Memory

Memory

Every once in a while, a game manages to teach a few valuable skills to unsuspecting players and make them smarter without them ever realizing it. Candyland snuck in some color recognition mentoring. Hi Ho! Cherry-O stealthily gave kids the ability to count, and Hot Potato … well, that taught the valuable lesson that if you holding something that is hot, you should hand it to someone else immediately. But in terms of developing concentration and matching skills, the name of the game was Memory – a simple card game that taxed those brain cells to no end. Continue reading...

Connect Four

Connect Four

Commercials come and go, but catch phrases live forever. The final quarter of the twentieth century heard just such a phrase moaned from the lips of one young boy after having lost a game to his sister. While no boy in his right mind wants to lose to a younger sibling, losing at Connect Four ranks with Sorry! and Risk in the pantheon of crushing defeats. Perhaps that’s why before Milton Bradley marketed the game in 1974 under the goal-oriented name “Connect Four,” it was simply and somewhat quietly known as The Captain’s Mistress. 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...

hippos

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Scientists claim that hippos (Hippopotamus amphibious) are herbivores, but millions of kids can attest otherwise. Their experience suggests that these gentle beasts have an insatiable appetite for little white marbles. Many a feeding frenzy has been observed during the course of a rousing round of Hungry Hungry Hippo. 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...

Dark Tower

Dark Tower

At a time when role-playing aficionados wielded war and wizardry with pencil and paper, Milton Bradley introduced an electronic God into the mix. Released in 1981, Dark Tower proved to be a little bit of everything. It was a board game around which players moved tokens according to the roll of the dice; it was an electronic game, with every player answering to a randomly generated fate on each turn depending on where they landed; and it was a nod to the intriguing world of Dungeons & Dragons. Continue reading...

Mystery Date

Mystery Date

Oh, not a dud! Please don’t let it be a dud! When that little white door opened, you wanted to see the man of your dreams, a studly skier, a dashing dancer in a tux, a beachgoing babe – anything but the dreaded dud. And should Prince Charming be ready to greet you behind door number one, you best be prepared. And yet, with all of these stressful possibilities, there was nary a slumber party around in the 60s that didn’t include a rousing game of Mystery Date on the itinerary. Continue reading...