Flashback! Old-School Games You Wish Your Kids Played

Back before iPads had the monopoly (pun intended) on your kid’s free time, there were board games. From silly to serious, we rounded up some nostalgic picks. You’ll find ones that make you say “I remember that!” as well as a bunch the whole family can still enjoy.

1. Old Maid: It was a card game any kid could master as long as you kept a straight face and didn’t get stuck with the Old Maid! With quirky characters like Milkman Mo, Ballet Betty and Fifi Fluff,  you gotta wonder — how many rounds did you play on rainy days?

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2. Aggravation: Let your kids aggravate each other the same way you did with your siblings with the classic marble race board game. Roll the die, jump the board and don’t lose your marbles!


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3. Battleship: You never had more fun sinking ships than when trying to beat your best pal! Let your video gamers have a hand at this classic war game for some old-time entertainment.


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4. Chutes and Ladders: Nothing like climbing to the top and having to slide back down again. Going way, way back, this slippery slope of a game has been entertaining kids for generations. Find a re-vamped version like Chutes and Ladders Super Hero Squad for a modern-day touch.


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5. Boggle: Before Bananagrams were a hit, Boggle was the go-to game for exciting word play. Shake up the lettered die, flip the timer and go! What was the weirdest word you ever found?


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6. Trouble: It was the Pop-o-Matic feature that made this game irresistible. Over and over again, you would roll the dice by popping the plastic in the middle of the board. Try playing this on your next game night; we guarantee everyone will want to get into Trouble.


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7. Don’t Break The Ice: It’s like a wintery version of Jenga — only with hammers and blocks of ice. Who didn’t crack the cubes a few thousand times before getting it just right?


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8. Bed Bugs: Recently re-released by Patch Toys, this hilarious, squirming, pick-em-up motorized game from the ’80s is back. Kids always have a blast trying to pluck those creepy crawlers out of bed. Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite!

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9. Fireball Island: After crossing the bridges and avoiding pitfalls, the giant tiki always seemed to drop the dreaded fireball right as you reached the ruby treasure. With light up “idols” and marble ramps, it was easy to get fired up on game night.


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10. 13 Dead End Drive: If you got out alive you might just inherit riches. Trying to knock off other players with three dimensional traps like the the chandelier, the bookcase and yes, that fireplace, made this Clue-like game irresistible to kids in the ’90s.


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11. Pick-up Sticks: Five, six … pick up sticks! This classic game has been around for decades and never goes out of fashion. Simple without being boring, it made you shout for joy when you got that final stick.


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12. Crossfire: A favorite with the little dudes in the ’80s, Crossfire was like a mini hockey table with rapid-fire marble launchers attached. And that commercial complete with epic battle and lightening storm? Priceless.


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13. Cootie: Kids have been building cooties since 1949 and it never gets old. This tabletop game for up to four will have you waxing on about the olden days while building new memories with your own family.


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14. Sorry: It was never so easy to say sorry while sending your opponent back to home base! Kids as young as six can handle this board game, and it’s a blast to bump family members off their track.


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15. The Game of LIFE: With taxes, jobs, and all that “real-life” stuff, whether you ended up in the mansion with no kids or the shack with two sets of twins, the road down this game was always an adventure.

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16. Girl Talk: Instead of texting about boys, we had Girl Talk. Which mom out there didn’t play a round or three during a Saturday sleepover? And how many “zits” did you end up wearing?


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17. Jumanji: Yes, you had rhinos and lions chasing you down the board. No, you didn’t have the potential danger of sprouting a monkey’s tail out the back of your pants. Based on the book and movie, this jungle game was an adventure in itself. And it’s okay to admit it — you always secretly hoped Robin Williams would show up for some fun.

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What were some of your favorite games as a kid? Share with us in the comments! 

— Gabby Cullen


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