Five More Board Games That Will Ruin Any Party
Previously on Gunaxin we discussed four of the worst games ever set to a board. Despite this noble service the world of passable entertainment is still in grave danger, so we decided to delve back into our closets to unearth five more of the worst games to ever haunt a Toys R Us. If you don’t hear back from us in a week, remember us as heroes.
Guilt exists to remind us of when we’ve done something that we recognize is wrong and to help us avoid committing that same act again. The California Raisins exist to remind us that, deep down, everyone is guilty of something. In this case, a nation of consumers managed to catapult four clay puppets to a level of super-stardom most sentient beings can only dream of. It never should have happened: when a record company executive tried to convince us that four fictional raisins had mastered the soulful art of jazz, we were withing our legal rights to take turns punching him in the throat until the screaming stopped. Instead, we chose to buy into the charade, fueling a merchandising machine that eventually crapped out a board game. A board game about jazz musician raisins.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what’s inside the box. Upon opening it you could be crushed by a pyramid of naked super-models and you still wouldn’t be able to enjoy yourself because the fact that you own The California Raisins Board Game means that someone either paid hard-earned money for it or went through the effort to steal it. We’re not sure which one is sadder, really.
The Book of Lists is a collection of trivia a normal human being could never, ever find useful. The Book of Lists Board Game takes the typical trivia game formula of pretending to know what you’re talking about and shits all over it by drawing all of its answers from The Book of Lists. If someone asking you things you don’t know and cross referencing your answers with a book sounds familiar, it’s because that’s actually every test you ever took in middle school and now someone is trying to pass it off as entertainment. If you’ve processed that correctly then you shouldn’t be able to read this, as logic says you just punched a hole past your screen and through the wall behind it.
Can you name the largest labor unions? Can you think of a scenario when you would ever need to? Short of a group of men in ski-masks and trench-coats holding a gun to your beloved’s head demanding you recite the seven most popular U.S. Presidents based on a 1976 poll, the information found in the Book of Lists can only serve the purpose of forcing useful information out of your memory. If you’re wondering why NASCAR drivers often find themselves becoming one with the wall it’s because they forgot how to turn left in favor of knowing the states with highest per capita income.
Monopoly on its own barely qualifies as a game. Rather, it was devised as a trial to test the strength of those who play it, forcing them to stare down what they fear the most and realize that all of the relationships they’ve forged in life are useless if they can’t get Park Avenue. And if you actually make it to the end of the game without someone flipping the board or swallowing that little wheelbarrow just to end the madness, you’ve completed nothing except drawing yourself that much closer to your grave. Naturally, KISS would want to get in on that action.
Most Monopoly variants place you directly in the role of whatever franchise they are directly tied into. For example, Star Wars Monopoly allows you to see the world of real estate development through the eyes of Jedi. Pokemon Monopoly let’s you play as one of those terrible nightmare creatures. KISS-opoly instead tasks you with being a KISS collector who is actively wasting their inexplicable fortune on more KISS memorabilia. This presents more than a few problems, most paramount among them that if you’re the sort of person who buys KISS-Opoly for pleasure and not a horrid form of punishment, then this isn’t a game so much as a representation of your life’s work in cardboard. Opening the box is like staring into a mirror, realizing that the closest you’ll get to being Gene Simmons is being Gene Simmons’ boot in miniature.
Like a fire-breathing scorpion covered in broken glass cobras, Ungame tries to warn you of its terrible nature very quickly and as bluntly as possible. The title, Ungame, would imply that it is either a game that doesn’t exist or a game that somehow undoes other games through forbidden Milton Bradley sorcery. In truth Ungame is more like a terrible curse: you don’t deserve it but you’re willing to pass it on to others if it means your freedom. Think we’re lying? Go to your local thrift store right now and count the number of copies they have including all of its variants: if there are less than eight, common law dictates that the establishment in question owes you a two-hundred dollar compensation and a heart-felt apology.
The Ungame was born in a dark period of human history known as the seventies. A greater movement of self-discovery was brewing, manifesting itself in the physical form of expensive therapy and awkward meditation stances. Ungame serves as an inexpensive alternative to both, trying to prompt communication and personal growth under the ruse that it’s actually a game that you can somehow win. Players take turns discussing their feelings, airing their grievances and handing out compliments in a poor attempt to deepen their lives. We can only assume that these are the same people who play chess in order to train for committing the act of regicide or Twister in preparation for living under a cruel, colorful dictatorship.
Twister variants are few and far between. That is because Twister is already walking a thin line of what constitutes family fun and what constitutes blatant sexual harassment. Slapping the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 on the game mat blurred that line a bit too much, so instead they chose to call it an entangle game.
Just as an aside, “entangle” is not a word generally associated with fun and good times. There are divisions of military strategists devoted to avoiding the issue of entanglement because a regiment trapped in a river bed is what makes the difference between a victory for democracy and a tragic CNN news crawl. The mental image of human beings become entangled with one another is unpleasant to say the least. Why the publisher chose entangle over another, more pleasant word may never be known, but honestly, it’s probably best we don’t understand the inner workings of the mind that thought “Twister” and “fictional teenager’s face” were an excellent combination.
While players taking turns jamming parts of their body against the parts of a actor as instructed by a spinner might seem creepy, the spinner lends itself to some pretty violent combinations. One arrow reveals which body part the player must place on the mat while another dictates which character’s personal space you must invade, lest you lose this ultimate test of endurance. With just the right amount of luck, your elbow could find it’s way to Kelly’s shoulder. We can’t help but think tweens thought this was how the rich and sexy interacted with one another. Somewhere in the world right now there’s a woman who still can’t understand why her dates leave once she drives her knee into their foot.