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Subject: Discovering a Childhood I never knew existed. rss

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Brian Cox
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I've been casually working on writing a book that incorporates some board game nostalgia from the 80's and early 90's, and of course I've been using BGG as a resource. So much so that I come to BGG more than most people I know go to Facebook.

In my research, I've come across so many games I never knew existed. No, I'm not talking about games that came out in Europe while I grew up in America. I'm talking about games that came out or were around when I was a kid, and are big-time nostalgia for a lot of people here, but I seriously had not heard of them until I started coming to BGG within the past year or so.

I was born in 1982 (30 year ago last month), and I remember my family having board games in the hall closet. We had what I always thought were the normal American family games like Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Battleship, and Clue as well as Chess, Checkers, UNO, Dominoes and a traditional deck of cards. We may have also had Operation, Candy Land, and some others, but I don't recall right now.

Only recently have I heard of games from the Milton Bradley Gamemaster Series series (Fortress America, Axis & Allies, etc.), I had never heard of The Avalon Hill Game Co until last year, and I have still never played Stratego or Diplomacy. Heck, I'm the guy who was in middle school when Magic: The Gathering came out, and I never played it until I was in my late 20's.

Granted, I was probably a few years too young to get in on the MB Gamemasters series or AH games like Civilization and Merchant of Venus at the time they were first available, but I did have two older brothers who might have had these. Though I suppose the NES came out at about that time and we played video games, sports, and other stuff.

That being said, can someone who's about my age let me know what games I may have missed out on as a kid?

I assume some of the Euro classics like Die Macher wouldn't have been available to me, but Fortress America looks like it would've been a game me and my best friend would've played at every sleep over. I'm basically looking for classic board game nostalgia from the 80's and early 90's, but also including older games like Diplomacy and Acquire that I've never played, but I'm learning may have been in every other house but mine.

Thanks for your help.
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Chaddyboy
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Same here! I'll be 30 next month, and when I first got into gaming I couldn't believe all of the stuff that was around when I was a kid! Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, Fireball Island, Tornado Rex, Loopin' Louie, etc. All fun stuff that I was oblivious to as I played Nintendo and Sega Genesis!
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いい竹やぶだ!

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chaddyboy_2000 wrote:
Same here! I'll be 30 next month, and when I first got into gaming I couldn't believe all of the stuff that was around when I was a kid! Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, Fireball Island, Tornado Rex, Loopin' Louie, etc. All fun stuff that I was oblivious to as I played Nintendo and Sega Genesis!

Same for me, except with the Atari 2600. By an odd stroke of fate, I started college at almost the exact moment the original Nintendo came out. By the time I noticed either video games or board games, we had Settlers of Catan and the Genesis.
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The Tak
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Some of the older Steve Jackson stuff was about that time yeah? Car Wars, Ogre Battle, Illuminati maybe even. Car Wars is kind of a big deal. It's really a shame it hasn't be successfully converted to a video game (barring Darkwind, but I'm looking for a standalone not online game). Mechwarrior has a lot of nostalgia-tinged sighs about it when I hear people talk about 'moving those little dudes around on the grid', but I don't know the timeline.

I got into 'real games' as a teenager, so I missed anything more than checkers, chess, and various Milton Bradley flat-box games. I'd be curious to see your finished work!
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Richard Walter
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Stephen Crouch wrote:
Car Wars is kind of a big deal. It's really a shame it hasn't be successfully converted to a video game...


It was a successful video game: AutoDuel

Now, if what you meant was that it's a shame that it hasn't been successfully converted to a video game more recently than 25 years ago..., then I agree with you...

-Richard
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Would the Games Workshop stuff have been available in America at the time you're interested in? Obviously, Warhammer (their tabletop miniatures game) is what they're best known for now, but in the 80's they also published plenty of boardgames too. The one that I loved as a teenager in the 80's was Fury Of Dracula, but I know there were others too. Was Blood Bowl a boardgame, or a minis game?

By the way, don't beat yourself up over not knowing about these games. They were, in general, a lot less widely known than the "normal American family games" you describe, and certainly not nearly as easy to find in shops. Generally, they were only available in specialist hobby shops, rather than being in department stores or mainstream toy shops.

It's not surprising that the average American kid didn't know about these games. You were only likely to ever discover them through another hobbyist, or maybe by being exposed via another associated hobby - in my case, RPG's.
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Aaron Potter
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For sheer eighties boardgaming nostalgia, nothing beats Dark Tower ('published' 1981). Thrown out right in the midst of the Dungeons and Dragons phenomenon which was revolutionizing all forms of gaming, it boasted all the hallmarks of an eighties experience. Early computerization, with tinny 4 and 8-bit sound effects. Heavy plastic. Deeply psychedelic fantasy art. All at a price point which was completely reachable by a nerdy kid who saved his allowance for a few weeks (as I did)...unlike the nightmarishly expensive over-tuned games which pollute the hobby these days.

Check out that art:



For bonus points, feel free to include Bob Pepper's other stellar work in Dragonmaster, published that same year.

C.F.: Dungeons & Dragons Computer Labyrinth Game (1980)
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Brian Cox
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Wow! Awesome additions everyone! Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, Loopin' Louie, Dark Tower, etc. are ones that I've never seen in real life, but are great.

Keep 'em coming. I'm getting a lot of new ideas for my writing. If you were to think of the ultimate game room for a kid in the 80's and early 90's, that's what I'm looking for.

Though the more I think about it, I probably was just a few years too young for some of these nostalgiac games. Plus I guess I was playing with Transformers, GI Joe, and TMNT instead of these games. But for the sake of my story, I'm assuming the best games for a kid are available.

 
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Cardboard Hustle
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Thumbs up for guys turning 30 this year.

I'm in the exact same boat as you, the only "gamers" game I remember from my childhood was Key to the Kingdom. And back then I'm certain that my buddy and I didn't play the game correctly.

Did anyone else play Weapons and Warriors as a kid? I played that up until 7th grade or so. And I think I pulled it out once or twice in high school.
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Frank
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acedaryl1 wrote:
Thumbs up for guys turning 30 this year.

I'm in the exact same boat as you, the only "gamers" game I remember from my childhood was Key to the Kingdom. And back then I'm certain that my buddy and I didn't play the game correctly.

Did anyone else play Weapons and Warriors as a kid? I played that up until 7th grade or so. And I think I pulled it out once or twice in high school.


Heck yeah I played Weapons & Warriors! Great game, to bad it didn't lead me to some of these other gems.

Turning thirty in about a month too! Class of 2000 FTW
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Cardboard Hustle
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Heck Yeah! Class of 2000 4eva!

 
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Jason
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fuzzydice82 wrote:
That being said, can someone who's about my age let me know what games I may have missed out on as a kid?

I don't know if these are nostalgic to other gamers, but as a kid who grew up in the US in the mid 80s to early 90s, I recall really wanting to play all of these games after seeing commercials for them:

Battle Masters
Dark World
HeroQuest
The Omega Virus
Torpedo Run!

There is also Crossbows and Catapults, but that was a bit before my time.

Unfortunately, anything that wasn't available at retail chains like K-Mart was unknown to me. Also unfortunately, by 1988 or so, anything that wasn't a video game had to look beyond awesome for me to have much interest in it.
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