A while ago, me and Alex played Ghost Castle. While the game itself was indeed terrifying and full of peril, as promised by the box, what really caught my attention was the MB Games catalogue included in the box (Alex kept all the original bits because he is a gimpy swot).
Inside is a cavalcade of crap from 1992, ranging from classics to ‘who the fuck thought this was a good idea’. And Dial A Design. Let’s have a look at the shit we used to get up to before the internet was invented, and we still had to physically interact with people, even though people smell and are annoying.
I can see how Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur would have led to actual fist fights. Imagine the scene – you’ve nearly moved all your cavemen to safety, through sheer skill and cunning (I assume), and then some twat winds up the dinosaur and kills all your guys at random. That is the last time that bitch Laura is coming to play at your house.
Next up we have Guess Who. Or, to give it its proper name, Guess Whom.
I fucking hate this game. The reason I hate this game is because Alex always beats me at it. He always beats me at Rock Paper Scissors too, the bastard.
Hands up who’s thought about Dial A Design in the last 30 years? I think this is a portable Spirograph, only more rad because you can fool really stupid kids into thinking it’s sort of like a walkman.
Don’t Break The Ice seems to be one of those ‘touch the wrong bit and God will unleash his wrath upon you’ games, similar to Buckaroo or Pop Up Pirate. I wonder if anyone has looked at this game and gone “this will be great for breaking the ice’? If so, did that cause a rip in spacetime? That would explain why Leeds are currently top of the Championship.
Not gonna lie, Torpedo Run looks super rad. It didn’t until I watched the advert for it. I did think it was just a Battleships knock off. It is no such thing – it is a Battleships knock off with added air hockey and yelling “Die! Die! Die!” at the top of your voice:
On a less murderous note we have T.H.I.N.G.S., which stands for ‘Totally Hilarious Incredibly Neat Games of Skill’. I hate it when they miss out letters like that, the cheating bastards.
Anyway, these don’t look too bad; they seem to be a collection of mini Screwball Scramble type games. Here’s a demonstration of one. I’ll be honest, I’ve seen more hilarious things, like that old woman getting tricked into going on the Limbo Dancer in Bridlington. Every time the ride went round her skirt flew up and her knickers were on display to everyone.
Next up we have Hungry Hippos. Meh, it’s Hungry Hippos. You all know what this is. 10/10.
Crossfire was immediately intriguing to me because of the guns. I was not disappointed.
They better have put some kind of safety mechanism in there, otherwise a lot of kids are going to get ball bearings shot at their faces. Which is entirely the correct way to play.
Next up is a nose themed game. What the fuck. This is one of those games that was conceived by Alan and Malcolm at chucking out time one night, when they had an 8am deadline the next day.
“Well what’s a thing we haven’t done?”
“I dunno, tits?”
“Not for kids Alan.”
“That’s it we’ll do noses. Fuck it I’m sure we can wing it. Fancy a kebab?”
And that is how that weird-ass nose game was born.
Ghost Castle! One of the best and most terrifying games imaginable. if you haven’t played Ghost Castle, the objective is to make your way through the castle without getting literally killed to death by the haunted skull.
Query: If all skulls are haunted (and they are), does that mean my skull in my head is currently haunted? Makes you think.
Anyway, if you’d like to see Ghost Castle in action, the video is on my Patreon.
I think Frustration is Ludo, but with that thing you pop to roll the dice. I only ever remember playing with that popper thing to be honest, so the rest of the game can’t have been up to much.
I tell you what’s frustrating – trying to get this bastard catalogue folded back up the right way. So far I haven’t managed it.
Feed Me is another ‘touch it and it will fucking explode’ games. This one stars the Audrey plant that likes to eat balls. if you put too many balls in her mouth she’ll snap shut.
I love how they felt the need to make it clear that “it won’t hurt”. Like people were worried it was going to actually take their fingers off.
Bed Bugs is a great game. I’m basing this on the fact that I owned a knock off called ‘Creepy Crawlies’, where you had to scoop up the insects with a fork and spoon, for some reason. But the general idea was the same. Having said that, a spoon was hard enough; I imagine having to do it with tweezers would have led to you stabbing your opponents with the tweezers in a fit of rage.
Last up we have Pig Pong. OK, I guess that it’s meant to be like ping pong, but all it says is that you have to use the squeezy pigs to blow the ball at each other. Then what? More likely, kids would have just lost the ball immediately, then filled the pigs with water and shot that at each other.
Also, the fucking haunted pigs that come with it: