• 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? – Disaster (1979)

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 week we look at Parker BrothersDisaster, the 1979 do-it-yourself catastrophe game.

Box art for the 1979 Parker Brothers game Disaster.

The contents of Disaster are as follows:

The game box (showing scenes of an airplane crashing, an ocean liner sinking, an earthquake, and a fire engulfing an office tower, presented in 1970’s-style art).

The game board (featuring an extremely busy presentation of the four disasters in many, many colors. Really, it’s gaudy.)

Six plastic humanoid tokens (blue, brown, green, red, white, yellow)

Two six-sided dice

A set of Disaster attachments (1 ship, 1 plane, 2 earth, and 2 fire pieces)

30 green Survival Chips

A deck of 20 Disaster Cards, which consist of:

Arsonist sets Skyscraper on fire
Boiler explodes in Skyscraper
Careless smoking in Skyscraper
Earthquake hits [x5]
Faulty wiring in Skyscraper
Fire in Plane engine
Huge waves swamp ship
Plane flys into tornado
Plane hijacked
Plane hit by lightning
Plane wing breaks
Restaurant fire
Ship hits Iceburg
Ship sabotaged
Ships collide
Ship’s engine explodes

The Game Rules

Aside from the inner cardboard fillers to help hold all the pieces in an orderly fashion, that’s it.  There are few games that I’ve seen that are so completely out-of-touch with their potential offensive nature as Disaster.  Come on kids, let’s play the game that reminds us all how grandma died last year! Still, it’s an interesting perspective on the ME culture that was the late 1970s.  Have fun!

 

Box contents of the 1979 Parker Brothers game, Disaster.

What’s In That Game Box – Full House (1979)

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 succor in your time of need?  Well, stop that fruitless searching through endless google results, as this week we look at Parker Brothers’ Full House, the classic 1979 zany Innkeeper game.

 

Box contents for the 1979 Parker Brothers game, Full House.

 

A more indepth discussion the various releases of this game through the years, as well as its gameplay, can by found in a previous blog entry, titled, The Best Classic Board Games –Full House (1979) What’s In That Game Box? deals specifically with the game’s contents, which are:

The game box (showing a hotel filled with a variety of interesting – if unlikely – cartoony hotel guests)

The game board (featuring four hotel corners comprised of 2 Floors with 4 rooms each [with a Single, Double, and two Suites per floor] and a 32 square game path)

Four plastic player tokens in the shape of dollar signs  (blue, green, red, and yellow)

A 6-sided die

The People-Popper device

A supply of Play Money (in beige-colored $50; brown-colored $100; blue-colored $500; yellow-colored $1,000; orange-colored $5,000; olive green-colored $10,000; and off white-colored $100,000 denominations)

A set of 12 Hotel Rate Cards in four colors, consisting of:

Blue Set: Medium Price Hotel (Casa Del Oro), High Price Hotel (Riviera Club), and Luxury Hotel (Villa Florentine)

Green Set: Medium Price Hotel (Inn of the Dragon), High Price Hotel (Taiko Manor), and Luxury Hotel (Emperor Palace)

Red Set: Medium Price Hotel (The Pines Resort), High Price Hotel (Savannah Lodge), and Luxury Hotel (Astor Plaza)

Yellow Set: Medium Price Hotel (Bristol Court), High Price Hotel (Windsor Mansion), and Luxury Hotel (Hampton Castle)

