• 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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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!

24 Responses

  1. lots of people are hunting around for this information

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  3. how many copies were made of this game? i think i red 22000 somewhere

  4. Hi
    I’m looking to buy the board game Full House (1979 version that I absolutely love!!! Had a house fire and lost it all. Any idea where I can purchase another??

    Thank you

  5. Does anyone know what dollar amounts are needed to purchase the hotels at each level? Thanx

    • Medium = $15,000 ($7500)
      High Price = $35,000($20,000)
      Luxury = $60,000 ($40,000)

      If you are lucky enough to get the telegram card with a reduced price, they would cost the amount in the bracket.

  6. We came into possession of a Full House board game that was left at a cabin. We really enjoy playing it when we go out in our fifth wheel camper or on a winter night. It is getting very dog eared and we are trying to find a replacement. Thanks to this site, I now know where to go to try and get one.

  7. I already have the full house game it is a brilliant game we have played it for hours i have some family who love playing it and would like to buy it is there anywhere it can be purched.

    • I agree that it’s a fun game. Hard to find, though. Every copy that has come through magisterrex.com has not lasted a week before being purchased!

      • If you happen to have an other one come through, I would be interested. My daughter had mine and lent it out to someone who left it out in the rain 😦

  8. Were can I buy the full house game and how much is it

  9. Finally, a site with a list of the telegram cards! My elementary school bought this game in 1979, and I liked it so much my parents bought me my own copy of it, but I don’t recall what became of it. Found a copy at a garage sale about 15 years ago, but it was missing the telegram cards – I managed to create a new telegram deck from memory, but I know it wasn’t exact! My wife and kids love playing this game and will be thrilled to find out I have real telegram cards at last.

    I remember reading in the original stuff that came with the game, that you could write to the manufacturer and request a new deck of “people” cards if your cards wore out, but I’m sure that option is long gone.

    The characters of the people cards were the funnest part of the game – at school, we had pet names (though rather juvenile) for them all, like “monkey man floor”, and “big boobs double”.

    • Parker Brothers used to encourage people to write to them, especially children. I remember asking for new Mail cards for my Payday game and they sent a complete set free of charge. Those were the good old days!

      You can order game parts from places like magisterrex.com (blatant self-promotional statement!). Great hearing about your memories of this game, as well as how this blog helped you bring back the joy of playing a classic board game!

  10. I still have a the French version that I got when I was a kid and still play with it with my son. The guest cards are getting really to be in a really bad shape however 😦

  11. […] 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 […]

  12. […] The Best Classic Board Games – Full House (1979) « Recycled Thoughts from a Retro Gamer […]

  13. I’ve never had the pleasure of playing Full House but I will most assuredly keep my eyes peeled for it when I’m at the markets. It doesn’t seem they make games like this anymore or at least readily available to the mass markets.

    Awesome site by the way!

    • Non-gamer control over the board game industry has led to a series of souless games designed to take advantage of whatever movie was just released or TV show spiking the ratings. Not that I have an opinion, of course.

  14. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by magisterrex: The Best Classic Board Games – Full House (1979): http://wp.me/pBb2X-81

  15. This it GREATEST game ever! I’ve never heard of anyone else who even played it!

    …You just became cool enough to come to my birthday party.

    Bring money.

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