• magisterrex Retro Games


    I've been gaming since the days of Pong and still own a working Atari 2600. I tend to ramble on about retro games, whether they be board games, video games or PC games. Sometimes I digress. Decades after earning it, I'm finally putting the skills I learned while completing my history degree from the University of Victoria to good use. Or so I think. If you're into classic old school gaming, this blog is for you!

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What’s In That Game Box? – The Game of Life (1977)

Ever searched the Internet looking for what exactly you were missing from the old board game you pulled from your closet, only to find no succour in your time of need?  Well, stop that fruitless searching through endless google results, as this week we look at the 1977 version of Milton Bradley‘s classic Game of Life.

Box art for the 1977 Game of Life

A much deeper discussion of the game’s origin, gameplay mechanic and the differences between the various versions throughout the years can be found in a previous blog entry, titled,  The Best Classic Board Games – The Game of LifeWhat’s In That Game Box? deals specifically with the game’s contents, which are:

The game box (with white background and several pictures of the game being played)

The game board (with a 162 space intertwined track which crosses over several mountains and a bridge)

A curved white bridge that attaches to the game board.

Three green mountain pieces (small, medium, and large) that attach to the game board.

The Wheel of Fortune, a four piece three-dimensional spinner that attaches to the game board.

Seven white plastic buildings which attach to the game board. They are numbered on their bottom, and include:

1. University
2. Church
3. A little house (interchangeable with #7)
4. Office building
5. Industrial Complex (three factories)
6. Mansion
7. A little house (interchangeable with #3)

Eight player car tokens (dark blue, green, light blue, orange, pink, red, white, and yellow)

60 people pegs (30 blue and 30 pink)

A blue plastic Banker’s Tray to hold the play money

A supply of play money in $500 (yellow), $1,000 (pink), $5,000 (mustard yellow), $10,000 (blue), $20,000 (orange), $50,000 (mint green) and $100,000 (white) denominations all with Milton Bradley’s portrait in the center.

A supply of $20,000 Promissory Notes.

32 Certificates, consisting of 8 each for Car Insurance, Fire Insurance, Life Insurance, and Share.

A deck of 24 Share the wealth cards, consisting of 8 each of the following:

  • EXEMPTION CARD. The holder of this card DOES NOT PAY when given a ‘Share the Wealth’ card. (Return to bottom of pile.) [x8]
  • SHARE THE WEALTH. Give this card to any player landing on a yellow COLLECT SPACE.  That player must pay you half the amount collected there. (Return to bottom of pile.) [x8]
  • SHARE THE WEALTH. When you land on a yellow PAY SPACE give this card to any player.  That player must pay you half the amount you pay to the Bank. (Return to bottom of pile.) [x8]

The Number Board (a long strip of cardboard with the numbers 1 through 10 on individual colored squares).

A “MB” stamped inner blue plastic tray to store the game’s components.

A single two-sided sheet labeled “Game of Life Assembly Instructions” for learning how to set up the three-dimensional game board.

A single two-sided sheet with the instructions for playing the game.

That’s it!  The Game of Life has had many incarnations over the years, but this version is one of my favorites. What’s yours?

Game board for the 1977 version of The Game of Life

Share the Wealth Cards for The Game of Life (1977)

Play money for The Game of Life (1977)

Player car tokens and people pegs for The Game of Life (1977)

Plastic storage tray for The Game of Life (1977)

What’s In That Game Box? – The Last Spike

Box art for The Last Spike

Ever searched the Internet looking for what exactly you were missing from the old board game you pulled from your closet, only to find no succor in your time of need?  Well, stop that fruitless searching through endless google results, as this week we look at the classic Gamma Two Games 1976 game The Last Spike, the game that simulates the spread of the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada.

The game’s contents are:

The game box (with a picture of a black model steam engine appearing to come out of the box)

The game board (with a 20 space main path, as well as an inner railroad path to connect the 9 cities.)

Six player round plastic “donut” tokens (blue, black, green, red, white, and yellow)

Two small six-sided dice.

48 small black railway track tokens.

A supply of play money in $1000  (James Cook, green), $5000 (Louis Riel, orange), $20,000 (George Brown, yellow), and $50,000 (Gabriel Dumont, blue) denominations.

