One classic and enduring staple of annuals is the crappy board game where you have to provide half the pieces yourself, and which you probably don’t want to play anyway. Despite having owned approximately 48,000 different annuals throughout my career as a hoarder, I’ve never once been tempted to play any of these games.

Today, however, I’m going to… no, I’d be lying to myself if I said I was going to play any of these fuckers. I will share them with you, just in case you’re at a loose end. Your end would have to be pretty bloody loose, to be fair.

Anyway, as you’ll see, these games tend to follow a pretty standard format – roll the dice, move along some squares, try not to die, and then the winner usually has the honour of saving a thing. Sometimes that thing is worth saving, other times it’s something Bungle cares about.

Save Count Duckula (Count Duckula annual 1990)

save count duckula

This game is for two players – you, and someone you hate. Your job is to reach the castle before your opponent, and warn Duckula that Von Goosewing is coming to murder him. As ‘opponent’, your job is to get to the castle and murder Duckula. Deadly hazards encountered along the way include dropping your sandwiches, and Nanny squashing you.

The problem with this game is who the hell wants to play as Von Goosewing and murder Duckula? No one, that’s who. Although it gets points for the bonus classic gag about “the peasants are revolting”.

A Letter To Santa (Twinkle 1985)

a letter to santa

This is a “super fun game” with hopefully no murdering in it.

This game is for up to four players, all of which are 5 year old girls. The winner is the first one to reach Santa. Mild peril along the way includes “going in an igloo for a bit” and “stopping to look at a nice house for a bit”. Presumably, the three losers get NOTHING for Christmas. That’ll learn them.

Battle For Bright Moon (She-Ra annual 1987)

battle for bright moon

How to play: fuck knows. I haven’t had enough coffee for this. I assume you bring your own counters, and there’s something about dying if you land on a green square. And also you have a time limit? This is kind of advanced.

Oh wait – “If you are playing on your own, set yourself a time limit.” IF YOU ARE PLAYING ON YOUR OWN. This was fun in the 80s. Damn straight.

Go For Goal Game (The Sun Soccer Annual 1980)

go for goal game

Oh Christ I thought the She-Ra one was complicated – this is what they play at NASA. I swear, I’m lost by the end of the second sentence:

“Kick off by throwing one dice and keep possession by ‘passing’ to your own players (red or stripes).”

No fucking clue.

Wait, I think it’s something to do with you both throw the dice and whoever throws highest gets the ball. I don’t know what the ball is, or what you do after that.

“If you receive the ball from an opponent, ignore the instructions and play on by throwing one dice.”

What is any of this?

“Overthrows result in goal kicks – place the ball on the appropriate GOAL square, throw both dice and double the total.”

You’re better off playing A Letter To Santa if I’m honest.

Save The Animals (Rainbow annual 1989)

save the animals

Of course there was going to be a Rainbow game in here, and 1989 is a particularly good vintage. I’m not sure why everyone except George has been scribbled out.

Each player has to save five animals of their two chosen species, and fuck the other animals, they can all drown.

Hint: no one wants to save bears.

Right, I think this is a bit like… Ludo? I know they have different colour things in Ludo, like they have here.

Oh I see. You waz around the board as usual, and the object is to land on your own coloured squares. Each time you do, you get to save an animal of your choice.

The first one to not be scribbled out wins.

If you’d like more shit annuals and various bric-a-brac, why not chuck a quid at me via the donate button?

2 thoughts on “Save the thing! – crappy board games in annuals

  1. I always viewed the board game pages as nice bits of art to stare at and pretend to play.

    The ‘They Think It’s All Over’ annual had a great parody of these involving George Best, I do remember.

    Ah, alcoholism… it’s not funny at all.

    Liked by 1 person


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s