Saturday, 8 December 2012
The last time I played Twister I was in a compromising position with a space cowboy named Tristan.
“See that blue circle? That’s your Mother that is,”(see URL link) he jibed, just before I barfed up two pints of Mad Dog over his kickers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nCKYEM8qRc
Thankfully, the mat’s wipeable.
Do collect £200 for passing out
I‘ve always loved board games.
Especially the glam and mysterious Cluedo.
But that harlot Miss Scarlet needs to back off my guy - Prof. Plum - even if does have a man’s face on a moulded, plastic body.
As a child, I played them all.
From the legendary Monopoly and Hangman, to the new kids on the block like Mousetrap and Kerplunk! to the almost rans of Mike Reid’s Pop Quiz and Baywatch the Board Game.
Non pretentious. Not like those Yahtzee and Jenga loving Yuppie neighbours.
Then there were my parents’ swinging - I mean, Trivial Pursuit - parties. http://thenews-on.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/not-going-out_19.html
Compelling board games brought the whole family together.
And defined personalities.
Me, the sore loser. My brother’s competitive streak. Nan’s gullibility, as our ad hoc rules relating to money laundering, secured her a life stretch in Monopoly Jail, forfeiting any future rights to pass Go.
It’s only a game
“Where’s the controller?” my children ask when I present them with the non Nintendo product.
“This is a board game. It’s fun,” I say.
“You can pit your sibling rivalry, explore your sharing issues and test your fortitude.”
I’d seen a Supernanny where siblings played Pop up Pirate harmoniously.
Eight hours of uncontrollable sobbing and tantrums later, it ended in stalemate as I futilely searched for plastic swords wedged down the radiator.
We moved onto bigger challenges. From charity shops.
Buckaroo - with a lame mule that couldn’t give a buck.
Connect 3 - it didn’t have enough discs to warrant a ‘4’, but we improvised with some Mini Cheddars.
So we took advantage of Argos’ 3 for 2 offer before the limited 365 day deal expired.
I couldn’t wait to just roll and go with the old favourites.
Until I discovered the rules had changed.
You can’t simply flip out the board and start.
Now games have a modern twist; an updated funky cyber edge for the instant generation.
When the boys were toddlers we bought 3D Snakes and Ladders. Not with real life Black Mambas, but raised plastic ladders and balls - which invariably disappeared. Usually down a pre schooler’s gullet.
No longer can you fracture your wrist by whacking the plastic dome encased dice.
Now there are health and safety paddles, to flip the two dice, and a complicated genie system.
And Battleships Torpedo, with so many components that Gorbachev and Reagan would have happily ended the Cold War to avoid playing this confusing game.
While many games are available in traditional format, there are more special editions than a Hollyoaks spin- off.
Monopoly Junior Party (toddlers get hyper on Haribos and dance around to One Direction)
Monopoly Millionaire (presumably, the banker awards himself a bonus after letting the silver dog eat all your money)
Monopoly Regional (with an optional hoody counter for use with the Chance card: ’Congratulations! You finally get that LG widescreen TV. Proceed to the rioting and looting square in Birmingham city centre.’
From Cars to Toy Story, Monopoly also boasts various character versions.
As does that old stalwart - Operation - another game I was victorious in - thanks to Great Aunt’s arthritis.
Guess Who? has scores of additional characters online. But I refuse to send my kids on an interweb search for a beret wearing chap named Bert with a handlebar moustache and mirrored sunnies.
Not to mention the myriad of gimmicky, fussy games; Lego (games full of tiny parts that you have to construct each time you want to play) The Tooth Fairy Game and its spin off, Root Canal, Pumpoloons, Doggie Doo and Elefun, which requires more batteries than an Ann Summers catalogue.
And Poundcity’s rip offs games: Low blood sugar level Hippos, Gerbiltrap and, the popular game of strategy and world domination for the under 3s - Rusk.
Somebody’s been fondling with my Community Chest and I don’t like it!
Why re-invent the (Game of Life) wheel?
What was wrong with the timeless classics?
What next? The Jordan edition of Scrabble, with a range of single syllable words like 'reem' and 'totes' and the triple word score of 'well jel'?
Pictionary, with an interactive white board and option to send PDFs to opponents?
Take me back to basics. Charades. Lionel, give us a clue.
Somebody’s bought the boys Twister. “I’ll spin,“ I volunteer. Well, I don’t want to put my back out.
It’s a relief to see an old friend.
Until I discover it’s a dance version with two CDs.
If the marketers at Hasbro,Waddingtons and MB meet an untimely Downfall, it was Mrs N, down Tin Can Alley with the Monopoly iron.