10 Classic Board Games Based On Popular 1980s TV Shows - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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10 Classic Board Games Based On Popular 1980s TV Shows

How many of these did you play back in the day?
Although the 1980s saw a massive uptake in home video gaming consoles, not least of which the Nintendo Entertainment System, and for many families Game Night started to revolve more and more around the television set with a controller in hand, there was still a huge demand for traditional board games. And one of the most popular type come the holiday season was the board game based on a favourite TV show. After all, what better gift for that special Lee Majors fan in your life than the brand new The Fall Guy board game? Nothing, that's what!

We've rounded-up this and nine other classic TV show board games, all of which were based on very popular TV series' from the 1980s. How many of these did you have or play?
1. The Fall Guy
Starting with that odd little tie-in. Roll the dice, move around the board, "expose" stunt cards and capture the bail jumper. Milton Bradley's attempt to recreate all the thrills & excitement of the life of stuntman cum bounty hunter Colt Seavers, as played by Lee Majors in the 1981-86 ABC TV show The Fall Guy, but in board game form. What more could anyone have wanted for Christmas back in 1983? Nothing, that's what!

OK, that might be overstating it a bit, but with the promise of pulling-off "the most difficult stunt of all", the makers of The Fall Guy board game were clearly not troubled by advertising standards, and they themselves managed to pull off quite the stunt by shifting a tonne of these board games.
2. The Neighbours Game
Back in the UK in 1988, Australian soap-opera Neighbours was proving to be incredibly popular in capturing the lucrative stay-at-home mum and layabout student market with it's daily dose of lunchtime antics from the many residents of Ramsey Street, Erinsborough. So much so that the head honchos of the BBC decided to move the broadcast to the even more profitable after-school but pre-dinnertime slot, so they could also capture the hearts and minds of hungry British schoolchildren.

I joke, but it worked! Thanks in no small part to Kylie & Jason/Scott & Charlene and their romance/wedding, Neighbours was a solid-gold hit. Naturally a board game would follow for that Christmas. As it says on the box...
All your favorite neighbours characters will come alive when you create your own Neighbours story as you move around the board.
Man alive! They are setting the bar high there. Surely only disappointment can follow? Well, as anyone who has picked-up a copy of The Neighbours Game (which is often to be found to this day in charity shop bargain bins up and down the country) will tell you, the actual aim of the game was to write an episode of Neighbours in three scenes, the player with the most points at the end wins. So not quite reaching that promise, but really we were all winners just by taking part, right?
3. The Cheers Game
Sometimes you wanna play, a loosely trivia tie-in game.

The Cheers Game tests your knowledge of the popular 1980s sitcom and the characters who frequented the fictional Boston bar. A sorta-Trivial Pursuit-lite, with a bizarre minigame called Normie's Olympics (which involves flipping a small plastic Norm through the air without spilling his beer). This is just the ticket if you want to introduce your kids to all the fun routinely had by a bunch of alcoholics who drink their life away night after night.
4. Knight Rider
The front of the box proclaims Knight Rider to be a "high speed adventure game". It is not. The traditional 'roll the dice and move' board game is given a twist in that the squares form a never ending road system, so there's variety in the movement, but you'd be hard-pushed to say this was at all high speed.
Michael Knight and KITT face trouble in every direction, along a never ending road. Are you prepared to help clear up that trouble? You'll earn bonus money every time you clear a Trouble Spot. But you can do so only while driving KITT. So be careful. Because each opponent will try to steal KITT, by winning a "Chicken Challenge" played with cards. You'll win the game if you're the player to clear up the most Trouble Spots and earn the most bonus money.
That's the blurb from the back of the box. Fortunately full instructions were included because, yes, Knight Rider was a confusing as it sounds.
5. The A-Team
You know that whole opening montage about The A-Team being framed for a crime they didn't commit, how they now operate as soldier's of fortune, and how if you need help and if you can find them then you might be able to employ their unique services? Given their troubled past, just imagine how pissed Hannibal, Face, Murdock and BA would be if someone tracked them down to utilise their skills in finding a missing soda-pop formula! Now imagine turning that storyline into a board game.

That's The A-Team game in a nutshell. But it did come with a poster of Mr. T. So that's something.
6. The ALF Game
When ALF debuted on TV in 1986 it became an instant hit with it's quirky take on the sitcom genre. The show saw Gordon Shumway, an alien from the planet Melmac who followed an amateur radio signal to Earth, crash-landing into the garage of the Tanners, a suburban middle-class family who live in California and who subsequently take him in and christen him ALF (Alien Life Form).

The ALF Game takes this one step further as all players are ALFs, meaning up to 4 ALFs can be exploring the Tanner's house, all trying to find Lucky the cat. Why? I hear you ask. To eat him for lunch. Naturally.

Pesky interfering neighbour and unlucky-Luck the cat-owner, Mrs. Ochmonek, is not exactly thrilled with this and does her best to stop her cat being devoured. All the same, the first ALF-player to find the cat wins the game and a slap-up feast.

It would perhaps be wrong of me to suggest that some immature executive at Coleco Industries, Inc got a kick out of designing a kid's board game where the goal is to eat the neighbour's pussy, so I won't do that and we'll just move on...
7. EastEnders: The Game
There have been a variety of EastEnders board games across the years, including a Monopoly version of Albert Square, but the original was the soap-opera fans gift of choice to receive circa Christmas 1988. Dirty Den, Angie, Lofty, Michelle and all, EastEnders: The Game promised to bring those "colourful characters" to life as you made your way around Walford trying to earn enough money to buy a pair of rings. Certain characters had to avoid certain spaces, whereas other spaces offered a moral dilemma to be answered - for example: "Should you use the Walford residents' Christmas Club money to pay for your daughter's wedding?"

Yes, we're looking at you Arthur Fowler.
8. The Family Ties Game
Here's the main problem with The Family Ties Game - "You are one of the Keatons." That's what it tells you on the back of the box. In 1986 no-one, absolutely no-one wanted to be any Keaton except for Alex because Michael J Fox was king of the world at the time. OK, maybe Mallory at a push, simply for the giggles, but imagine having to play this game as Andrew?

Once you've decided which member of your own family you dislike the most, a rather convoluted gameplay awaits that revolves around getting $100 together to have a new family portrait created (just like in the TV show titles). The premise it that it's supposed to be a surprise portrait for all the other Keaton clan, but given that everyone is playing the same game and also trying to get the cash together, perhaps everyone could just chip in $15 to $20 each and wrap this one up earlier?
9. Dallas: A Game of the Ewing Family
We've had an Australian soap, a British soap and now the daddy of all American soaps, it's Dallas.

Like EastEnders, there were several different Dallas board games across the years but Dallas: A Game of the Ewing Family was the original, Released in 1980 and coming in a gatefold sleeve just like a double vinyl album, the inner section was the playing board and the play components slotted inside the opening (all of them were thin-ish card). The object of the game was to gain control of the Ewing Empire by amassing a shed-load of cash, stocks, bonds and, of course, oil-rich land. You can do this the 'good' way or you can bribe, cheat and steal you're way to the top.

J.R. would be proud.
10. The Dukes of Hazzard Game
From 1981, the official "good ol' boys" board game pitted you against a friend in a race through Hazzard County. Pick your car (you know the one, which shall now remain nameless) and route. Will you take the safe but slow country road or the fast and frantic highway? Set up roadblocks, "bump" your opponents off the road, and be the first to get home to Uncle Jesse without being caught by Boss Hogg or Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane.

Did you have any of these 1980s board games based on popular TV shows? Let us know in the comments below...

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