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1970s Board Games

Long before video and computer games came on the scene, families played good old fashioned board games to keep themselves entertained.

The 1970s was a great era for board games.

You could find a great variety of games in the local toy store.

While some of the 1970s board games were beginning to get a bit high tech, there were others that simply let you use your imagination.

Here’s a list of some of the best 1970s board games.

Operation – A favorite with all ages, this board game let players perform “surgery” on the funny little man whose likeness who pasted onto the board. If you didn’t have a steady hand, when you removed the tiny parts with the provided tweezers, you might just hit the metallic edges and make the buzzer buzz and nose light up. A riot!

Mouse Trap – “Throw the dice, move your mice” was the jingle for this game, which gave players an opportunity to build a contraption – piece by piece – that would eventually capture the other players’ mice. Hours of fun, but the contraption didn’t always operate correctly, which added to the excitement.

Stratego – With this game, the game board was your battlefield and with your army of little men you had to protect your flag and capture your opponent’s. A great strategic thinking game, hence, the name!

King Oil – No doubt influenced by the TV show, The Beverly Hillbillies, this 70s game had a unique randomized board that made every match different. Players bought property, drilled for oil, and set up pipelines. The goal? Try to make your opponents go bankrupt!

Clue – Nearly everyone was playing this board game in the 1970s. To win, you had to figure out whodunit, where, and with what weapon. This game was actual released in the late 1940s but enjoyed its heyday much later.

Go for Broke – In this “reverse” game, the object was to try to lose all of your money. Hence, the loser was the winner!

Trouble – The object of this game was fairly simple and not all that interesting. However, the real appeal was in the dice spinner – called the Pop-o-Matic – which sat in the middle of the board. You had to push down on the bubble to “roll” the dice, making a popping sound each time. Parents found it quite annoying!

Yahtzee – This classic dice game was played by shaking the dice in a cup, releasing them onto a table, and making poker hands (three of a kind, etc.) with them. Fun for the whole family!

Stay Alive – The board for this marble game was square and consisted of horizontal and vertical slides that could be set in three positions. Each slide had a certain number of holes in it. Players would place their marbles in the non-hole positions and take turns pulling the slides, hoping their marbles wouldn’t fall through.

Hungry, Hungry Hippos – Meant for the younger set but enjoyed by all, this game consisted of four hippos that would gobble up marbles…with your help. The winner was the person who “ate” the most marbles.

Bermuda Triangle – This slightly eerie game included a “Mystery Cloud” that sucked up players’ ships as they “navigated” the Bermuda Triangle. The object was to make it home with your cargo before you mysteriously vanished.

Mystery Date – A favorite with the girls of the 70s, Mystery Date had a door in the center behind which stood 5 mystery dates – some handsome, and a few nerdy ones. Players had to collect a particular set of four cards to be permitted to open the door. The game was released in the 60s but enjoyed an excellent updating in the 70s.

Connect Four – The game board for this one stood upright, kind of like vertical checkers. Players slid their checkers into the top of the board where they would take a random path. The object was to get four in a row.