eight custom dice. No rules to be found. And a name like 'Rock and Roll' doesn't lend itself to easy googling. Gonna hold on to it for now, maybe I'll find something out.

Next we've got a whole stack of loose game boards, with nary a piece or rulebook to explain them.

Game name: Game of the States
Gah! shiny! Anyway, with just the board I've got a good looking map of the U.S. with state names, State Capitals and various products. I gather the original game was about trucking, but without any of the pieces or anything I'm free to use it as I wish. Gonna hold onto this board, colorful maps have held a fascination with me since I was at least three.

Game name: McHale's navy game:
Looks like a "run around the board" sort of game. It's a franchise game. With just the board, I dunno, I might hang it on my wall.

Game name: Easy Money
Looks like a ripoff of Monopoly. Gonna toss it. Although any board that includes a space with the instructions "Take Hospital Money" makes me smile. Someone's gotta oppress those widows and orphans.

Go to the head of the class. A game for young achievers apparently. I doubt I'd hold onto it even if the board was in better condition. Same with the Woody Woodpecker game.

An old time clue board. Neat. Two old monopoly boards, one is enough and I've got plenty already, a scrabble Junior board...

The buccaneers game. Looks like a race between pirates and non-pirates. looks pretty boring for anyone over six.

And lastly: Pirate and Traveller: a world geography game. Folded up in this board is the top of the box, which has been cut out and saved since they printed the rules on the reverse.
Description: The board is laid out with major cities and spaces between them on a world map. In the first part of the game you act as a traveller, moving from one destination to another. once someone completes ten destinations (chosen by cards) they get to yell "Pirates All" and suddenly everyone's a pirate. Pirates attempt to move their loot to greenland, apparently because they hope to retire in it's balmy weather.
The Gimmick: This game is marketed at parents, it does a plenty good job of teaching kids the relative placement of Leningrad and Peiping. Err.. most of the spaces are still accurate. I'm always suspicious with educational games, but this one looks pretty fun.
Interesting mechanics: Not really.
usable parts: none. the board and box top are in such bad condition that I'm not going to try to salvage anything from them.
Other notes: Any game where you can get eaten by cannibals can't be all that bad.

Would you believe I've still got bored games to go through? Gonna have to do more of this another time.

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