Sunday, September 25, 2022

If It Weren't For Bad Luck...

 ...I'd have no luck at all! This week's Spookfest Game offering deals in such things as walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, and the like. All to complete a somewhat meaningless goal before the guy or gal sitting next to you! Let's go!

Our game is Milton Bradley's 1977 offering, "Superstition." The point to the game is rather strange. You sneak into a cemetary, rob a grave, and get back out. Why? Well...I'm not real sure. Apparently they just thought it was something kids would want to do. Actually, having been a kid, I'm not sure they were too far off.

Anyway, let's take a look, shall we? Here is the box:

The box looks pretty spooky, alright. That creepy house doesn't appear in the game, though. The grave yard seems a little too cheerful and colorful, but who am I to judge? Me, that's who!

This game takes advantage of four traps that are triggered by pulling a pin out of a base. Each trap represents a "superstition." They are:

Disturbing a grave...

Touching a toad (I didn't really know that was bad luck, but whatever...)

Smashing a mirror with a hammer

Walking under a ladder

These are triggered by rubber band power. Spooooooky rubber band power!

Once you get to the (admittedly not nearly as cool as Barnabas Collins') Wizard's Coffin, you get to grab a Whammy (curse) and a protective Charm. You pick without looking.

 This is where the strategy comes in. You can sit your Whammy in front of other players to trip them up. But, they can get past it with the proper charm. Complicated? Well...a little.

Here is the whole thing set up:

Oh, here are a couple of triggered traps...

How, exactly, do you play? Well, here you go!

As far as spooky games go, Superstition never really became a classic. Why? Well, maybe it was a little late to really hook into Monster Mania. Maybe it was a little too complicated for kids. Maybe it took too long to set up (it does take a while). Maybe the goal was a little too weird. I really don't know. But it's an interesting part of my selection. 

I think I happened upon it by accident on eBay and it was cheap. I was lucky that it had all of its parts- because there are a lot of them!

We still have quite a few more spooks to get through before Halloween! Stay tuned!

And keep looking for treasure! (Even in cemetaries!)

Sunday, September 18, 2022

A Bite of Soap

 No, not Lifebuoy. A soap of the "opera" type. Confused? Me too, but let's continue, shall we? 

The year was 1966. Monster mania was in full bloom. The re-release of the Universal monster movies to TV, coupled with various social factors made the supernatural a hot, hot, HOT property! This was the time of The Munsters and The Addams Family....and of Dark Shadows. 

The first two shows were comedies, of course, but the third was a soap opera. It followed the cursed Collins Family in their struggle with all types of evil, spooky, ghostly, stuff. But the Collins family were not only the haunted- but also the haunters.

Barnabas Collins was the runaway star of the show. Sort of like a Beatle... if they had been vampires. (They probably weren't.) So, just like the Beatles he had merchandise!

Enter our game in 1969. 

To call this a "board game" is stretching it a bit since there isn't a board. There IS a coffin...and bones...and wooden stakes...Perhaps we should look a bit closer. Here are the instructions-

As you see, although the game pieces are really cool- there's not much to the game as far as play value goes. You spin a spinner and build a skeleton. First full skeleton wins. You could actually play it with the spinner and a pen and paper. But maybe I'm being a bit too critical. It's the pieces that make this game special! I mean, look at this stuff!

By the way, there is one part that is almost never found in this game, and my copy is no exception. The game originally came with a set of plastic vampire fangs that the instructions freely admit have nothing to do with game play but are there simply so the "host" can pretend to be Barnabas. Luckily there is little reason for said "host" to talk, because doing so would be pretty much impossible with those clunky things in their mouth. 

All that being said, I'm not worried about not having them. You know where they would have been. Yuck. 

I do have the cardboard inserts, though! Here they are!

I found my copy of this game at a flea market in Mesquite, Tx years ago. It was pretty inexpensive, so I went for it. There was another Dark Shadows game in the same booth that I went back for later...but it was gone. Moral? If you see it and you want it- buy it! Still, I haven't lost too much sleep over it. 

So now it sits on my game shelf with other spooky games. Which ones? Stay tuned!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Haunting Season...

 Well, September is upon us, which means October is near, which means the days are getting shorter...the nights are getting longer...the wind is picking up...and the spooks and goblins are getting ready to get jiggy wit it! Ah, ya just gotta love Fall!

So, in celebration of the season, for the next few weeks I'm going to feature spooky games from my board game collection! They will be from the 60s, 70s, and 80s and have been chosen completely at random (yes, I have more than I'll share this year- that way I can feature some next year!)

For this post I have a game from the 80s that blurs the line between "game" and "toy." These are, of course, the best games of all. I think I picked this one off of eBay simply because it was so darn cheap. As it turns out, it's very rare (remember, gang, "rare" doesn't always mean "valuable."). May I present to you...Creeps Castle!!!

The box illustration tells you about all you need to know about the game...

Oh, ok... if you need words, here are a few on the side...

What? You only speak French? Then why are you reading this blog??? Well, this week we can help you out anyway...

I assume this says exactly what the English side says.. 

And here is the actual game. The mechanism works well, and randomly changes which "creeps" will attack each time the metal ball is dropped. 

A closeup of the creepy castle...

And another...

The instructions are very simple, and really there is no skill involved in this game at all. It's all dumb luck. Kind of like life. Ohhhh, that got real deep real fast...

Anyway, as interesting as the ball mechanism is, this is by far NOT my favorite game. Still  it has it's charm, I suppose. 

Don't worry, though. In the next few weeks we'll have some actual classics!

Until next time keep searching for haunted treasure!!!!! (Insert evil laugh)

Sunday, September 4, 2022

A Fish Tale...

 Sometimes in life we wind up with something that we don't really care about but maybe because someone that we do care about gave it to us, we hang onto it...for decades...even if it's really really weird...and kind of gross...

What in the world could I possibly be talking about? Why, "Sir Alfred von Toby, The Fish," of course! Here he is!

How did I come by this impressively fishy icon? Gather 'round and I'll tell you! (Not too close- notice the teeth!)

In the late 1970s, my parents went to Brazil on a mission trip. I, being a teenager in high school, stayed home and did things they would not have approved of (not too many things, but you know how it is).  When they came back, they brought me a couple of things from the jungle, such as a bow and arrow to hang on the wall, and a dead fish.

The fish is, of course, a piranha. Now don't be too concerned. One piranha won't bother  you. It's when they group up and try to impress all of their fishy friends that cows get stripped to the bone in 30 seconds. 

Oh, and they need to be alive too. 

Anyway, I put it on my dresser. And then when I went to college it came along...and got named. I don't remember how. It's a blur. Anyway, after college he came home with me. And stayed through several moves and a couple of wives. 

He's still here, obviously (and so is the wife). He's a little worse for wear. His fins are chipped and I had to glue him back on his base. Still I won't get rid of him. We've been together for almost 50 years. You don't just kick someone out after that long, even if they're a dead fish that would kill you if they were alive. Nothing personal!

Until next time, keep searching for...uh...treasure?