48 Guest cards (10 Single, 13 Double, 17 Suite, 8 Floor)

30 Telegram Cards, consisting of:

AWARD: BETTER HOTELS AND GARDEN AWARD $5,000
BACK TAXES
(ECONOMY…$2,000; MEDIUM PRICE…$6,000; HIGH PRICE…$15,000; LUXURY…$40,000)  PAY IMMEDIATELY
DOUBLE RATES CHECKOUT ANY GUEST IMMEDIATELY AND RECEIVE DOUBLE THE RATES THEN DISCARD
DOUBLE RATES NEXT OPPONENT WHO LANDS ON YOUR FLOOR, SUITE OR DOUBLE PLAYS DOUBLE RATES. DISCARD WHEN USED
EXTEND STAY: FIRST FLOOR GUESTS PAY BUT STILL STAY ON
EXTEND STAY: SECOND FLOOR GUESTS PAY BUT STILL STAY ON
FIRE: YOU REOPEN AS AN ECONOMY HOTEL
FLOOD: GUESTS LEAVE COLLECT NO MONEY
FREE STAY AT THE NEXT HOTEL SAVE THIS CARD UNTIL NEEDED
FREE TRIP: GO IMMEDIATELY TO ANYWHERE ON THE BOARD [x2]
HOTEL CLOSED TEMPORARILY: ALL GUESTS CHECK OUT LOSE NEXT TURN
INSURANCE POLICY: NULLIFIES: -STRIKES-FIRE-ROBBERIES-FLOOD. SAVE UNTIL NEEDED
NEW GUESTS: DRAW ONE GUEST CARD (FOR YOUR HOTEL ONLY) IF ELIGIBLE THE GUEST CHECKS IN YOUR HOTEL
NEW GUESTS: DRAW THREE GUEST CARDS (FOR YOUR HOTEL ONLY) IF ELIGIBLE THE GUESTS CHECK IN YOUR HOTEL
OUT OF ORDER: ELEVATOR OUT OF ORDER, SECOND FLOOR GUESTS CHECK OUT
RENOVATION: ALL ELIGIBLE GUESTS MOVE TO NEXT QUALIFIED HOTEL AT NO CHARGE. COLLECT NO MONEY
REPAINTING (ECONOMY…$2,000; MEDIUM PRICE…$5,000; HIGH PRICE…$10,000; LUXURY…$25,000)
REPAINTING TURN AWAY THE NEXT TWO ELIGIBLE GUESTS
ROBBERY: ONE FOURTH OF ALL YOUR MONEY STOLEN
SALE: MEDIUM PRICE HOTEL REDUCED TO $7,500 USE IMMEDIATELY OR DISCARD
SALE: HIGH PRICE HOTEL REDUCED TO $20,000 USE IMMEDIATELY OR DISCARD
SALE: LUXURY HOTEL REDUCED TO $40,000 USE IMMEDIATELY OR DISCARD
STRIKE: ALL GUESTS CHECK OUT COLLECT NO MONEY
TAX REFUND RECEIVE $5,000
TAX REFUND: RECEIVE TEN TIMES DAILY SUITE RATE
TRANSFER: TAKE ANY QUALIFIED GUEST FROM ANY HOTEL AND PLACE IN YOUR HOTEL
TRIP: MOVE ANY OPPONENT TO ANY “CHECKOUT” SQUARE ON THE BOARD
VETO CARD: CAN BE USED TO NULLIFY ANY TELEGRAM ONCE SAVE UNTIL NEEDED
WINDFALL: HOTEL USED FOR MOVIE. RECEIVE TEN TIMES DAILY SUITE RATE

The Game Rules

Aside from the inner cardboard filler to help hold all the pieces in an orderly fashion, that’s it.  I hope you enjoy checking in and out those nutty hotel guests!

 

 

Hotel Rate Cards (Blue/Green) for Full House (1979)

 

 

Hotel Rate Cards (Red/Yellow) for Full House (1979)

 

 

Hotel Guest Cards (Single/Double) for Full House (1979)

 

 

Hotel Guest Cards (Suite/Floor) for Full House (1979)

 

 

Telegram cards for Full House (1979)

 

More Telegram cards for Full House (1979)

What’s In That Game Box – Stop Thief (1979)

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 succor in your time of need?  Well, stop that fruitless searching through endless google results, as this week we look at Parker Brothers’ Stop Thief, the classic 1979 Electronic Game of Cops and Robbers.

