Old Timey Board Games

Bored? Nothing on Netflix?

Fancy a board game?

You might enjoy The New Amusing Goofy Game. It was brand new in 1887 and it’s probably new to you now, and presumably it’s both amusing and goofy. From what we can tell (the instructions are in Dutch) it’s a fairly typical race game in which two or more players compete in moving pieces around a numbered board through dice rolls.

“The New Amusing Goofy Game”, 1887-1891

Race games are in fact the earliest known board games. Famous early forms include Snakes and Ladders (origin date unknown; some sources suggest as early as the 2nd century) and the Game of the Goose (first mentioned in 1480).

In the Game of the Goose players compete through dice rolls to reach number 63 along a spiral track. Why 63? Why a spiral? We have no idea. If you do let us know! Goose imagery appears in intervals along the track. If a player lands upon a goose he/she is able to roll the dice again. Certain tiles depict imagery such as an Inn, a Bridge and Death and landing on these tiles results in penalties. Death, for example means the player restarts back at tile 1.

Goose Game, 1800 – 1899
New Entertaining Goose Game, 1880-1900

The race game format was extended beyond geese to anything else imaginable. Trains and steamships, cities and streets – even the faces of battling soldiers.

Boer and Rooinek Game, 1902
Firefighting Game, 1874 – 1896
Arctic, 1869 – 1907
V.A.M.I. Products Game, 1899 – 1935
New Circus Game, 1887 – 1891
Cycling Sport Game, 1885
Large Eiffel Tower Game, 1889
Game of Tight Rope, 1870-1899
Game of the Spider and the Fly, 1870-1899

We haven’t edited these but thought they are worth sharing. If you play one let us know how it goes! 🙂

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