Admittedly, the Commonplace Fun Facts staff is not really big into board games or games in general. It probably has something to do with the “Does not play well with others” notation that kept showing up in our grade school report cards. Even so, we find ourselves wondering how some board games ever made it to the market.
Board games have been around for centuries. Whether you are looking for an old classic like chess or the latest craze, such as Magic, you can probably find something that appeals to your sense of frivolity. The games we found tend to support this theory. In fact, after reviewing our list of head-scratchers, if you still can’t find something that tickles your fancy, it’s likely that your fancy can’t be tickled by anything.
Where we have been able to locate any of these products available for sale, appropriate links have been included.
This game fills the need for those individuals who just can’t get enough fun from the funerals they attend. It allows you to keep the magic of the morgue going with game objectives such as “Throw Wild Funeral Parties While Still Alive,” “Make Your Friends Look Cheap,” “Send Them To Slob Hill In An Orange Crate Coffin,” and the accumulation of status symbols such as hearses and tombstones. Those who remember the radio and television show The Life of Riley might remember the regular character Digby “Digger” O’Dell, the friendly undertaker. He and his fellow members of the Undertakers, Embalmers, and Pallbearers Glee Club might enjoy this game. We’re not sure how many others are standing in line to get one.
“Why bother working for a living?” is the question asked by the manufacturers of this board game. The objective is for the player to make his or her way through life while living off the public coffers, collecting welfare, food stamps, and any other available public handouts. Buy your copy here.
Post Office is a game of mystery. What is the mystery of this game? Why it is called “Post Office” when it has nothing to do with delivering the mail? The player must pick a card and perform the stunt described. Stunts include eating a potato chip at the same time as another player or whistling Yankee Doodle. With this kind of madcap zaniness, the game can be played for hours at a time!
Beat the Border
First released in 1971, this game has players pretending to be drug traffickers trying to cross the southern U.S. border. The not-so-subtle racist messages throughout the game only add to the offensiveness. Players win when they successfully bring kilos of drugs into the US to sell them in various cities while avoiding U.S. law enforcement agents. As long as you are wanting to break the law, though, why not try…
The Suicide Bomber Card Game
Because nothing says “fun” like trying roleplaying a terrorist, setting bombs in crowded metropolitan areas for the purpose of inflicting maximum carnage. Surely this was created prior to the horror of the September 11, 2001, terrorist acts, right? Wrong. This game was released in 2003.
At least this must be a game to appeal to adults. After all, you wouldn’t want to encourage this sort of thinking in — wait a minute… The game is marketed for ages 12 and up. Maybe the real terror is in the marketing department.
OK… enough with that kind of terror. Let’s try something that is decidedly different fuel for nightmares…
Let’s let the game manufacturers speak for themselves on this one: “Play one on one and take turns “popping” pimples. The player who bursts the Mega Zit is eliminated and the other player is the winner. Add more players for a pimple-popping competition. Earn points for each pimple you “pop” without exploding the Mega Zit. The player with the most points is the Pimple Pete champion.”
Words fail us. As long as we’re on the subject of unhealthy habits, let’s try…
Keep in mind that this game is advertised as appropriate for ages 8 and up. At the start of the game, each player picks a profession likely to benefit from the smoking of others (Doctor, Undertaker, etc.) and then starts moving around the board. If a player lands on an advertising space, there’s a chance that he or she will begin smoking. When a smoker ends up sharing a space with another player, there’s a chance he’ll pawn one of his brand habits to him. The more a player smokes, the faster they advance on the Life-O-Metre, which ends with death. The game ends once the first player dies (in the short game) or when only one player remains alive (in the longer game). As long as we are having fun with horrible, lingering death, let’s try…
Another game for 8-year-olds, this game has you looking for gold, while simultaneously avoiding Big Foot. The winner is the last one alive after Big Foot eats everyone else. The game is included in this list because, once you realize that Big Foot is evil, the picture on the game’s box turns downright creepy.
In light of the adrenaline rush from running from Big Foot, maybe it’s time to take a break and look at…
The objective of this “thrilling Australian surfboard race game” is to take a team of 2 surfboard riders from the start at the beach, around the buoy to the finish.
Essentially, it’s a lot like watching paint dry, only without all the excitement.
Let’s Be Safe
If you are looking for a truly awkward family night, you might try “Let’s Be Safe.” This game promises a fun way to help you “discuss sensitive issues with your child in a fun, relaxed manner.” There’s nothing like gathering around the table and reminding children that the world is a ghastly place in which to live.