 

Box art for the 1979 game, Stop Thief

 

A more indepth discussion the various releases of this game through the years, as well as its gameplay, can by found in a previous blog entry, titled, The Best Classic Board Games – Stop Thief! What’s In That Game Box? deals specifically with the game’s contents, which are:

The game box (featuring a multi-colored Stop Thief logo, a prominent image of a hand holding the Electronic Crime Scanner, and a few cartoon detectives and criminals, all on a dull yellow/peach background)

The game board (featuring four multi-square building locations – Antiques, Bank, Furs, and Jewelry – five subway locations, the Newsstand location, and the 127-squared intersecting game path)

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

Two 6-sided dice

The Electronic Crime Scanner device (with a multicolored numeric keypad and requiring a “9-volt” battery to operate)

A supply of Reward Money (in green-colored $50; blue-colored $100; and pink-colored $500 denominations)

8 Acme Detective Agency Licenses:

Carrie Badger (No. W02-30-03)
Harley Hand (No. M01-03-30)
Kent Ketchum (No. M01-04-40)
Lester Lose O’ (No. M01-01-10)
Mavis Marvel (No. W02-10-01)
Nanny Harrow (No. W02-20-02)
Rosa Subrose (No. W02-40-04)
Sheerluck Holmes (No. M01-02-20)

10 WANTED poster cards, consisting of:

Armand Slinger – Arm Robber (REWARD: $900)
Bunny & Clod – Petty Thieves (REWARD: $1,000)
Emil “The Cat” Donovan – Cat Burglar (REWARD: $800)
Felicia Field – Sneak(er) Thief (REWARD: $900)
Hans Offe – Pickpocket (REWARD: $900)
John Doe – Buck Passer (REWARD: $800)
Luke Warm – Auto Thief, etc. (REWARD: $1,000)
Ruby Diamond – Jewel Thief (REWARD: $800)
Saul Teen – Safecracker (REWARD: $1,000)
The Brain – ????? (REWARD: $1,000)

32 STOP THIEF! SLEUTH cards, consisting of:

BACK TO ACME DETECTIVE AGENCY (You or Another Detective) [x2]
BUY A TIP FOR $50 [x4]
BUY A TIP FOR $100 [x2]
COLLECT $100 FROM ANOTHER DETECTIVE [x2]
COLLECT $200 FROM ANOTHER DETECTIVE [x2]
FREE TIP [x4]
GO 3 EXTRA SPACES
GO 4 EXTRA SPACES [x2]
GO 5 EXTRA SPACES
GO 6 EXTRA SPACES
LOSE A TURN [x3]
MOVE ANYWHERE [x2]
PRESS “CLUE” BUTTON 3 EXTRA TIMES
PRESS “CLUE” BUTTON 4 EXTRA TIMES
PRESS “CLUE” BUTTON 5 EXTRA TIMES
PRESS “CLUE” BUTTON 6 EXTRA TIMES
TAKE ANOTHER TURN [x3]

The game rules booklet

 

Box contents of the 1979 game, Stop Thief

 

Aside from the inner plastic tray that holds the loose game parts and the cardboard space filler, that’s it! NOTE: The box art shown in this blog entry is from the Canadian version.  The American version had a black background, and only English wording.  All the contents of both versions are the same, with the exception of the Canadian version being in both English and French.

Have fun finding those pesky criminals!

 

All 10 WANTED posters for Stop Thief (1979)

 

 

All 8 Detective Licenses for Stop Thief (1979)

 

What’s In That Game Box? – The MAD Magazine Game (1979)

1979 The MAD Magazine Game box front

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 succor in your time of need?  Well, stop that Diabloesque mouse clickfest through endless google results, as this week we look at Parker Brothers’ 1979 zany classic, The MAD Magazine Game.

An more indepth discussion of the game’s play can be found in a previous blog entry, titled, The Best Classic Board Games – The MAD Magazine Game (1979) What’s In That Game Box? deals specifically with the game’s contents, which are:

The game box (featuring Alfred E. Neuman on the front with art by Jack Davis)

The game board (with 60 spaces filled with art from MAD Magazine artists, Don Martin, Sergio Aragones, Jack Davis, among others)

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

2 six-sided dice

A supply of MAD Money (in $500, $1000, $5000 denominations as well as a single $1,329,063.00 bill)

24 Card cards, which are:

  • CHANGE CHAIRS WITH ANYONE
  • CHANGE MONEY WITH ANYONE
  • CHANGE MONEY WITH THE PERSON ON YOUR LEFT
  • CHANGE MONEY WITH THE PERSON ON YOUR RIGHT
  • FLIP THIS CARD UP IN THE AIR. IF IT LANDS WITH THIS SIDE FACE UP, YOU LOSE $1000 IF NOT, GO TO TOUGH LUCK
  • GO AHEAD THE TOTAL ON ONE DIE
  • GO TO ANY DOUBLE ARROW SPACE (x2)
  • IF ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING LETTERS ARE IN YOUR NAME, YOU LOSE THE AMOUNT INDICATED (‘G’ – $500; ‘O’ – $1000; ‘A’ – $1000; ‘T’ – $2000).  HOWEVER, BEING A GOAT, YOU WIN $500 ANYWAY
  • IF ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING LETTERS ARE IN YOUR NAME, YOU WIN THE AMOUNT INDICATED (‘L’ – $1000; ‘O’ – $500; ‘S’ – $1000; ‘E’ – $500)
  • IF YOU ARE A BOY PERSON, LOSE $1000
  • IF YOU ARE A BOY PERSON, WIN $500
  • IF YOU ARE A GIRL PERSON, LOSE $1000
  • IF YOU ARE A GIRL PERSON, WIN $500
  • IF YOU ARE GOOD LOOKING STAND UP AND IMITATE YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL AND LOSE $2000
  • IF YOU CAN JUMP UP AND STAY AIRBORNE FOR 37 SECONDS, YOU CAN LOSE $5000. IF NOT, JUMP UP AND LOSE $500
  • IF YOU LIKE THIS GAME, CROSS YOUR LEGS, SIT ON YOUR HANDS, CACKLE LIKE A CHICKEN AND LOSE 1 EGG ALSO $500
  • PLAN AHEAD AND MOVE TO ANY SPACE ON THE BOARD
  • PUT $1000 UNDER TOUGH LUCK
  • PUT THIS CARD ON TOP OF YOUR HEAD AND WALK AROUND THE TABLE BACKWARDS. IF IT DOESN’T FALL OFF BEFORE YOU SIT DOWN YOU LOSE $1000
  • STAND UP AND BOO THE PERSON ON YOUR LEFT. ALSO LOSE $1000
  • TAKE THE NEXT CARD DON’T PEEK AND GIVE IT TO ANYONE ELSE
  • THIS CARD CAN ONLY BE PLAYED ON FRIDAY
  • YOU ARE A ROCK. ACT LIKE ONE. IF YOU’RE GOOD, YOU LOSE $1000. IF YOU’RE NOT SO GOOD YOU WIN A ROCK.

The sheet of instructions.

There is a bilingual version of this game that was sold in Canada which features both French and English on the game board, instruction sheet, and money, as well as 24 French-only Carte cards and 24 English-only Card cards. There is absolutely no difference in game play between the US and Canadian releases, aside from the addition of French.

That’s it!

1979 The Mad Magazine Game box contents

The Best Classic Board Games – Full House (1979)

Yet another Parker Brothers board game that springs to mind when someone mentions “classic gaming” is the 1979 classic, Full House.  This is one of those games that command high prices on eBay and other sites due to the twin facts that it had a relatively low distribution when it was first released, and that it’s a lot of fun.

Box front of the 1979 Parker Brothers game, Full House.

