5 bizarre board games

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I disagree about Battleship - it’s actually an interesting exercise in visualizing spacial relationships for younger kids. And there are probably some variants that one could come up with to make it a little more challenging, such as a minesweeper-like interaction where instead of just saying hit or miss, one might say how close the shot was if it misses. Some folks at Board Game Geek have come up with some other, more strategic, variants that give special powers to the larger ships, for instance.

But let’s not focus only on the bad ones, but also on the forgotten good ones from that era. One of my favorites was Mastermind. The biggest problem with that game though was the inevitability of losing a critical number of pieces, which meant that if you found it in some rental cabin or beach house, it was almost always unplayable.


“The board games below all suffer from similar problems plaguing the ones above… positive-feedback games where the first person to gain a slight advantage inevitably becomes the runaway winner a couple of tedious hours later.”

I’m trying to imagine the case where Pie Face has gone completely non-linear.


There is already a phrase for when the referee does that


In one of his older routines, from the late 1980’s, I believe, Craig Ferguson had a hilarious bit about Blow Football and how it should have been called “Incitement To Riot”. Then he went on about “Nine Men’s Morris” which sounded even worse and was “a waste of a good board!”

Oh, here it is:

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I find Sproing to be unbearable:

…unbearably FUN that is!


52 pickup with a plastic accessory, as in “If you don’t pick up all 52 of those cards, that game’s going in the trash!” ?


Cinemassacre recently covered Wacky Blasters, which if nothing else is probably at least a little more sanitary.

Hey, the header picture is of an actually fun game! Crokinole!

Not to be confused with its friend Carrom, which is also fun, but not as fun as I find Crokinole.


I’d like to see an Improve Candyland design contest.


Add a stack of play money. Everyone gets a few dollars to start with and a little more each turn.

At the beginning of each round, three cards are laid out, and players bid on them in a silent auction.


I recognise the pie-in-the-face game from this lovely video I saw recently. The adult could hardly breathe for laughing:


Indeed! I saw that picture on the Twitter post about this story and rushed here to defend Crokinole, only to see that the actual article didn’t mention it at all. They’re lucky, they would have had to deal with a bunch of grumpy Canadians. Although I don’t actually know if it’s Canadian. But I was introduced to it by my Canadian in laws and only ever seen Caroms (the square version) in the U.S.

I’ve always thought football blows.

BTW, Monopoly was originally designed as an illustration of Ricardo’s Law of Economic Rent. How could that not suck?


I get it.

I’ve always thought Canadians like curling because it is the only Olympic sport you can play without having to put down your beer.

Crokinole is curling except you don’t even have to get up from your chair.

I always thought it was from mennonite country because “tournament” boards seem to be woodworking intensive

Mastermind falls down when you take it too seriously.
A highschool friend and I would play and take long slow truns where we would thoroughly examine the combinations and figure out the correct answer in a few moves. One mistake and you lost. A very stressful game p!ayed that way.

“Hey babe, wanna play Sproing?”

Works every time.

I wouldn´t call i bizarre, but this one doesn´t require any setup and is always great fun:

I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth right now. BEST IDEA EVER!

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It’s been around forever. Just substute “beer” for “pie.”