A deck of 45 Deeds cards, containing 5 identical cards for each city with the following markings:

  • Calgary [x5]
    1. $5,000
    2. $12,000
    3. $22,000
    4. $35,000
    5. $50,000
  • Edmonton[x5]
    1. $6,000
    2. $15,000
    3. $27,000
    4. $42,000
    5. $60,000
  • Montreal [x5]
    1. $10,000
    2. $25,000
    3. $45,000
    4. $70,000
    5. $100,000
  • Regina [x5]
    1. $7,000
    2. $17,000
    3. $32,000
    4. $50,000
    5. $70,000
  • Saskatoon [x5]
    1. $8,000
    2. $20,000
    3. $36,000
    4. $56,000
    5. $80,000
  • Sudbury [x5]
    1. $5,000
    2. $12,000
    3. $22,000
    4. $35,000
    5. $50,ooo
  • Toronto [x5]
    1. $6,000
    2. $15,000
    3. $27,000
    4. $42,000
    5. 60,000
  • Vancouver [x5]
    1. $9,000
    2. $22,000
    3. $40,000
    4. $63,000
    5. $90,000
  • Winnipeg [x5]
    1. $4,000
    2. $10,000
    3. $18,000
    4. $28,000
    5. $40,000

The rules pamphlet

Aside from the inner cardboard spacer, that’s it!  This is a rare game from a company that found a small niche market during the board game boom of the 1970s, and certain worth playing a game or two.  Enjoy!

Game board for The Last Spike

Game tokens for The Last Spike

Sample Deeds for The Last Spike

What’s In That Game Box? – The aMAZEing Labyrinth (1988)

Ever searched the Internet looking for what exactly you were missing from the old board game you pulled from your closet, only to find no succour in your time of need?  Well, stop that fruitless searching through endless google results, as this week we look at Ravenburger’s 1988 magical maze game The aMAZEing Labyrinth, a game for ages 8 and up.

Box art for The aMAZEing Labyrinth

The game’s content’s are as follows:

The game box (with a graphic of a 3-D maze populated by various creatures on a yellow/orange background)

The game board (with 16 maze pieces affixed, with space for 34 more pieces.)

Four player tokens (blue, green, red, and yellow)

A deck of 24 Treasure cards, containing:

  • Bag of Gold Coins
  • Bat
  • Book with Clasp
  • Dragon
  • Ghost (in bottle)
  • Ghost (waving)
  • Gold Crown
  • Gold Menorah
  • Gold Ring
  • Helmet (armor)
  • Jewel
  • Lady Pig
  • Lizard
  • Moth
  • Owl
  • Rat
  • Scarab
  • Set of Keys
  • Skull
  • Sorceress
  • Spider on Web
  • Sword
  • Treasure Chest
  • Treasure Map

A set of 34 MAZE cards, which contain:

  • Creature Right-Angle Corridor Maze piece [x6], one each of the following:
    • Lizard
    • Moth
    • Owl
    • Scarab
    • Rat
    • Spider with Web
  • Creature Straight Corridor Maze piece [x6], one each of the following:
    • Bat
    • Dragon
    • Ghost in Bottle
    • Ghost (waving)
    • Lady Pig
    • Sorceress
  • Empty Right-Angle Corridor Maze piece. [x9]
  • Empty Straight Corridor Maze piece. [x13]

A Ravensburger product catalog.

The rules booklet (in both French and English)

Aside from the inner plastic tray that holds all the playing pieces, that’s it!  Hopefully your copy of this wonderful game is complete – just don’t forget to set aside a night to play it with your family!

Treasure Cards from The aMAZEing Labyrinth

Maze Cards from The aMAZEing Labyrinth

Game board for The aMAZEing Labyrinth

What’s In That Game Box? – The New Easy To Master Dungeons and Dragons Game (1991)

Ever scoured the Internet looking for what exactly you were missing from the old board game you pulled from your closet, only to find no one who could give you the answer?  Well, stop that fruitless searching through endless google results, as this featured this week on What’s In That Game Box? is TSR, Inc.’s classic roleplaying game brought to board game life, The New Easy To Master Dungeons & Dragons Game.

The NEW Easy to Master Dungeons & Dragons Game

The contents of The New Easy To Master Dungeons & Dragons Game are as follows:

The game box (featuring the iconic image of  Jeff Easley’s Red Dragon painting- a red dragon doing battle with a man armed with a battle axe)

The game board (a fold-up 21″ x 31 1/2″ map with 34 “room” entries)

The D&D Game Instruction Sheet: Read This Sheet First!

