In the early 80s it was quite common for the subject of conversation to be focused solely on video games – at the very least that was the majority of what I wanted to talk about with my school mates and Family members…. and complete strangers. What was a video game fanatic to do though when you weren’t able to visit a local arcade or even have the opportunity to plop down and play a home console? In those cases you had the likes of Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers to come to the rescue with board game versions of some of your favorite arcade titles. The first video game ported to board game that I can recall seeing was for Pac-Man but that was far from the last – you also had Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Centipede, and others. Now online I have seen plenty of articles stating how horrible these board games were and perhaps I was more easily impressed but I quite liked them. My favorite however happened to be 1983’s Q*bert the board game by Parker Brothers – a game I received as a gift on Christmas and became a Holiday tradition between my Grandmother and myself. Every single following Christmas Eve would find us playing both the Q*bert board game into the wee hours of the morning as well as Milton Bradley’s Upwords.
To be fair, one of the reasons that we were so taken with the Q*bert board game was because we loved both the arcade and Atari 2600 port of the game. The game was designed for two players – one playing everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed cube hopper and the second acting as the bad guys like Coily, Wrong Way, Ugg, Slick, as well as the red and green ball. The goal of the game is for Player one to collect as many pegs on the board as possible before the second Player captures them with one of the bad guys – once this is done, the pegs are counted up and replaced and it’s the second person’s turn at being Q*bert. The bad guys the Second Player will use on their turn is random – determined by a special dice – and these characters have their own unique movement patterns much like the arcade game. At the very least the Player controlling Q*bert has those handy flying discs to escape on if things get too hot.
No matter if you enjoyed 1983’s Q*bert the board game as much as my Grandmother and myself did… I am absolutely positive you will be impressed by the costumes wore in this commercial for the game!