How to Play
Place all of the game items in their proper area on the gameboard. The Master of Ceremonies is chosen who is in charge of running the different games. Each player is given $100, a cue card and a playing piece. The Master of Ceremonies chooses one “What’s In the House” card and places it inside the house.
Playing the Game
When the game begins the Master of Ceremonies presses down on the pop-up timer. If the pop-up timer pops up during a player’s turn, that player wins $100 and the timer is reset. Once $500 has been paid out by the timer, the timer is put away as players can’t win any more money.
Players take turns clockwise. To start the game each player moves one space on their turn. After they reach a certain space on the board they spin the spinner and move the number of spaces spun. On a player’s turn they move to their next space and follow the instructions on the space. Most of these spaces have players playing mini-games in order to have a chance at winning money.
Draw the top “Fashion Game” card. Compare the items listed on the card with the items listed on your cue card. You receive $25 for every item that matches.
I’ll Take the Next Prize!
In this game the Master of Ceremonies shows the prize cards for the game. The Master of Ceremonies reveals one card at a time until the player says that they will take the next prize. The Master of Ceremonies shows the next card and gives the corresponding amount of money to the player. The player must take a card before five cards have been shown.
When a player lands on the memory test space at the beginning of the game they will take one memory card. They look at this card and place it face down in front of them. Once the card is placed face down it cannot be looked at again until the end of the game. If the player can remember what is on their card for the memory test at the end of the game, they win $100.
The Missing Heir Game
Draw the top card from the “Missing Heir” deck. Compare the description on the card with your cue card. You collect $125 for each correct description.
Draw the top “Partner’s Guess” card. If your “partner” guessed correctly, you collect $100.
Personal Pronoun Game
The Master of Ceremonies asks the player a bunch of questions. The player has to answer the questions quickly and without using I, me, my or mine. At the beginning of the game the player is given five $10 bills. For each time they use one of the forbidden words (I, me, my, mine) or hesitate they lose one of the $10 bills. The game lasts for 30 seconds and the player gets to keep all of the money still in front of them.
When a player lands on the space to perform their stunt, they must perform the stunt printed on the back of their cue card. If the player is successful they collect the amount of money printed on the card.
In the Thirty-Seconds game the player needs to guess when 30 seconds have passed since the game started. The Master of Ceremonies asks questions during this time in order to distract the player. When the player thinks 30 seconds have passed, they tell the Master of Ceremonies. If the player was within a couple seconds they win $100. If the player was incorrect they win $10.
What’s in the House?
The number of clues revealed depends on what space the player landed on. Once a player makes a guess, no other players may repeat that guess. If the player guesses correctly with only one clue they receive $100, from the second clue $50, from the third clue $25, and from the fourth clue $10. The answer for the “What’s in the House” should not be revealed until everyone has reached the exit.
What’s in Your Purse or Pocket?
Draw the top card from the “What’s In Your Purse or Pocket” deck. Compare the items on the card with the items listed on your cue card. You receive $100 if you match the item on the card.
Yes or No Game
The Master of Ceremonies asks the player a bunch of questions. The player has to answer the questions without hesitating and without using yes or no. If the player can succeed for 30 seconds they win $50.
End of Game
The game ends when all of the players have reached the exit space. All of the players count up their money. Whoever has the most money wins the game.
I am going to start this review with a short history lesson. From 1952-1969 Art Linkletter’s House Party was a variety/talk show that aired on CBS. The show mostly featured audience participation in little games in order to win money/prizes. The show was probably most known for the segment Kids Say the Darnedest Things which was eventually launched as its own show. Being born in the late 1980s I have to admit that I had never heard of Art Linkletter’s House Party before seeing the board game. After playing the game I have to say that the game really shows its age.
Art Linkletter’s House Party just feels so outdated. While it might have been fun back in 1968, it just isn’t fun today. The biggest problem with the game is that none of the mini-games are particularly fun. The board game tries to recreate some of the segments from the show but none of them really translate well to a board game. Most of the games just involve drawing cards and hoping they match something on your cue card. I don’t know if it is just me but that isn’t fun.
In addition to a lot of the games not being fun, the games rely almost entirely on luck. Around half of the games rely entirely on luck with little to no input from the actual player. I am not a huge fan of luck but I like it even less not having any impact in the game at all. Basically in order to win Art Linkletter’s House Party you need to roll well and draw the right cards. The few games that actually require skill don’t give you enough money to actually impact the final outcome of the game.
I really have to discuss the problems with the game’s payouts. Unless the payouts are based on what you would earn on the actual show, I really don’t understand the payouts in the game. There are essentially six games that require any skill. Most of these games give you $50-$100 if you are successful. Meanwhile you get $100 if you draw the right “Partner’s Guess” card. The worst is The Missing Heir Game. You could end up winning hundreds of dollars just for drawing the right card that matches your cue card. This game requires zero skill and yet pays out the most money.
On top of the terrible payouts, some of the games are broken in my opinion. The two games that are the most broken are the Yes or No Game and the Personal Pronoun Game. These games are broken because there are really no rules to the game. For example in the Yes or No Game there is no rule where you can just say maybe to every single question. If you want to play by the spirit of the games they become too hard since you are unlikely to come up with meaningful answers for all of the questions without stalling (which ends the games).
The game is also kind of broken based on how the board is laid out. In Art Linkletter’s House Party the game doesn’t end until all of the players have reached the finish space. Since I don’t think there is any way to lose money in the game, your goal is to stay in the game for as long as possible since you will continue accumulating more money. Basically the best spaces in the game to land on are the spaces that send you backwards since they give you more opportunities to make money. I kept landing on these spaces and I ended winning by a large margin since I just kept accumulating money.
While I did not enjoy Art Linkletter’s House Party I have to give the game credit for giving me a couple laughs. These laughs came from the ridiculous What’s in Your Purse or Pocket? game. I never watched the actual show but this board game came up with some of the weirdest things you could ever think of that people would have in their pocket/purse. Did people really put things like old bones in their purse/pocket for the show? Other strange items include rocks, loaded dice, apple cores, traffic tickets, and half a cookie.
Unfortunately there is not a lot of positives that I could find for Art Linkletter’s House Party. If you grew up with the show you may have fun with the game. I really can’t recommend the game for anyone else though. The game really shows its age. The mini games are boring and most of them rely entirely on luck. On top of it a lot of the games feel broken especially the payouts for some of the games. Unless you really enjoyed the show or can find the game for really cheap and like board games based on game shows I don’t see it being worth picking up Art Linkletter’s House Party.
If you would like to purchase Art Linkletter’s House Party you can find it on Amazon.