Monday, November 27, 2023

Having a Blast!

 This week's game is amazingly simple, but has a good gimmick to it. I'm talking about Battleboard from 1972! Let's take a look!

This is the box. The "Air Raising Action" quote kind of tips you off to what this game is all about. If you didn't get it, the picture of one kid hitting a plunger and blowing the other kid's piece off the board should.

This is what you see when you open the box.

And here are the instructions; helpfully printed on the inside of the box top. The goal to the game is simple. You have to be the first player to move any two of your pieces to the wall without getting literally blown away!

This is looking down on the field. I actually didn't set this up correctly for these pictures, since the King piece should be one row up from the knights. Still, it's a good view of the holes. Pushing a plunger on one side will send a blast of air through the hole on the other side.

Here's a close up of the pieces. 

And this is your view while playing. 

This is a game I actually had as a kid (although this copy is an eBay find). So, is it fun? Well, actually, yes! There is a surprising amount of strategy involved in finding out where those little dudes are and making it to the wall. It also feels pretty good to send one of them flying! Heck, you can just sit there and see how far you can make them fly!

So, Ideal took a very simple game and made it fun by adding a gizmo, which is a very boomer board game thing to do. Game designers were a different breed back then, I guess!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, November 20, 2023

Have I Got a Deal For You!

 This week we have another fun game that I picked up at a thrift store a few years ago! By the way, that's one of the great things about Boomer board games, you can STILL find them at thrift stores! Anyway, I knew of this game as a kid, but I had to wait a few decades to actually play it. The game? Dealer's Choice!

This Parker Brothers game came out in 1972. Like King Oil, you take on a career and try to be the best at it! This time, though, you aren't a high rolling oil executive, but rather a rather slimy (if you want to be) used car lot owner! Let's look closer, shall we?

The bottom of the box gives you a little more info on the point of the game.

This is what you see when you open the box.

I like the picture of the little old lady burning out in the Corvette!

The round plastic thing is actually just an organizer for the game cards and money. It does come in handy, though.

Here are a few of the Auto cards. As you can see, you can deal in a few highly unusual rides! I'm enough of a car nut that I get a kick (and a chuckle) from these!

Ok, remember that "slimy" comment I said? Well, the Dealer's Choice cards are what let you do that. They also let you run a legit business. The choice is indeed, the dealer's!

Want insurance? (Hint: yes you do.) Hopefully you'll get good insurance. Fly By Night ain't good. Words to the wise.

Every good 60s and 70s game has a good gizmo to it, and even though the big orange plastic organizer is flashy, the real star is the "Official Blue Book." This controls and randomizes the most important aspects of the game! How? Let's look at the instructions!

A note on these instructions: My copy of the game was missing the instructions. However, our friend Mr. Google can often help find old game instructions! A quick search, a press of the "print" button and there ya go!

So, how fun is this game? Well pretty darn fun! I might like it more because I really like cars,  but the wheeling and dealing and good and bad luck are just plain fun to me! You are able to buy and sell vehicles that you never could (and some that you would never want to) own! All in all, not a bad way to kill about an hour.

So, if you happen to see a copy at a garage sale or a thrift store, maybe make a deal and bring it home! It's a winner! You can trust me! 

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Radar Love

 No, not the song by Golden Earring (although that's really cool) but a game from 1969 called Radar Search that I happen to have!  Let's take a look, shall we?

Here's the box. As you can see, this game is "electronic," which is a fancy way of saying it takes two D cell batteries. Ah, the D cell...the magic cylinder that powered my youth. Anyway, I digress...

When this game came out, spies were big, baby, BIG! Well, not literally big (they were the same size as regular people). But the spy movement was big in popular culture. James Bond, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Wild Wild West, and even Get Smart were very popular, so this game fit into the culture perfectly! Ideal had a winner and they knew it!

Here are the instructions on the inside of the box top. The point to the game is that you have two spy boats on one side of the board, and a government chase helicopter on the other. The spies win if they can make a run to one of two drop points and return to their base without getting found by the helicopter. The government wins if they catch either of the spy boats. There are a lot of little details in the rules that make game play more exciting, such as the helicopter moves twice as fast as the boats but the boats get every other turn in secret. It's surprisingly challenging and a little tense for both players! 

The helicopter searches for the boats by placing it's pin in the hole that is occupied by the boat pin on the other side. If that happens, a very loud buzzer goes off! Game over!

Let's look at the parts...

When you open the box, this is what you see.

This is the other side of the board...

And these are the parts that are in that orange cardboard part under the board.

And this is how you set up the government helicopter side...

And the spy boat side!

I wasn't sure if mine still worked, so I actually went out and bought two D cells. Yes, I spent money for this post! You're welcome! The verdict? It works great! (Which means the buzzer goes off very obnoxiously)

The play time on this one is about 30 minutes, so I might play it with my wife. After all, I have the batteries now...

By the way, just another reminder to never leave the batteries in your toys and games (or flashlight, for that matter). They can kill a device quicker than anything if they leak. 

They made this game for only three years, but they sold a lot of them so they're fairly essy to find and pretty cheap. One warning though is that apparently the buzzers do die on these, so it's best to check them if possible before buying, since a dead buzzer kills the game play. A bad buzzer could ne replaced, I suppose (the wiring is very simple) but it would be an added expense and hassle.

So there you have it! I'll probably do a few more game posts because I'm kind of in that mode now, but you never know what I'll dig out of the attic!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, November 6, 2023

Hail to the King...of Oil!

 As I may have mentioned before, I have a fairly good board game collection. This week I've decided to feature a game from my childhood, King Oil. 

King Oil is a game that features a semi-3D game board. The board is flat, but UNDER the board is an ever changing system of peaks and valleys. This is important because the main point of the game is to discover oil by "drilling" with the rig. It's rather brilliant, really. 

Let's take a look, shall we?

The box top shows what I mean about "almost 3D."

Milton Bradley often put a quick rundown of the goal of the game on the inside of the lid.

Inside the box!

I hit a gusher!!! Of course I had to check about five holes before I did. There's no way to know how the disks are arranged.

These are the disks I'm talking about. Apparently someone did the math and there are 1,728 possible combinations! That's s lot of repeatability!

Cards that complicate matters, lol!

The point here is that you buy property, drill for oil, link properties with piplines, collect royalties and eventually drive the other players into bankruptcy. Nice! The game owes a lot to Monopoly, but has enough twists to make it have its own identity.

Here are the rules...

It's really a pretty straight forward game, with a really good balance of luck and skill involved. It's no wonder that this game is fondly remembered by many Boomers and commands some respectable prices in the secondary market.

Jed Clampett would be proud!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!