Some prefer the leisurely pace of Stratego or chess to fight their battles and that’s just fine. But combat is rarely a casual occurrence, with plenty of time for the relaxed and careful calculation that these games offer. Sometimes it is an utter eruption of frenzied fighting, the fog of war as it were. Sometimes a battle was over within a few minutes, the other side left bloodied and confused, never knowing what hit them. If that’s how you liked your competition, Gnip Gnop offered all the chaos you could handle.
Parker Brother created a game that turned ping-pong inside out, hence the clever name Gnip Gnop, and although the same type of ball was used, the similarities pretty much ended there. For one thing, the playing area was enclosed in plastic, so no having to go running across the room for a errant ball. Secondly, instead of a net, the object was to get three colored balls through the three holes that divided the playing area. Just hit one or all of three buttons and the ball propels forward through the hole. Seems easy enough except for the fact that your opponent was also trying to get his three colored balls through those very same holes at the same time and this was not a game in which the meek were going to inherit the earth. The whole debacle could be decided by a simple finger cramp. With a flurry of fingers slamming the buttons on both sides simultaneously, you didn’t need strategy; you needed speed and endurance to come out alive. A quick yell of “Go!” and it was all a chaotic blur as you tried to gnip your opponent before you got gnopped.
It was a remarkably simple game, one that required no batteries, was self contained and could be played anywhere where noise wasn’t a factor. And kids Gnip-Gnopped their way through the 70s before the game was finally discontinued at the end of the decade. Luckily, a company called Fundex Games decided to revive the popular game in 2005, allowing a whole new generation of kids to enjoy the pleasures of Gnip Gnop.
Did you wage numerous wars against your peers via Gnip Gnop in your childhood? Share your battle stories with us in our comments section as we tip our hats to this well-remembered game from the 70s.