Monday, 19 December 2016

Not Reindeer Games, But Fun Anyhow

When our children were growing up, Santa left a game for the family under the tree every Christmas.

Prior to children we had already acquired Scrabble, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit.

After the kids came along, Santa added Bingo, Dominoes, Tri-Ominoes, Yahtzee, Traverse, Scattergories, and Balderdash, and others which I can't name now because they were passed on to other children . I always wanted Sorry and Clue, having played them elsewhere, but they never made the grade with Santa.

There's one children's game I will never forget, though -- Hungry Hungry Hippos, which has to be in the running for the world's noisiest game. Players must depress a lever to make their hippo reach forward and gobble up as many marbles as possible. It was a lot of fun, but it was a terrible game if anyone had a headache or was trying to sleep or just wanted a bit of peace and quiet. It was easy for little players (and maybe bigger players, too) to get carried away smashing and crashing to get the most marbles.

If you haven't heard of it before, here's what you were missing:



Don't be fooled by those well-behaved, firmly seated, dainty-handed children in the ad. That was just a ploy by the manufacturer to get parents to buy it.

I was glad when the kids outgrew HHH, but, strangely, I have fond memories of playing it with them. I'm sure they probably argued over it sometimes, but all I remember now is the laughing and giddiness.

We still play Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit on occasion, but the rest of the games sit untouched in a chest.

Are you now - or have you ever been - a fan of board games? Do you have a favourite, whether it's from childhood, young adulthood, or currently? I'd love to hear about it.



23 comments:

  1. That does look like a heap of fun - for the participants at least. Onlookers and onlisteners (that should be a word) perhaps not so much.
    We played board games. And cards.
    One that I gave the smaller portion some years back gave us both a lot of fun (and brain pain). It was called Rubik's Illusion and you can find out about it HERE.

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    1. Onlisteners should definitely be a word.

      Rubik's Illusion looks like an excellent choice.

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  2. I remember WANTING Hungry Hungry Hippos, but my parents never fell for that one.

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  3. As a child I was often bed ridden with severe colds and pneumonia....when Dad came home from work I was his first stop and we would play parcheesi and snakes and ladders. Grandad would come over from his side of the house and play checkers with me.

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    1. I've never played parcheesi ... there's still time to remedy that! And yes - snakes and ladders, and checkers - I forgot those. You had good adults in your life, Delores.

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  4. Yes! I was - and still am - a huge fan of board games. When my girls were young we acquired a ton of them. I think I wanted them more than they did :) Now that the girls are grown up and the nest is empty, the games are sitting and collecting dust. Some have been donated.

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    1. We need some grown up games, Martha! Not necessarily the way that sounded ... just something that would hold an adult's interest!

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  5. Santa always left me a board game as well. I had the Game of Life, which we recently liberated from my mother's basement, Clue, Masterpiece, Inventors. Those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. We always played them New Year's Eve. Now I do the same with my kids.

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    1. How wonderful that you are passing that on to your kids! They'll remember it when they're older, too.

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  6. That's a lovely memory, laughing and giddiness. My family was a big Monopoly family. We would play games that lasted for days.

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    1. Ah, Monopoly ... the scourge of my life when my brother and I played - he was four years my senior and so competitive. I always ended up broke and he had all the good properties! It's a good one for multi-day play, that's for sure.

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  7. Slapjack, also known as Heart Attack. Not a board game though, a card game. Can get violent lol

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    1. Haha! I need to look that one up; it's not a game I know :)

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  8. As the only kid in my house growing up, it was rare that I had anyone with whom to play board games or cards but when I did I was always partial to Scrabble. I play at Games Nights now with a couple of friends. Your kids HHH would never have passed muster with my mother, though it sounds like you all enjoyed it.

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    1. Yes, board games and cards are usually more fun with a group. Games Nights sounds like a good time!

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  9. I played Monopoly as a kid, and Risk as a young adult, but I was more into card games. I used to play rummy with my siblings, and I used to play spades (or hearts) with my friends when I was in my twenties. When I was in the hospital following my stroke, my friend Brenda kicked all of our butts at Scrabble in my hospital room.
    Then, as part of my OT at the rehab facility, we played dominoes, which I found interesting because my grandfather loved to play, but I was too small to understand what was going on at the time. I think I probably spent most of the time a normal person would have spent on board games and such obsessively practicing my guitar, but I still found time to have the occasional night with a six-pack and three friends for a raging game of spades.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. Card games are good, too. I remember one called "Cheat" that our cousin taught us as kids. The object is to cheat and not get caught. I don't know why but I always did well at it - maybe because people didn't think I could hide what I was thinking, but I could. You know, I think your time spent practicing guitar was likely a better use of time :)

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  10. Fun post, Donkey. We played a ton of board games-I had both Clue and Sorry. The girls in my neighborhood went through a stage where we all got together and played the game of Life on a regular basis-I have fond memories of that. I think it lasted until Saturday Night Fever came out, and we spent our afternoons practicing our John Travolta moves. In my family, Scrabble is the official game. I used to be pretty good, but these days my brother and stepmom are the reigning champions. Littleb and I are Yahtzee fans. Another noisy game!

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    1. I still enjoy Scrabble now and then but the chances of me winning went all to heck once my kids got to be in their late teens. I don't really care, I don't play to win (good thing). I bet your disco moves are awesome, though, as are mine :)

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  11. Huge board game fans here. We thought we were the ultimate in board game fanage, until our daughter married Joe. Now he is a REAL board game fan--with over 300 stacked about the house. Still, we had to introduce him to Clue. Our favourite. And Pit. Heh. Heh. Heh.

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    1. Wow - he IS serious about games! I'm going to have to check out Pit. To see why you are Heh'ing :)

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    2. Aha, now I understand ... that sounds like it could get fairly noisy as well :)

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