Did you sink a Battleship or Guess Who as a kid? Perhaps you had a Clue it was Mrs. Peacock in the study with the rope as you prepared to Operate on the guy with the big red nose?  If these sentences don’t have you scratching your head, you are a child of the pre-iPad era and know that back then board games were big business.  Below are a few of our faves old school game picks. Let us know in the comment section below if we missed your choice nostalgic game.

Rubix Cube

Any of you who remember this torture device probably also remember peeling off the colored stickers in order to re-stick them when that last blasted line didn’t match up!  How did colored, plastic squares hold so much power over us as kids?

 (Photo courtesy of Gracedustin via Flickr)


If you knew it was Professor Plum in the Library with the candlestick, then you grew up with a steady diet of mystery sleuthing playing Clue as a kid. Whether Mrs. Peacock is your go-to gal or old Mr. Cranky pants, Colonel Mustard, Clue remains a fave among Gen X and Y parents.

 (Photo courtesy of Chris Corwin via Flickr)


Ah… if only in real life you could buy a sports car, marry the guy of your dreams and move into a mansion with the spin of the numbered wheel. You’re on cloud nine, until…the dreaded “Taxes Due” spot!  The board game Life ushered many young girls and boys into the trials and tribulations of being a grown up, if only for a short time, while taking a ride in their favorite plastic car.

(Photo courtesy of  LifeSupercharger via Flickr)


Flash green, flash blue, flash blue, flash red, repeat… faster. Are your hands sweating yet? If so, you probably watched every kid in the rumble seat of their family car matching wits with Simon.  Now, nearly 35 years later, you’re more likely to find it in iPad form than a clunky piece of plastic, but the game itself continues to instill anxiety in the hearts of children everywhere.

 (Photo provided by Toywhirl via Flickr)

Mouse Trap

It seems you can, in fact, build a better mousetrap and this game helped children the nation over try to outwit their opponent at it.

 (Photo courtesy of Squiggle via Flickr)


The last plastic piece is almost in its matching tile when BOOM – the entire board is thrown in the air and the alarm sounds. The minute is over and the player has not in any way reached Perfection. Let’s just rename this little beauty, “the heart attack.”

 (Photo courtesy of Jronaldlee via Flickr)


If you’ve ever shouted the battle cry, “You sunk my battleship” you have been through the rigors of the strategic game of little grey plastic boats. Remember placing the ships as close together as possible to make it seem like the biggest ship had been found?

 (Photo courtesy of nworbleahcim via Flickr)

Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders was an early lesson in winning (up the ladder you go) and losing (down the ladder you slide, and to make it interesting, let’s add a broken plate of cookies.) And just when you thought you had made it to the winning square? More often than not, the result was that last long slide to the bottom.

(Photo courtesy of Ben Husmann via Flickr)

Guess Who?

Who else thought the people on the cards in this guessing game really could talk based on the commercials promoting it during our youth?  What a letdown to open the box and realize that instead of a grandma saying, “Can you guess who? “, it was really just a deduction game based on facial features.

(Photo courtesy of Ben Sutherland via Flickr)


Ushering a whole generation of young imaginary surgeons, Operation not only let kids of the 80s and 90s operate on a character, but freak out at the smallest hint of a trembling hand.

(Photo courtesy of Pernell via Flickr)

What board games most remind you of your childhood?

— Laurie Halter

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