You say Pictionary, I say meltdown.
Family board games are advertised as entertainment, but there’s nothing quite like a round of Blokus or Sorry! to raise your stress level to the maximum. Players unbox the board and prepare the pieces with hope that the game will distract them from their daily life, and then the game starts and all hell breaks loose.
No surprise here, Sorry! is a loose adaptation of the 1965 classic, Trouble. The name of the game implies feeling badly for your actions, when Sorry! actually represents that swell of pride when you finally get revenge on the opponent who bumped you back to start when you were only six paces away from the finish line.
Each player has four pawns they want to move all around the board and into their final circle, but if someone’s pawn lands in a square already holding a pawn, that original piece must start way back at the beginning. Unfortunately, that’s just one of the instances where your game can be completely ruined with a single draw of the card. Sorry, not sorry.
There are two major frustrations when it comes to playing the the family game night classic, Monopoly. Firstly, someone must be sacrificed to the position of banker, and then comes the long, slow torture of arguing over properties at the dinner table for three hours.
In recent years, there has been a collective light-bulb moment for those with a distaste for the game due to its runtime. When you land on a property and decide to pass on it, thinking you just don’t need or want it right now, the banker is supposed to auction that property off to the other players. This speeds up the game immensely since before someone finally reread the rulebook, you had to wait until a player landed on the property for purchase.
Heed this advice, players, and study up on the instructions or you could be settling in for a long game.
Another prime example of defiling an opponent’s chances of success, Blokus is all about blocking the other players’ pieces as you cross the board with your own. How rude.
Players have a handful of colored tiles in either red, blue, yellow, or green, shaped similarly to what you see in Tetris. Starting in one of the four corners on the board, players must connect their tiles to each other by placing a single piece on each of their turns. Once they’ve been blocked by other player’s tiles and can no longer play, they’re out. Or, you’re out, if that unlucky player is you.
The Game of Life (Hasbro)
One of the most popular and beloved family board games may actually be a plot to make players feel absolutely horrible about themselves. Players win The Game of Life, or simply Life, by collecting tiles throughout their journey to retirement, and after everyone is old and worn, whoever has the highest cash value is crowned victorious. Once players have retired, though, they cash in their life savings for more tiles to add to their collection.
No money? Things are about to get complicated.
Life throws many things at you, including career changes, taking out bank loans to buy homes for your brood, multiple ski accidents, and more. If you’re drowning in student debt in the real world, don’t worry, you can experience that in the game, too.
The mother of all frustrating family board games (no offense to Frustration), if you don’t know about Pictionary then you are an exception to the rule. Just about every game-night at anyone’s grandma’s house involves a round of screaming at your cousins and siblings, “You’re doing it all wrong!”
The objective of Pictionary is to reach the end of the game board by correctly identifying the walrus your uncle tried and failed to sketch after landing on the person/place/animal space on the board. Or, a paper doll from an object space. Or, if the Pictionary gods want a good laugh, an “artist’s” depiction of rage by landing on an action space.
Now, if your family happens to consist of all illustrators, this game could be right up your alley. For the rest of us, it seems that we’re doomed to a lifetime of “It’s a house! It’s a… it’s a roller coaster?” and “But where’s it’s ears? You didn’t draw ears!”
Pictionary, just don’t do it. Don’t.
Any other family game night memories that just boil your blood? Tell us your tales in the comments below.
Image Credit: Alex Lovell Troy