Monday, December 26, 2011

(REPOST) Christmas (board games) in July - 'A Christmas Story' tragedy

I have been looking forward to writing this post for some time.  My mother-in-law, Shirley (bless her thoughtful heart) bought me the board game "A Christmas Story" last year for Christmas.  Now, like a lot of people, I LOVE this movie and was thrilled to have the board game.  All I really needed were some victims to play with me.  After 7 months I was finally able to coerce my mother and husband into playing.

After a long day of packing, we decided to settle in with some beers and some family fun time.  It started out innocently enough although my husband (who is NOT a fan of the movie) was clearly playing under duress.  That's ok though.  I had my mom and some sweet tea vodka to boost my confidence...oh, and a wiener dog.   The board was cute, with pictures of Ralphie's house, the schoolyard, etc and the playing cards were shaped like Christmas ornaments (very clever). 

If we would have just walked away at this point, all would have been well.
 Here's the deal, the instructions made NO sense!  When I say no sense, they literally were indecipherable.  From the very start, I was confused.  I say "I" because although Mom and Zach had agreed to play, they did NOT agree to read the instructions.  In other words, I was determined to figure this out.  I really wanted this to be fun for them so I focused intently on reading the directions.  I focused but I felt my eyes going crossways.  The game said to start from "home" but there was no "home" marked on the board.  It only got worse from there....really really really really a WHOLE lot worse.

You can't see it all but it says "Ralphie's House" there.  We can only assume that's what the game creators meant when they said "home".
I stole the following from one of MANY Amazon user reviews:  "Here is an actual quote from the directions:  To move down the sidewalk, players discard one card and move as many spaces as the number on the card. However, cards printed with a '1' will move a player '2' spaces if played in this manner. If a player does not wish to discard a card to move on the sidewalk, they may move one space only.   ....WHAT?!?!"

A rare moment where all of the leg lamps were standing up right.  It took me 5 tries to get this picture because those damn things were flopping all over the place.

An elusive Ralphie card.  We still have no idea what the numbers mean....

Uncontrollable giggles start as I give up on the real directions and attempt to make my own just to keep Mom and Zach from walking out on me.  Zach is enjoying the lunacy of it all but I could tell my time is running out...

Not helping!!

We laughed, we cried, we ended up smoking cigars on the front porch while Mom and Zach read me the trivia questions.

Still, all in all, it was worth it for the laughs.  I won't be playing this again but I will hold onto the box and maybe make some Christmas decorations out of the contents.

To be honest, I had almost as much fun reading the reviews on Amazon the next day as I did "playing" the game the night before.  Here's a snippit from one of my favorites:
(But really, you should do yourself a favor and check out all of the reviews...they're hilarious! You can find them all here)

"A Christmas Story game is the Hindenburg of board games.  Oh the humanity! My girlfriend and I spent an hour trying to understand the directions and laughing at the typos. The game makes no sense. The leg lamp pieces tip over way too easily (like if you breathe on them or look at them).
And the questions themselves--they were so hard they could have been in Latin for all we cared.
After slogging through the first two pages of incomprehensible directions, I actually thought the game was a joke, like an April Fools Day prank. It was not. Luckily, we purchased the game for $1 at a garage sale. We overpaid. Next time, I hope "A Christmas Story" board game manufacturers think twice before nearly ruining our favorite holiday movie"

1 comment:

drollgirl said...

board games! ack! the instructions make my head spin!

and don't evey TRY to explain poker to me -- i just tune out!

happy new year to ya! :)