The theme of the game revolves around running a hotel, but not seriously like in Milton Bradley’s classic Hotels board game.  No, these hotels end up with a variety of bizarre guests, such as a the Owl & the Pussycat, Count Dracula, Donkey Kong, the Queen, the Tortoise & the Hare, Frankenstein’s Monster, Santa & Rudolph, and 41 other wacky characters.   The players, as hotel owners, draw three Guest Cards, and attempt to put them up for a stay in their hotel.  Some guests won’t stay because the room they want is already filled (Single, Double, Suite, or Floor), while some won’t stay because the hotel is beneath their standards (players start with Economy-class hotels, but gain opportunities through the game to improve their hotels to Medium, High-Price, or Luxury).

Box contents for the 1979 Parker Brothers game, Full House.

Players start with $7,500 and the aforementioned Economy-class hotel with two floors available to fill. Each floor is divided into four rooms: one single, one double, and two suites.  Some guests desire an entire floor – which brings in the big bucks – so one strategy might be to leave a floor open for business.  On the other hand, a guest in the hotel is worth cold hard cash, so filling to capacity is also a valid strategy.  As they about the game board, players land on squares that permit them to checkout their guests, landing on other player’s hotel squares, or get a Telegram with a random – good or bad – event to throw a curveball into the game.  Such Telegrams can be terrible news, such as Robbery (lose ¼ of your money – ouch!) or FIRE! (downgrade your hotel by one grade), or wonderful news, such as a VETO card (used to prevent the negative effects from other Telegram cards) or WINDFALL (player receives 10x the going Suite rate!).  No matter what happens during the game, the first player to reach $500K is the winner.

Some guests from the 1979 game, Full House.

Full House is a super game to play with just two or up to four players, ages eight and up.  If you enjoy a board game with lots of silly fun, Full House is the game for you.  Highly recommended!

The Best Classic Board Games – The MAD Magazine Game (1979)

If I had to pick a game that was so bizarre and crazy that it was nutty fun, The MAD Magazine Game would be it.  Back in the 70’s MAD Magazine was a serious force on the magazine stand.  I remember reading them and laughing at their fresh and irreverent presentations of everything from spoofing the latest movies and TV shows, to social-political commentary dressed up as jokes, to the Road Runner/Coyote style violence of Spy vs. Spy.   And so when Parker Brothers came out in 1979 with a board game based on the MAD Magazine zeitgeist, it was a must-buy.

The MAD Magazine Game - 1979

The MAD Magazine Game - 1979

You know you’re playing a different kind of game right from the start when you learn what your goal is: to lose all your money.  It’s much harder than it sounds, though, with the Card cards making your life difficult with cards like, “If you are a Boy Person, Win $500″ or “Change Chairs With Anyone.”  You can get lucky, and get a Card card that says, “If you are GOOD LOOKING, stand up and imitate your favorite animal, and lose $2,000″ or “Stand up and BOO the person on your left. Also lose $1000.”  As you can see, the game plays a little bit more wacky than your average board game fair.

The MAD Magazine Game - 1979 Contents

The MAD Magazine Game - 1979 Contents

Moving about the table is an integral part of the game, so don’t get too comfortable in your chair.  Between spaces on the game board that move everyone to a new seat, to Card cards that do the same, expect to have to pick up your drink and move to your right or your left.  But you have to leave your money behind, which can be a good thing (if you had more than anyone else) or a bad thing (if you were almost broke!).   This means that there really is no effective strategy to winning the game that can be planned from the start; the random elements send any plan into disarray as quickly as it is formulated.  Perhaps this was Parker Brothers’ version of Chaos Theory in action!

The $1,329,063 dollar bill.

The $1,329,063 dollar bill.

The game board is filled with classic MAD Magazine art and zany humor.  You can see art from Spy vs. Spy, The Lighter Side of…, site gags from Don Martin and Sergio Aragones, and more.  And much like the magazine itself, there are little surprises throughout the game board that you stumble upon as you play.  Some scenes should bring back memories, and perhaps a smile or guffaw or two.  Just make sure your legal name isn’t Alfred E. Neuman, or you’ll have to collect the special $1,329,063 bill included in the game.  Did I mention the game is wacky?

The MAD Magazine Game is yet another timeless family classic, and is recommended for 2 to 4 players ages 8 and up.



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