I've decided to start doing some reviews on games that I own that aren't represented very much on here. Sure, it's sexy to do a review on something like Dominion or Agricola, but what about the lesser known games? Hopefully, that's where these will come in handy.
For my first review, I'm tackling (pun intended) a reissue of Parlor Football (or Parlor Foot-Ball on the box) originally released in the 1890's by McLoughlin Brothers. I found mine at a bookstore for three dollars so I'm sure they can be found anywhere for less than ten dollars.
What you get inside the silver and green tin box (which has a very nice image of a painting picturing Yale vs. Princeton circa mid-1890's) are four wood pegs of two colors, two six-sided dice, a pencil, a wooden disc with 5 and 10 on their respective sides and a wooden playfield that marks off the two endzones and the yardage between them.
So there isn't much to the bits involved. Two pegs are used by the two players and the other two are used to mark the downs and the yardage (which will always be 5 or 10 yards) needed for a first down.
Gameplay is completely driven by dice rolls, for instance, a 2= Touchdown run, 12= Touchdown pass and a 10= a defensive penalty (which gives the player 5 yards). However, a roll of a 4,6 or 8 (all meaning a succesful offensive play) requires you to flip the disc which determines your yardage for that play.
A 4= quaterback sack (which also uses the disc), 5= no gain, 7= incomplete pass and 9= no gain.
Defensively a 3 and an 11 (fumble and interception) both use the wooden disc AND one die. So if a 3 is rolled, your opponent flips the wooden disc to determine the first number say a 5 and then rolls the die and gets a 4, they will start 20 yards from the spot the offensive player was on (5X4=20).
The rules say to play until one player has scored four touchdowns or play an actual timed game. I'm not sure you'd want to play a long game of this but I would say a ten minute time limit or a certain number of possesions would be fine.
The way the game is, the defense has the better chance of scoring than the offense in my opinion. The extra yards that can be gained by the die roll multiplied by either 5 or 10 is a big advantage. My brother and I started using a rule that the offense can use the die and disc method for running and passing plays and then dividing it in half to make it more even.
How to rate this game? It's not supposed to be a massive experience, it's a five or ten dollar game that relies more on the nostalgia factor than anything. If you work in an office or anything like that, it would be a nice way to break up the monotony during a coffee break and small enough to go unnoticed. If you can find it cheap, pick it up if for nothing else, the tin itself looks really cool and there is a fun little (stress the word LITTLE) game in there.