Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 2 April, 2023
# roll the dice
13 board games that were guaranteed to start a row
It’ll all end in tears, mark my words.

IF EVER THERE was a case of looking back with rose-tinted specs, it’s fair to say that playing board games with the family is at the top of the list!

As we approach that time of the year when our TVs are filled with ads for games and gadgets and shop windows overflow with toys and treats, we shake our heads regretfully (and slightly smugly) for the youth of today.

While the majority of new games involve one person and a console, there is a certain age group who will remember sitting at the table/on the floor on a Sunday evening and engaging in a fight to the death….with the people you loved most.

Board games – they just don’t make them like they used to, do they?

1. Game of Life

Lots of hot topics like college, money, travel, career are in play here.

In the event that parents take their children’s choices too seriously, this can lead to tension. Or an opportunity to deliberately wind them up.

“Not going to college? Well, you can fend for yourself then young lady.” It’s just a game guys. Chill.

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2. Cluedo

A real life murder mystery set in your own sitting room! What could be better than that? As this was based solely on your own mental agility, it was hard to pick a fight so the bloodshed was usually reserved for the characters. But not always.

Accusations of “having seen the cards when they were put into the envelope” was a regular whinge for the sore loser who just missed out!

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3. Connect 4

The problem with this game was that there was a pattern to winning. And as soon as someone spotted what you were doing, all they had to keep doing was blocking you.

Until someone got ticked off/distracted/hungry/bored and threw the game. (Metaphorically, hopefully.)

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4. Frustration

It’s all in the title really isn’t it? It was all going swimmingly until you reached the end when you needed a certain number to get home. No matter how many times you pressed the button, it just wouldn’t happen.

Extra rage points if the person directly after you got the number you needed on the first try.

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5. Trivial Pursuit

It was always imperative to be on the team with the smart one in the group if you were to succeed in this game. Even if it meant putting up with her know-it-all smugness. I mean, who knows what ichthyophobia is?

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6. Operation

Like Buckaroo! this often descended in screaming matches as players could put others off by trying to scare/distract them as they attempted to perform the most delicate of procedures. Many a dream of studying medicine was abandoned after a harrowing game of Operation.

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7. Guess Who?

You told me he had black hair!
He does!
That’s not black, that’s brown. I didn’t even have him left to guess.
You’re just mad cos you lost!
You don’t even know HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME!!

Sound familiar?

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8. Jenga

You’re so into it. Right up until the moment you see it start to topple as you try to remove a particularly nasty one. And then you’re like, “yeah, listen I was kind of done with this anyway.” But is anyone buying it?

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9. Sorry!

This game helped a generation perfect the insincere apology. Cue enraged parents, indifferent teens and sulky tweens.

Given this information it’s not unreasonable to assume that if this was released today, it might actually be called Soz! We feel a bit ill just thinking about it.

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10. Buckaroo!

There were 12 items to be placed on the donkey. Everyone wanted to go first so that they had the best chance of winning. This situation usually resulted in resentment and the cries of “You only won cos you went first!” when that person inevitably won. Not that that bothered them.

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11. Mousetrap

This game was better on paper than in reality. Over the years, the joy came from just setting it up. It took a long time! And woe betide any younger sibling who whined “I just want to have a go!” and ultimately dismantled the entire construction.

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12. Monopoly

This was a staple board game in every Irish household. And it was riddled with potential rows!

From sliding a few extra quid from the Banker to taking advantage of people who forgot to collect money from you when you landed on their “property”, true colours were shown in glorious technicolour and lives were torn apart forever.

Ok, we’re exaggerating, but it could get rough.

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13. Pictionary

This game could get very personal very fast. Ultimately, it’s a blame game. You drew the picture perfectly but your team couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Even if your trees looked like giant hands. And then this happened.


Read: 25 things that will make every Irish person feel ancient>

8 Saturday evening rituals be bet you all took part in>

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