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!


  1. This looks like a fun game! It kind of makes me think of Electronic Battle Ship, which I never played, but a friend of mine had the non-electronic version. I know what you mean about old leaking batteries. Unfortunately, they ruined quite a few of my old toys, including my original "Operation" game. As for games by Ideal, my brother and I had KerPlunk, Tip-It, and The Big Sneeze. Of the three, we still have our KerPlunk game, but the other two are long gone. I'm looking forward to more of your vintage "game posts" in the future, Stu!

    1. Thanks! I still have a vintage Ker-Plunk too!
      Yeah, these are fun! I have more coming!

  2. Yep, I would definitely like playing this game. I loved Battleship, and this game has more action and noise than Battleship - all good for game night. Maybe after the Thanksgiving meal, we can all gather and play this one and a few of your other games, Stu, while eating some pumpkin pie. See you Thursday!


  3. Whenever we can't figure out somebody's motivation, my sister and I always quote from the MST3K "Radar Secret Service" episode: "Radar can't see into their hearts, sir "


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