Writing Prompts: Games

This week we are going to take a trip into the surreal. Your assignment is to turn these popular board games into real worlds for your characters to operate in. Just to make things a little interesting, you have to use the “Official” rules of the game. I know how some of you like to cheat at Monopoly by using so called street rules. Not on this website!

Optionally, a story where the characters are just playing the game would be acceptable too.

1. Monopoly

This popular board game from Parker Brothers has been around since the 1930’s and is currently sold in 80 countries and translated into 26 languages. The point of the game is to become a real estate tycoon and bankrupt your opponents. On second thought that sort of sounds like real life.

Anyway, you start the game with a set amount of money. You have the option to buy each piece of property you land on. If you cannot afford it, then the land goes up for auction. Once you own all of the property in a given set, you can start building houses and motels on it and collected higher payouts of rent. The last person standing (or with the most money at the end of the game) wins.

More about Monopoly

2. Candyland

This is a child’s game, literally. This is a race game where players take cards with different colors on them from a stack and move their piece to the corresponding color on the board. The first one to make it to the end wins.

More about Candyland

3. Trivial Pursuit

This is another race game where players must travel the board in a circle and collect different colored pieces by answering the corresponding questions correctly.

More about Trivial Pursuit

4. Hangman

In classic Hangman, the goal is to correctly spell a word by guessing what the letters are in the word. You can only guess one letter at a time and with each wrong answer an appendage of a person is drawn. You lose when a full stick figure is created and shown to be hanging from a noose. Wheel of Fortune is the 2.0 version of this.

More about Hangman

5. Clue

Cluedo is the original name for this game. Originally created in the UK in 1948, this is a whodunit game set in a mansion. The goal is to guess who killed the proprietor of the house, Mr. Broddy, what weapon they used and where in the house the murder occurred.

Clue, The Movie starring Tim Curry was released in 1985 but I know you can do much better than those hacks in Hollywood 😉

More about Clue

6. The Game of Life

Milton Bradley came up with this game in 1860. Only back then it was called The Checkered Game of Life. Later, in 1960, he modernized it and published it under the Milton Bradley Company with it’s now common name.

The Game of Life is a race game where the object is to make it to the end with the most money. No really. Players at the beginning of the game decide which of two routes to go which will decide what their profession, and thus their salary, will be for the duration of the game.

Once out of the gate, the players must travel the track according to the roll of the dice. Each space they landed on contributed to whether or not they make it to the end. For instance, some spots represented paydays, others whether or not they got married and had kids and others were random events that contributed to their success or fortune.

More about The Game of Life

7. Operation

This game tests a player’s hand/eye coordination. The object is to remove pieces from the patient’s body without sounding off the alarm. Each body part removed is worth a certain amount of money if take out successfully. The player with the most money at the end wins.

More about Operation

8. Hungry, Hungry Hippo

This is another hand/eye coordination game where the players compete to gobble up a bunch of marbles with using a plastic hippo shaped puppet. The person who ends up with the most marbles, wins.

More about Hungry, Hungry Hippos

9. Twister

This game tests a player’s physical skill and flexibility. It involves a mat of colored dots and a game board that is divided into four different parts with the four colors under each part. One person turns the spinner and the players must be able to perform the combination (ie put their right foot on a blue circle) or they are eliminated. The last person standing wins.

Because it involves close proximity to other players, it sometimes gets to be a very tangled mess.

More about Twister

10. Risk

This game was origally released in France as La Conquête du Monde (The Conquest of the World). It is a turn based game of strategy where players are in command of armies and the goal is to capture land from the other players. The player who “conquers” the world wins.

More about Risk

11. Chess

This is another game of strategy where two players each take control of a set of pieces which could be logically thought of as armies. Each set contains a king, queen, two bishops, two horsemen, two rooks and eight pawns. The goal is to defeat the opposing player by bringing the king under an attack he cannot escape.

More about Chess

12. Battleship

This strategy game is played on a grid where two players secretly place battleships on the board. The players then fire at each other’s ships by naming off space they want their ammo to land. They score a hit if a battleship is located in the space they name. The person whose battleships are sunken first, loses.

More about Battleship

13. Memory

Memory is a brain game. The object is to select matching cards without being able to see the face of them. Typically, a player is allowed to only flip over cards two at a time. They lose their turn with each unsuccessful match. The player with the most sets at the end wins.

Good luck!

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