Tuesday’s Top Ten Games from My Childhood

When I first thought of the idea of Top Ten Tuesdays, it was with this ideal in mind that we could come together as an international community and agree on something (it is at this point that I have to give a shout out to my loyal British following, my 17 visits from Tanzania, as well as my solitary followers in Hong Kong, Bangladesh and New Zealand).  Don’t we have enough to fight about:  Red v. Blue, North v. South, East v. West, Men v. Women, Chelsea Football Club vs everyone else?

I had no clue that the opinionated, individualistic nature of our humanity went as deep as favorite types of candy,or snack food, or even ice cream for goodness sake.  And I certainly had no idea that certain people, who will remain unnamed, would counter my offer of international commonality with divisive little lists of their own, and then post them in the comments section of my blog.

But this is exactly what has happened.

So today I give you the top ten games from our (notice the OUR) childhood. Tear it up if you want.  Rip it to shreds if you must.  But before you do, just remember – this may be the last fragment of shared humanity left on this spec of dust we call a planet.  Blow it to smithereens at the risk of your own existence.

(This week they are listed in no particular order, in an attempt to find some kind of common ground)

Candy Land – when my children were old enough to play this, and we opened it for the first time with them, I saw the rainbow road and that three-colored ice cream bar, and suddenly I was 6 years old again.  Then I got stuck in that blue, syruppy quagmire while my son cruised to victory (he did a victory dance around the living room), and I wished I was 6 again, so that I could stick my tongue out at him and call him “poopy-face”

Trouble – the spring-loaded, bubble-encased dice did cause a potential problem for this game.  But it was very portable, which made it a traveling favorite.

Chutes and Ladders – or, as you Brits refer to it, Snakes and Ladders (and, actually, Milton Bradley sold it over there first, so TECHNICALLY I should have listed it as the latter).  Who didn’t love seeing their opponent nail that last chute (or snake) and come tumbling back to the bottom of the grid?

Monopoly – we didn’t really know how to play this when I was 6, but the pieces were cool, and the money worked really well for some of the other pretend games we made up.

Sorry – another classic we recently introduced our kids to.  Another game at which I cannot win, no matter how many rules I make up.

Uno – how many people knew that you could take a foreign word, stick it on a pack of numbered, multi-colored cards, and make millions?  I guess just Uno.

War – why was this one of my favorite games as a kid?  You know, the one where you take a deck of cards, split it in half, then flip cards and whoever’s card is highest gets both.  And then the real moment of international intrigue – two cards of the same value are flipped, and war breaks out.  This was probably a favorite of the confrontational ones among us, who will still remain nameless.

Yahtzee – did you ever play this game by yourself when you were a kid, sometimes giving yourself four or five throws per turn (instead of the allotted three), which of course gave you incredibly inflated scores you would then show to your mother and brag about?  Yeah, me neither.

Scrabble – did you ever play this game by yourself when you were a kid?  Okay, I did that.  I was a nerd.  This is why I knew at a young age that the highest scoring word you can use is quartzy (according to some schools of Scrabble), and the longest legal word in North American play is ETHYLENEDIAMINETETRAACETA TES (which is dumb since the board is only 15 spaces across).

Chinese Checkers – what is Chinese about this game?  For that matter, what is checkers about this game (besides the whole jumping over thing)?

So what are the favorite games from your childhood?

13 Replies to “Tuesday’s Top Ten Games from My Childhood”

  1. I am a big fan of War, and I am one of the unnamed contentious ones.

    Another favorite, Battleship. I never won, but it was fun to blow up pretend ships.

    Oh, and I loved those invisible ink game books. Those were road trip favorites – although they weren’t really games, I guess.

    1. my kids love battleship. my son finds it very hard not to peek around the corner of his opponent’s board, though. or maybe that’s me.

  2. so just the other day our mission team was playing this new monopoly card game, which isn’t half bad and goes a billion times faster than the board game — anyway, we found ourselves longing to teach our kids chutes and ladders when they’re old enough to learn.

    good list. in addition to spending time playing those many games, i had this thing called a spiro-graph or something like that. and you could use all the geared tools to make spiral designs in lots of colors. anybody else have one, and did i get the name right?

    1. i definitely remember the pattern, plastic things that made cool designs. my grandmother had them and i loved them. can’t remember the name though.

  3. Great list Shawn! I couldn’t agree more!

    See how boring that is! You know I can’t let it go down like that. I definitely loved Battleship. Also (in no particular order):

    Clue – Col. Mustard did it in the library with the candle stick!
    Connect four – Advanced Tic-Tac-Toe.
    Operation – Always went for the funny bone.
    Concentration – Loved the game show and the board game.
    Backgammon – Only the chess players couldn’t call us nerds.
    Mouse Trap – Never owned this game, but my best friend had it.
    Go Fish – “Got any twos?”
    52 Card Pickup – My sister made me play this every time I beat her at “Go Fish” or “War”.
    Does “Twister” count?
    What about “Rock em Sock em Robots”?

    Oh and one last thing…Stoke City F.C. forever! Go Potters!

  4. “Die hard” would be an extreme exaggeration.. I used to work for JCB, which is a UK based company. I spent a lot of time at their world headquarters in Rocester, and which is near Stoke-on-Trent.

    My best mate from there, had a son that played for Stoke briefly (before they made it back in to the Premier League), so I always pull for them.

  5. Battleship, Connect four, and ABC game (no board required). These were games we always had when traveling back and forth to TX.

  6. I love Dutch Blitz. I’ve introduced it to my nieces and nephews and they all love it. My husband not so much… cause I crush him every time.

    I’m also a fan of Parcheesi. It’s a little like Sorry, and a lot of fun.

    Love the top tens, but usually stay away from commenting. Thanks for all the great posts to read.

    by the way chocolate covered pretzels rock.

    1. Dutch Blitz! How could I forget Dutch Blitz! I think I’ll have to do another top 10 of just card games. Good hearing from you Geny – and not just because you’re a chocolate-covered pretzels fan…but mostly…no, not really…well, kind of. maile’s running some errands right now – a call for chocolate covered pretzels may be in order.

  7. You can add Poland to the list of places in the international community of followers. I’m American, but am living in Poland for 2 years. I just started following your blog recently, and it’s great:) good stuff!

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