The DM screen (with several tables and charts on a red background)

The Dragon Card Learning Pack (stored within the DM Screen, which contains 48 double-sided pages of information on play Dungeons & Dragons, as well as four 4-page pullout adventure module chapters to help new DMs run the Escape from Zanzer’s Dungeon adventure)

6 colored game dice (white 4-sided, blue 6-sided, white 8-sided, yellow 10-sided, white 12-sided, and red 20-sided)

2 sheets of fold-up counters, which comprise of the following:

  • Adelle
  • Axel
  • Blind Man
  • Bug Bear [x4]
  • Dwarf / Goblin [x4]
  • Dwarf / Guard
  • Dwarf / Kobold
  • Green Slime
  • Gnomes
  • Goblin / Guard
  • Jerj
  • Kamro
  • Minotaur
  • Ogre [x2]
  • Orc [x4]
  • Prisoner
  • Rock Python
  • Slave / Gnoll [x3]
  • Slave / Hobgoblin [x4]
  • Sprites
  • Wolf
  • Zanzer Tem
  • Zombie [x4]
  • Plus 7 un-named counters, each with a different portrait on both sides

A TSR, Inc. Spring/Summer 1991 product catalog.

A TRS, Inc. product brochure on the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia

A full-sized fold-out poster of Jeff Easley’s Red Dragon painting

A special offer card for a subscription to Amazing Stories

The Customer Response Card

The 64-page Rule Book

Aside from a very well-laid out inner cardboard separator piece  which keeps the box intact, that’s it!  Hopefully this helps you find your way into enjoying “hours of high adventure in the world of cunning wizards, mighty warriors, and ferocious dragons!”

Game board for the New Dungeons & Dragons Game

Counter sheets for the New Dungeons & Dragons Game

DM Screen and Dragon Card Learning Pack for the New Dungeons & Dragons Game

Rule book and sheet for the New Dungeons & Dragons Game

Dice and miscellaneous papers for the New Dungeons & Dragons Game

Giant fold-out poster for the New Dungeons & Dragons Game

What’s In That Game Box? – Milton Bradley’s Hotels (1987)

Ever scoured the Internet looking for what exactly you were missing from the old board game you pulled from your closet, only to find no one who could give you the answer?  Well, stop that fruitless searching through endless google results, as this featured this week on What’s In That Game Box? is Milton Bradley‘s classic dimensional game of high-rises and high stakes, Hotels.

Box art for Hotels (Milton Bradley, 1987)

The contents of Hotels are as follows:

The game box (featuring a full image of a fully set up game board. The inside of the box lid includes the instructions of the game in French)

The game board (featuring a 31-square path with adjacent spaces for various hotels and properties)

4 player limousine tokens (blue, green, red, and yellow)

1 red six-sided die (standard)

1 special six-sided die (sides are: 2, green dot, green dot, green dot, H, and red dot)

30 cardboard buildings (with 30 plastic bases and 33 plastic roof parts) which construct the following:

  • Bank (1 building)
  • Boomerang (1 building)
  • Fujiyama (3 buildings)
  • Le Grand (5 buildings)
  • President (4 buildings)
  • Royal (4 buildings)
  • Safari (3 buildings)
  • Taj Mahal (3 buildings)
  • Town Hall (1 building)
  • Waikiki (5 buildings)

8 cardboard Recreational Facilities (to be placed beside the hotels) which include:

  • Boomerang Hotel (swimming pool)
  • Fujiyama (swimming pool)
  • Le Grand (swimming pool)
  • President Hotel (golf course and swimming pool)
  • Royal (swimming pool)
  • Safari Hotel (swimming pool)
  • Taj Mahal (swimming pool)
  • Waikiki Hotel (swimming pool)

8 Title Deed cards, which include Cost and Rent Due tables

30 red plastic hotel entrance markers (miniature staircases)

A supply of play money in the following denominations: 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000. (All bank notes are marked with the number “4844″ and include a picture of Milton Bradley with the title “M. Bradley” below it)

The rules sheet

Aside from a very well-laid out inner cardboard separator piece which also provides a photo of each hotel and construction instructions, that’s it!  Hopefully this will help would be hotel magnates realize their tycoon dreams!

Game board set up for Hotels (Milton Bradley, 1987)

All the buildings in Hotels (Milton Bradley, 1987)

Hotels (1987) Title Deeds, set 1

Hotels (1987) Title Deeds, set 2

Tokens and dice for Hotels (Milton Bradley, 1987)

Game money denominations for Hotels (Milton Bradley, 1987)

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