Sunday, May 27

Old, Classic Board Games and Rainy Days


Musty fun


Sorry that was a shameless pun but I just could not pass that up. Summer vacation is upon us here in Dallas. In the past our kids have enjoyed summer camp, swimming, SIX FLAGS, hanging out with good friends, many, many sleep overs, going to the movies, concerts and the mall. I'm sure I am leaving something out but you get the general idea. Our children are older now and have more responsibilities that cut deeply into their summer activity time. What do my children and your children do when they are not working or out having 'FUN'? Or on a rainy day when the younger kids can't get out and about, what then?

Now I know that we live in the age of technology and the kids have access to all sorts of video games, iPods and cell phones with apps. They can spend endless hours playing video games or listening to their own little world. What did we DO before all of this technology? We played board games, at least we did in my house.

Wedged way back in a closet, that may or may not have been organized in quite some time, you just might find a few old cracked and split boxes of worn out board games from years gone by. The flashy 70's print boxes have long since faded leaving dusty yellowed remains. You may find old instructions, broken pencils and homemade scorecards.

Take a deep breath. Do you smell it? Smells like a rainy Saturday afternoon circa mid-70's. Well at least to me it does.You know how the smell of something can trigger all sorts of memories. It's that musty scent that takes me back to the sound of young girls giggling and having a good time indoors on a wet and dreary day.

Why do you suppose we love old board games? What do we find so appealing about them in this age of technology in which we live? It may be hard for you to pin down, but for me I think it's because board games are social. You need an opponent to play against. Someone to judge yourself against, someone to congratulate you when you do well, someone to tease you when you do poorly. Simply put old board games are socially fun and full of memories.
For old time’s sake, let’s look back fondly on ten of the greatest board games of all time or at the very least MY favorites!
connect-four10. Connect Four.  Quick set up time, easy rules, and fun game play. Connect Four is a game of checkers and tic tac toe with a twist. The rules are simple: try to build a row of four checkers while keeping your opponent from doing the same. Sounds easy, but it's not! The vertical strategy creates a unique challenge: you must think in a whole new way to block your opponent's moves. It only takes two players, my sister and I used to love this game.
battleship9. Battleship. You are the commander of your own fleet.  Prepare your strategy and lead your troops to victory. Calling out your coordinates and mark your hits and misses. The object of Battleship is to destroy your opponent's fleet first. Not always the easiest thing to do. Only requires two players making this another good game for a rainy summer day, just me and my sister.
risk8. Risk. Widely accepted as the first mainstream war game. Players are given tons of little army units to place onto the map of the world. When it's your turn, you use your units to attack other players' positions, hopefully with superior numbers. Combat is a simple roll of the dice away. Such a popular game that there are 'special edition' games now made.  Lord of The Rings to Star Wars, you too can dominate the world in an hour.
candyland-board7. Candyland. This is the classic "child's first game", and preschoolers love it. Children draw colored cards, and move their plastic gingerbread playing tokens to the next square of the same color. Passing the peppermint forest and the ice cream sea on the way, the first one to reach the candy castle wins. No need to read to play this game. 2 to 4 players Great game if you have little ones.
trivial-pursuit-original6. Trivial Pursuit. A board game in which progress is determined by a player's ability to answer general knowledge and popular culture questions. Game is easy to learn but has a lifetime of questions to ponder (6000 questions). A great game to play. From 2 to 24 players.
game-of-life5. The Game of Life. Classic board game breaks down an entire lifespan into a series of choices and chance. Practice makes perfect. Try marriage, kids, and more. Will you go to college and take out student loans? Or join the working force and collect on payday? Will you go bankrupt, or earn millions in stock and real estate? Any thing's possible with a spin of the Life wheel! One of the most popular family games.

Yahtzee4.Yahtzee. A classic dice rolling game where the opponents try for the highest score. This game is fun for all ages and holds a special place in my heart. Mr.P and I played this game while dating. It DROVE my mother nuts! That rattle of the dice just wore on her last nerve, but it was a great way for us to learn more about each other and fall in love. It is still a much loved game in the Porter house.
scrabble3. Scrabble. A word game in which two to four players score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles on a game board marked with a 15-by-15 grid. The words are formed across and down in crossword fashion and must appear in a standard dictionary. Scrabble is a classic and has sold over 150 million world-wide in 121 countries and 29 languages. It's a classic and a favorite of families. Mr. P and I played Scrabble on our honeymoon! Now that's an endorsement!
clue2. Clue. Who, Where, When and Which weapon. For generations, around the world, Mr. Boddy has met his end at the hand of one of six infamous suspects in this family game. As you search the mansion's nine rooms and secret passages, be on the lookout for those murderous suspects and watch out for those deadly weapons. The mystery changes every time you play. If you can collect the right clues and make the right deductions, you'll solve the mystery... and win! This was our GO TO game on rainy, steamy, summer days! Still love it! For 3 to 6 players. 
monopoly1. Monopoly. Everybody remembers the Monopoly game - that's why it's still the most popular, most widely played, and best-selling board game in the world! It brings back so many memories of wheeling-and-dealing family fun. No other game has turned so many game playing moments into memories! Whether you're discovering the fun for the first time or reliving the carefree days of youth, get out there and Buy! Sell! Mortgage! Build houses and hotels! And collect those rents! That's what makes Monopoly the number one board game in the world and 'America's Game'!

Huddled around the kitchen table waiting on a long pause in Scrabble, sitting in a friend’s basement late at night waging merciless war in Risk, or gathering the family together for a classic Saturday night game of Monopoly, whatever your style — there’s just something about those old, classic board games. They bring us together for some laughs, some ups, some downs, and some plain old good times.


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