Hangman

Hangman

A children's game centered around a virtual public execution might not seem the most politically-correct idea, but that hasn't stopped millions of youngsters from playing Hangman over the years. Much like the game of Battleship, generations of kids only needed paper and a pencil to play, but eventually a board game would follow to enhance the experience. Continue reading...

Aggravation

Aggravation

It's always been hard to find that "family game" balance. Make it too hard, the little tykes wouldn't get it. Make it too easy, and nobody else would want to play with the little tykes. But sometimes, that rare game got it right. Take, for example, the case of Aggravation, a board game marketed by Lakeside that bore a striking resemblance to the ancient game of Parcheesi. Continue reading...

Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders

Parents tend to spend countless hours striving to impart ethics and morality upon their children. But lecturing isn't always effective and, hey, you can only make them watch so much Davey and Goliath. Thankfully, Milton Bradley introduced a board game that offered a little assistance in this department, yet was still fun for kids to play. They took an ancient Indian board game, made it a little less scary sounding, and the result was Chutes and Ladders, one of the most popular board games ever devised for the younger set. Continue reading...

Othello

Othello

When Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were singing “Ebony and ivory, live together in perfect harmony…” they weren’t singing about Othello, but it might have seemed that way. When this board game’s black and white pieces were laid out, things appeared peaceful at first. But fortunes changed quickly, luck ran out, and come to think of it, there wasn’t any perfect harmony to be found at all. It was every man for himself. Continue reading...

Payday

Payday

It's no secret that kids often wish they were adults. They yearn to do all those fun grownup things like drive the family car, see racy R-rated movies and plan the monthly financial budget. Okay, maybe that last item is less popular, but for those that wanted to try their hand at the bill-juggling madness that keeps their parents awake at night, Parker Brothers had just the solution - a fun little board game called Payday. Released in 1975, Payday offered a preview of the financial fun that would rear its ugly head later in life. Continue reading...

Sorry!

Sorry!

The ancient game of strategy called Parcheesi got a modern makeover in the early 20th century, emerging as Sorry! the game that apologized for your woeful lack of skill and/or good fortune. First seen in England, it was imported to America in 1934 by Parker Brothers and a new family institution was born. Hearing your mom saying "Sorry!" in a saccharine, condescending voice as she denied you victory was enough to make you wonder if the notion of motherly love wasn't just a big crock. Continue reading...

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

While life has existed for millions of years on planet Earth, it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that a game was invented to mirror it. Back in 1860, it was considered "America's Favorite Parlor Game" and when it was reintroduced by the Milton Bradley Company a hundred years later, it proved just as popular and remains so to this day. Continue reading...

Perfection

Perfection

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. Continue reading...