As long as we’re on the subject of how weird and awkward the real world can be, why not check out…
Try to imagine the creative meeting that came up with this one. “Let’s have kids stick their fingers through holes and wiggle them around! That’s hilarious and fun!” What is hilarious and fun is the realization that someone thought that would be hilarious and fun.
The box proclaims, “Funny Fingers everywhere, sticking here and there…” If you aren’t doubled over with laughter now, you just don’t understand the word “funny.”
What’s worse, is…
This game just feels creepy. The objective is to reach your hand into a box, feel something, and figure out what it is.
It really sounds like a hazing ritual for a fraternity. The box proclaims it as “the game that gives you a funny feeling.”
Speaking of feelings…
Monopoly for Millenials
Taking a departure from traditional Monopoly, this game is marketed toward the generation that embraces the box’s tag line: “Forget real estate. Who can afford it, anyway?” Players can visit vegan bistros, their friend’s couch, or their parents’ basement. Instead of collecting money, players accumulate life experiences. Unfortunately, life experiences cannot be cashed in to purchase the game, so we’re in a bit of a quandary from the start.
Morron Terror held out some promise for entertainment until we realized that “Morron” is simply Swedish for “morning” and that “terror” proved to be anything but. The whole point of the game is to see which player can get a boy named Freddy dressed first.
Yep. That’s all there is to it. Rather terrifying, isn’t it?
Don’t Wake Daddy
This game suggests to us that our childhood may not have been like what is experienced by the rest of you. If you grew up in a home in which your father slept in the kitchen in a spring-loaded bed next to the refrigerator, then Don’t Wake Daddy probably makes perfect sense to you. For the rest of us, we’re not sure why we need to sneak around while peckish, fearful of waking Daddy from his slumber.
Granted, we have had some challenging and amusing interns on the Commonplace Fun Facts staff over the years. Any one of them offers more opportunity for amusement than the board game of the same name. The purpose of the game is to guide a patient through the hospital without killing them. Instead of winning with money, insurance payouts, or even “surgeon of the year” status, players are awarded hours of sleep.
Given the level of excitement of this game, it would probably be better to offer caffeine to keep the players awake.
Pinky Lee and the Runaway Frankfurters
Perhaps this game sounded like a lot more fun when Pinky Lee was a household name. Even then, the concept for this game is dubious. Pinky Lee was a comedian who was known for his colorful outfits, lispy voice, and catchphrase, “Oooh! You make me so mad!” How that translates into a game in which players spend an exciting evening chasing hotdogs around the gameboard is lost on us.
Mr. Bacon’s Big Adventure
If you didn’t get your fill of playing with your food as you played with Pinky Lee and the Runaway Frankfurters, you’ll want to join Mr. Bacon on a journey through Meatland. Highlights of the game include sailing on the Sausage Sea, surviving Weiner Wasteland, and making it successfully to the Great Frying Pan.
We eagerly await the sequel, “Land of Lipitor.”
Donner Dinner Party
Still have your appetite after all those fun food festivities? Lick your lips and prepare to play Donner Dinner Party. Have a rowdy time as a member of the doomed Donner Party. Food supplies are low, and if you can’t find enough to eat, someone will have to be sacrificed so the rest can survive.
The premise seems a bit gruesome, so we didn’t spend a lot of time digesting the rules. Suffice it to say that if one of your friends is eager to play against you, be sure you hide the barbeque sauce.
If this has whetted your appetite, you can buy the game here.
Darkies in the Melon Patch
This one makes it onto the list out of sheer cringeworthiness. Purportedly a game from the 1930s, it would be offensive enough if that were true. As it turns out, it was produced in the 1990s, which makes it even worse.
What Shall I Be? The Exciting Game of Career Girls
This 1966 board game starts off with a promising premise: encouraging young girls to set their sights on career goals. It goes downhill from there. The available goals are teacher, airline hostess, nurse, actress, model, or ballet dancer. Does your daughter want to be a lawyer, air traffic controller, or president? Sorry… There’s no place for such preposterous dreaming in this game!
Because, of course, who wouldn’t want to spend a fun-filled evening pretending to be one of the evilest people of all time? Secret Hitler pits two teams against each other: the Liberals and the Fascists. Players attempt to discover who among them is the secret Hitler before it’s too late.
Too late for what? Too late to save each other from losing all sense of common decency.
If you want to buy this for the little fascist on your Christmas shopping list, you can purchase it here.