Everyone who I play board games with has memories of playing classic games at Christmas time. The usual suspects of Monopoly and Cluedo are the main ones mentioned but for myself, coming from a family that loved word puzzles and horse racing, my memories also include ‘And They’re Off’ and trying to spell words my nan would approve of in Scrabble (awkward when you get the letters S,E,X and it’s the only word you can place).
Whatever our memories are we all agree that board games have evolved, no longer is it just about rolling a dice and moving a set amount of spaces, even word games are vastly updated (Breaking Games' Letter Tycoon being one of these).
One such game that looks at using the ‘mechanic of old’ is Scrooge: The Board Game. In this game you will move along the streets of London and try to outsmart Scrooge with the ultimate goal of being the first to make him a better person.
The guys behind this game have done some research and know a simple roll and move game may not stand up to other games in this day and age, so they have added a twist, while keeping it as close to possible as the games we all remember.
Yes, there are a lot of people who dislike monopoly, a bit of board game ‘snobbery’ has crept in recent years. Monopoly, Cluedo and more are and always will be games I can happily get out the box and set-up easily, meaning less set-up time keeping my kids engaged and my kids always ask to play these over some of the modern games I own.
I prefer games like Pandemic and Lords of Waterdeep, but my kid’s concentration levels are not at a point where they will sit past an hour or so UNLESS it involves dice. Yes my three-year-old Amelia loves dice and when a new game arrives it’s the first thing she checks for while my 10-year-old finds it so funny when someone rolls a bad move she can’t take her turn until she’s stopped her laughing fits.
Dice, roll and move is far from dead. Monopoly has been around for years while some modern games are all the rage for a year and then are never seen again.
This means there is a market for Scrooge: The Board Game, besides what us ‘Modern’ gamers think. Without the Scrooge theme, I would not be as hopeful and interested as I am. This is because I love the Scrooge tale and have fond memories of it.
Scrooge: The Board Game
The difference with Scrooge: The Board Game and other roll and move games is before you roll the dice you decide if you want to move forwards or backwards. When you land on a street you must then carry out the action stated on the board. There are even minus numbers on the dice which can make your decision irrelevant and make you move in the opposite direction.
There are cards called ‘Scrooge’s bag of tricks’. These are cards that are given to the leading player and act as a hindrance. Ghost cards are another deck of cards, but these work in the opposite way and are an aid for players.
Another deck of cards is called ‘Nightmare’ cards and these are a way to get gold by trading them. The game has a few more decks of cards which will either help you or Scrooge.
Like any roll and move game, where you land will have different outcomes and Scrooge is no different. From Streets that make you give money to ones where you will play a mini-game of guessing what number will be rolled on a dice.
Will it be a classic?
The artwork for Scrooge: The Board Game is very well done and adds to the appeal of a family game. That’s the thing, this game is not one I would take to games night nor will I play it every day. I do 100% think after reading the rules and talking to people who have played it that my kids will love it.
Actually, I would go as far to say I think me and the kids would have great fun playing this. Fun, for me, is why I play games and it can come in all shapes and sizes. I have fun using my brain and winning a game of skill and I also have fun playing a game of pure luck and coming last.
If everyone has a good time what difference does it make? I hope people will see past this game being a roll and move and give it a chance. Play it with your children and let them make memories of tantrums and table flipping like some of us did with Monopoly. It did us no harm, right?