Kid Stuff #13: Terrible Games for the Whole Family to Dread

There's certainly been some awful games produced over the years. The Full House, Kojok and Beverly Hills 90210 board games come to mind. However, I think it's unfair to call games like these the worst. After all, if you were a fan of those shows, you might have actually enjoyed them. I'm looking for games that are horrible by any standard.

I've come across a few vintage games that seem beyond the pale.  They're so bad, I can't conceive of a human being of sound mind enjoying them. For instance, the French cheese card game...

"I've got 3 Roqueforts and 2 Pouligny-Saint-Pierres. Read 'em and weep."

"Not so fast, son. I've got hand full of Crottin de Chavignols and Neufch√Ętels. I win!"

I'm not going to sit here and insult old electronic games - they were fun when they came out. It's only in hindsight that they seem cheap and antiquated.  Once upon a time, Pong was the coolest game in town. It's unfair to judge it by today's technological advancement.

That being said, The Electric Stockmarket game looks mind numbingly awful.  I have no idea how it worked, but I can pretty much guarantee it was not a "game for partytime".

I wonder how many poor kids got forced into playing this game.  I'm all about safety, but sounds horrible.

Even worse, it "teaches serious safety lessons without being scary."  Wasn't that the fun of those old horrific safety films? Sure, I had night terrors and developed an anxiety disorder, but those safety videos were awesome.

I'm no expert, but I can pretty much guarantee kids don't like to look for good deals on sweaters.  In fact, I wonder if there's anything on planet earth they would LESS like to do. 

Here's a few more games I found to be particularly horrible.  I should mention that I actually owned the Bermuda Triangle game, and it was bad..... real bad.

Ice Cube
Bermuda Triangle
King Oil

I can't decide if the Japanese Batman/Flipper looks to be the worst game ever made or the best.  One thing's for sure - it's one of the oddest.


  1. FYI You can find info about almost all of these games at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/.

    and be warned: I'm posting this link over there, you may get nerd-stormed.

    Also, Chug-a-lug delivers.

  2. I think the Batman/Flipper game definitely sounds like a winner. I would give the Bermuda Triangle game a try too. I still have my Raiders of the lost ark and Star Trek the motion picture games from when I was a kid.

  3. I still have our Broadside game, seen in the middle of that big stack of games. You had to blow all the sails off the other guy's ships. The board has some cool artwork, and the plastic ships and cannons are kinda neat too. I'm guessing my brother got it for a present in the mid '60s.

  4. Those are pretty bad. I seem to remember the Bermuda Triangle one!

  5. HEY! Masterpiece is a GREAT GAME...My family still plays it. If anyone cares, I can give a brief rundown...but in a world of crappy games, it is NOT a dud.

    And how can you POSSIBLY have a list of WORST GAMES OF ALL TIME, but not include MYSTERY DATE? For some reason, being a "girl" in the late 60s meant having no fun whatsoever.

    Finally, you touch on this issue with the "Safety Game," but in the worst of the bad old days of PC, there were a series of games that were billed as "non-competitive" board games. Now, "non-competitive" may be okay for something like jigsaw puzzles...But in board games, it set new records for mind blowingly dull.

    Being the contrarian that I am, I am going to suggest some "popular" games that in fact suck.

    1. Mousetrap. This game really looks like it should be more fun, with all the wild Rube Goldberg trap--but actually playing the game was a real letdown.

    2. Life. I don't know why people seem to like this game. It's the worst of both worlds: it takes a long time to play, and nothing happens.

    3. Operation. I hated this game when I first saw it when I was seven. Later in life, my first wife insisted on buying it for her kids (my stepkids), no matter what I said. We played ONCE, and my now ex-wife complained that buzzer really got on her nerves. When I pointed out I SAID THAT WOULD HAPPEN, she replied that at the time, she just didn't believe me.

    Miles Bourne (or whatever) never did much for me either.

  6. Oh yeah....and I don't care what you say, or what proof you have--I don't believe there is any such game as "The French Cheese Card Game."

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. My friends and I have actually played Masterpiece at parties. One of them bought it at a thrift shop. It's actually quite fun! You get to be these crazy characters, and if you try to play them in all their ridiculousness, it's a good time. Lots of very retro pictures of the characters in there, too, that you'd probably love, Gilligan.

  9. Dammit Gilligan, you should've put a 'Not Safe for Office' disclaimer at the top of this blog!!

    "I've got 3 Roqueforts and 2 Pouligny-Saint-Pierres. Read 'em and weep."

    Hahhahaha!!! This entire blog was great, but I laughed so hard over your French cheese dialogue that my boss walked over & asked what the hell I was up to! Thanks very much, this was good stuff. :)

  10. I had King Oil back in the day, have never been able to spot it on eBay to see what it's worth. Some of those old games go for insane amounts on eBay. look up 'Green Ghost' or 'Which Witch.'

  11. Well, I had all of those games at one time or other. I always enjoyed Masterpiece...it was different. Regularjoe is right in saying that some of these games go for high prices on eBay. Just check out the Ice Cube Game, which I had...you can't touch it for under $100 bucks!

  12. I had to look at the Ice Cube one twice to make sure it was for real..."I call him Meltin' Milton!" That would a poor kid's version of Mr. Potato Head.

  13. Wow! I never heard of that French cheese game! I wish I could find one. Do you know its name?

  14. The cheese game's name is visible all over the table. (That's an ad photo, I imagine.)

    The box in the center of the cover of the Batman/Flipper game suggests it's really a game collection; it translates as follows:

    (1) Batman game
    (2) Bat-sign (Bat-Signal?) game
    (3) Flipper game
    (4) Stray game (???)
    (5) Driver game
    (6) Change game

    The Japanese text in the lower right reads: "A Koide Mass-Communications Game. Home version."

  15. I have to respectfully disagree about Bargain Hunter, I think it was more aimed more for girls.

    My brothers and I (all in our late 30s/early 40s) drank quite a bit and played Bermuda Triangle this past January.... GOOD TIMES!

  16. Masterpiece wasn't as bad as it looks....also learned a lot about different paintings by favorite artists. The object of the game: to have the most valuable art collection by not bidding too much on a painting who's value changed with every gameplay...

  17. I owned the Sinking Of The Titanic Board Game in the late 70's. The object was to get off the ship before the it sank. Pretty damn depressing game now that I think about it.