Today with technological advancements, we have innumerable options to play games. With just one click, we can download the game of our choice and interest from a list of hundreds and thousands of games. It is so much easier to play video games anywhere – using the home console, smartphones, or tablets/iPads. You can turn your smartphones into hours of non-stop gameplay.
However, this was unimaginable in the earlier times where people had limited options for video games. Most of the time was spent playing board games. To our surprise, games like scrabble, Ouija, and Twister have been there since the 1950s. In this article, we will talk about these games and many more that have been played by generations before us.
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We may not know what games ruled the years before we were even born. From the game night classics to the party games and sophisticated games, the evolution of games is quite interesting. One of the most popular board games was Candy Land, with colored cards, fun illustrations, and sweet destination. Kids in the 1950s loved playing the game.
A year later, AfrikanTahti was invented in Finland – the game is about the quest for the “Star of Africa” diamond. In 1952, the very famous word game scrabble started selling in stores. Though the rules have changed a lot since then, the basic premise stays the same.
Peter Pan was released in 1953, in conjunction with the Disney animated film. You can choose from four different characters – Peter Pan, Michael Darling, Wendy Darling, and John Darling. Each character comes with its instruction card that players can follow. They use a spinner that guides the way to the race to Never Land and back.
Another interesting game was added to the list in 1955 – Careers. This classic game of fortune, fame, and happiness is a race of success, where players have to choose between happiness, fame, and money. You can gain career points by collecting opportunity cards and choosing different occupation tracks.
Risk – a game featuring 12 secret missions was released, where the players are drawn into the risk gaming world. The game comes with dice and five armies included in the war crates. Another interesting strategy war game, Diplomacy, was launched in 1959. It was the first game “played by mail” that started selling commercially. According to the makers of the game, Henry Kissinger loved playing this game. It also became popular among hobbyists.
The Game of Life
At the beginning of the 1960s, The Game of Life was introduced, a fun game to play with the family. The game is quite easy with instant setup and full of adventures. You have to “spin to win” to find out who gets instant wealth and fortune.
A game that won several awards and is even a part of the GAMES Magazine Hall of Fame is Acquire! Players make money by owning hotel chains, which can then be cashed-in through the stocks.
In 1966, another great fun addition was made to the board games list – Twister. The game’s sales sky-rocketed after it was featured on Johnny Carson’s show, where he played a round of Twister with Eva Gabor. It is a fun party game for all ages that comes with a twister mat, a spinner, and instructions.
If you want to have fun when your besties are coming over, having an Ouija board at your home for the party sounds like a great idea. Released in 1967, Parkers brothers convinced the public that it could be fun to conjure the dead.
The Mystery Date
Then came the 1970s and the release of The Mystery Date game. It was about trying to get the absolute dream date. For your girl’s night, this is a super fun game, where you have to collect three cards that match with the dress of the guy hiding behind the mystery door.
Later in 1974, a very famous game, Connect 4,was introduced to the market. Players need to get four same-colored discs in a row to win. The game is pretty much similar to tic tac toe, but with checkers. This entertaining strategy game is suitable for all age groups.
Pay Day was another amusing game that was released in 1975 and outsold monopoly. The game involves paying off your bills after payday and saving as much money as possible. The player with the most money at the end of the game wins. In addition to that, a huge hit in the late 70s was Simon – a basic memory game that is still remembered.
In today’s era, the video games industry makes up to $100 billion globally. Over the past many decades, the industry has evolved from arcade games to home consoles to smartphones. While many of us believed that the first-ever video game was Pong, but our research proved us wrong. Even before Pong was invented, William Higginbotham created Tennis for Twos in the 1950s.
In 1962, Steve Russell developed a two-player game, Spacewar! Both the players control a wedge or a needle as they faced-off in an intense fight. Russell included gravity effects to create the game. Though we do have PS4 and Xbox today, the first console was invented by Ralph Baer.
He came up with a revolutionary idea to enjoy video games from the comfort of your home. The multi-program video game system that we can play on our television was called the Brown Box. We mostly take it for granted, but people had to travel to the local arcade or bowling alleys to play their favorite games.
In the 70s, the home version of Pong was released by Atari. The company then introduced Atari 2600 in 1977, which was also referred to as the Video Computer system – a home console featuring joysticks and interchangeable game cartridges. This brought an impressive boom in the video game industry.
Space Invaders was released in 1978, and Japan’s very popular Pac-Man was also introduced to the United States in the same year. Donkey King – a creation of Nintendo, introduced the character of Mario to the entire universe. However, with the rise of PC games, the arcade game became less popular, and the market began to saturate. Consumers became more interested in other gaming options, and there came a crash in arcade games.
We have many options for playing games today, including our smartphones and PlayStation and board games. For our game nights, some latest addition such as Jenga, Sequence, and Pictionary are great. However, old is gold, and you can get your hands on some fun board games from the past too!
There has certainly been an evolution in video games over the past years, but board games have a different bonding altogether. Unlike video games that are played virtually, board games are more interactive, universal – catering to all age groups.
Sometimes we spend too much time in front of the screen; we don’t use that valuable time to sit down with our family and friends and enjoy ourselves with them instead. Board games are an excellent entertainment source, especially on birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. We can play games, including Twister or Pay Day, to cherish some amazing moments. Even for your weekend nights when you are getting bored, these games can help kill the boredom!