Screen sick? Beat winter boredom with the retro board games from your childhood

Remember those rainy days as a kid with no broadband and a dull selection of TV channels that didn't even hit double digits? When you genuinely looked forward to taking out a piece of illustrated cardboard, dotting it with pieces of plastic and letting your imagination provide the narrative? Yes the era of board games.

With the return of those rainy days wouldn't it be great to forgo the broadband, phones, apps and screens in general and recreate the entertainment of antiquity - face to face with other people?

Although we've already seen the halcyon days come and go for the best of them, there have been some gems over the decades that will never lose their appeal, in fact, it might only have increased with age.

Outside of the staples like chess, checkers and Monopoly these are some of the games that you might have forgotten about - or never played but really should.


Guess Who? (1980s)


A charades-like game where each player starts with a board that includes cartoon images of 24 people and their first names with all the images standing up. Each player selects a card of their choice from a separate pile of cards with the same images.

By asking probing questions, the object of the game is to be the first to determine which card one's opponent has selected.


Trivial Pursuit (1980s)


The game that challenges every demographic of the family with general knowledge trivia that covers Geography, Entertainment, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports & Leisure.

The original version is known as the Genus edition (or Genus I). Several other general knowledge editions (such as Genus II) have followed. Some include, Junior Edition (1985), All-Star Sports, Baby Boomers, 1980s, All About the 80s, and 1990s.


Risk (1960s)


Risk is a game for those of imperialist leanings.

Played on a board depicting a political map of the Earth, divided into forty-two territories, which are grouped into six continents, the object of the game is to occupy every territory on the board and in doing so, eliminate the other players. Players control armies with which they attempt to capture territories from other players, with results determined by dice rolls.


Snakes and Ladders (Forever)


It needs no introduction and no matter the edition or jurisdiction it's always the same concept and probably the best introduction to board games for kids. Seriously addictive.


Connect 4 (1970s)


It was pretty much an extended version of Xs and Os and accessible to all ages. The game was known under several different guises but the objective was always the same: to connect four of one's own discs of the same colour next to each other vertically, horizontally, or diagonally before your opponent.


Mouse trap (1960s)


Mouse Trap was one of those games that never seemed to go quite as well as it appeared to in the ads, at least in my experience, though the ads were brilliantly produced.
Apparently the game was one of the first mass-produced, three-dimensional board games. Over the course of the game, players at first cooperate to build a working mouse trap. Once the mouse trap has been built, players turn against each other, attempting to trap opponents' mouse-shaped game pieces.
It's definitely one of the more interactive games and is a great game to get the sprogs away from the screen.


Cluedo (1950s)


It's still a family classic but you'll be disappointed if you were expecting to find all the original characters in the latest edition as makers Hasbro has just killed off Mrs White and replaced her with Dr Orchid, who has a PhD in plant toxicology and was home-schooled by Mrs White herself.


Hungry Hungry Hippos (1980s)


Admittedly I was a sucker for the ads which will forever be ingrained in my memory: featuring a series of brightly coloured cartoon hippos dancing in a conga line and singing, "Hungry Hungry Hip-pos!" to the beat.

The premise is very simple, each player controls the jaws of a chomping colourful, plastic hippopotamus operated by levers on their back to reach out a telescopic neck and gobble down as many plastic balls as possible. The game continues until all marbles have been devoured, and the winner is the player with the fullest gut of plastic balls.

- NZ Herald

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