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...

Risk

Risk

For budding conquerors of all ages, Risk was the game to hone their skills. Young Napoleons or Alexander the Greats knew that world domination at Risk was simple enough for kids to play, yet elaborate enough to create detailed strategy guides and complicated maneuvers. As such, it has remained a popular board game for fifty years and counting. Continue reading...

Trouble

Trouble

Sometimes the simplest of challenges are the ones most frustrating, which pretty much encapsulates a little board game called Trouble. Introduced by Kohner in 1965, it brought out the competitiveness in everyone who played, sometimes raising their stress levels to the point that the game maker thought it wise to protect the lone die behind a globe of plastic, lest it get flung across the room. Continue reading...

Scrabble

Scrabble

Ah, Scrabble. Play it often enough and you start seeing those lettered tiles in your dreams, forming words that would be worth 100 points if they actually existed. The much-loved game has endured for over 50 years, providing both family enjoyment and competitive play. Out of all the board games, Scrabble is truly a Cinderella story. Continue reading...