Some games are fun and laid back. Some games make you use your intellect. Some are games of chance. And some games just stress you out. Pretty much, if a game had a timer, that was an indication that this was going to be a stressful game. And Perfection not only had a timer, but it would throw your pieces at you if you didn’t do what you were supposed to by the time the clock ran out.

Lakeside’s early 1970’s game, Perfection, was not for the weak-hearted. The game consisted of a cabinet, a collection of twenty-five geometrically shaped pieces and a stack of “cover cards” that each showed a different arrangement of holes. At the start of the game, the first player picked a card, attached it to the cabinet, and then turned on that timer. The idea was to get all the pieces into their corresponding holes, as outlined by the card, as quickly as they could before that clock – that kept ticking, ticking, ticking – ran out of time. If you couldn’t get all the pieces in correctly before time was up, the pop-up tray sprang up and all your pieces were forcefully ejected from the game. Sorry – you lose.

In 1979, Lakeside introduced a computerized version of the game, and added distracting sound effects and flickering lights, to make you even more crazy. You could chose one of four games – Countdown, Brain Bottle, Black Hole, and Light Race. And if you really were a glutton for punishment, you could try Superfection, which asked you to put the pieces together before they were even put in the board holes.

Although Perfection peaked in popularity in the 70s, the game (now sold by Milton Bradley) remains available to this day and is still fraying the nerves of all who choose to challenge that pesky timer, the one with the power to propel those little shapes skyward and make you jump in your seat. Its longevity is attributed to the fact that, despite the game’s ability to raise your blood pressure, it was also a delightfully addictive experience enjoyable by players of any age.

If you have fond memories of playing this frustrating game as a kid, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your favorite Perfection memories with us in our comments section below.

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