Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 4 October, 2023
# Christmas
Bored of board games? Try your hand at these…
Monopoly is clearly too close the bone for most of us to play this Christmas. Never fear, Vanilla Ice is here – and he wants you to score ‘rap’ points, dude.

ONE UNFORESEEN CASUALTY of the property implosion: Monopoly. Who wants a board game for Christmas that reminds us of the Irish property market circa 2000-2006?

Also off our wish list this year:

  • Snakes and Ladders – again, too reminiscent of an economy replete with too many snakes and property ladders that only went downwards.
  • Scrabble – players can not be held responsible for any outbursts of violence caused by groupings of words such as ‘current’ , ‘economic’ and ‘climate’.
  • Battleship – a game best suited to bankers, being just a larger-scale version of, ‘Guess what number I’m thinking of’.
  • House of cards – need we explain further?

However, we are intrigued by these less than classic board games. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to…

Vanilla Ice’s Electronic Rap Game: Players collect rhyming cards to complete a “rap” and collect points. We think Vanilla would appreciate the quotemarks around “rap”.

The Mansion of Happiness: A Christian-themed board game created in 1843 by the daughter of a clergyman. To make your way into the Mansion of Happiness at the centre of the board – no prizes for guessing what that was symbolic of – you needed to dice through spaces marked ‘vice’ or ‘virtue’. Vice set you back a step; virtue helped you progress. Good folks go to heaven.

Dr Ruth’s Game of Good Sex: Probably not one to share with the kids. Moving about the board with your partner – not literally, of course – involved answering intimate questions about each other and getting answers from Dr Ruth’s Sex Clinic cards.

Age of Steam: “Cut-throat action” centred on the “industrial powerhouses” of a growing US nation in the 1800s. These are the challenges set down by this game: Choose the route that gives the best return on funding your locomotive; beat your rival to make the most lucrative shipments; earn finance to fund an extensive track network. The ultimate board game for trainspotters.

Infection!: How many diseases can you catch in this Monopoly-esque game. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the ‘brain transplant’ card. If you’re not, you’ll get the ‘cholera’ card. Nice.

Is The Pope Catholic!?! (the game title’s exclamation marks, not ours): This game dates from the 1980s and requires a knowledge of the Catholic doctrine to complete the six-decade rosary and win. As points are scored from sipping communion wine and digging into the Church coffers to buy sweets, it can be presumed this board game is intended to be played with tongue firmly in cheek.

Kackel Dakel (Pooping Dog): A German board game whose main attraction is, literally, toilet humour. Throw the dice and get the plastic dog to poop plastic out of its bottom. We have no idea who wins, or why, or how. But it sounds like fun. Watch here: