Board Games » Features » Complete History of Board Games » Complete History of Board Games: Flipsiders

Complete History of Board Games: Flipsiders

History of Flipsiders

When you think of board game publishers one of the most well known companies has to be Milton Bradley since many of the games from your childhood were probably made by them. In order to stay successful, large companies need to be open to trying some new ideas in order to innovate. One of these ideas for Milton Bradley was their Flipsiders line of board games.

For those of you too young to remember, the audio cassette tape (the precursor to MP3/digital and the CD) was one of the main ways of listening to music in the 1970s and 1980s. Audio cassettes were really popular in the 1970s and 1980s but starting dying out in the early 1990s as the audio cassette was replaced by the CD. Being a child of the late 1980s I remember cassette tapes but I didn’t use them for long as they were shortly replaced by CDs. While there were quite a few board games that utilized audio cassettes for game play, those games will be saved for another day. Today we are talking about the Flipsiders line of board games which were actual board games that looked like cassette tapes.

Starting in 1987 Milton Bradley created the first four Flipsiders games. The Flipsiders line of board games is what would happen if you combined a cassette tape, a transformer, and a board game. They were meant to be a line of board games that could be played while traveling. The cases could have looked like anything but Milton Bradley thought the idea of an audio cassette was a good idea. I wonder what would happen if someone confused one of these games for an actual cassette tape and tried to play the tape.

Video Link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lCqI7WPr1A)

Most of the Flipsiders games were pretty simple roll and move games. The cassette tape case would open and you could take out the game pieces and the board game would slide out of the bottom. The game board playing pieces were magnetic so children wouldn’t lose the pieces while playing the game in the car. For movement the game utilized the cassette tapes’ reels for spinners.e While a lot of the games look like very simple roll and move games, a couple of the games actually have some interesting mechanics.

Video Link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aLM6IWr7js)

While the earliest Flipsiders were made by Milton Bradley, the later games were made by the Anjar Company. Over the course of its’ run, the Flipsiders brand of games consisted of 20 different games. Since the games were built on the gimmick of looking like cassette tapes, when cassette tapes died out in the early 1990s the Flipsiders brand followed. The last known Flipsiders game was made in 1992.

Only lasting five years it isn’t that surprising that the Flipsiders brand never became really popular. Until researching for this post I had never even heard of the line of games. People who played the games as children probably have nostalgia for some of the games that they owned as children but most of the games don’t look that memorable. The game that Flipsiders is probably most known for is the original Mall Madness. While most people remember the electronic version of the game, the original version of Mall Madness was actually a travel game that resembled a cassette tape. Who would have thought that?

List of Flipsiders Games

Through it’s five year run, twenty different Flipsiders were created by Milton Bradley and Anjar. Below is the full list of all of the Flipsiders games. While some of the games are kind of common, others appear to be kind of rare on eBay. Generally you can expect to pay around $20 for a Flipsiders game on eBay.

1984

Star Wars

  • This appears to be a game that was only produced in Spain.
  • Buy on eBay

1987

Checkered Flag

  • A simple roll and move game where players race their cars around the track. The game has a little strategy since players can switch between gears that makes their cars move faster but also increases their chances of crashing.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Video Overview
  • Buy on eBay

Chopper Chase

  • In this game one player plays as a bank robber while the other plays as the policeman. The bank robber is trying to escape by reaching the border while the police officer is trying to stop the robber. The police officer is able to use roadblocks and their helicopter in order to try and catch the robber.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Dragon Master

  • Dragon Master was a simplified version of a dungeon crawl. Players move around the board fighting monsters and gaining experience. Once they gain enough experience they can move onto the next level. The goal of the game is to be the first player to kill the dragon.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Rock Tour

  • In Rock Tour players play as a rock band that is touring around the world. The goal of the game is to travel to all of the cities on your rock tour.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

1988

Danger Dive

  • In Danger Dive one player plays as the diver while the other player plays as the sea creatures. The diver’s object is to reach the bottom of the ocean, collect the gold, and return to the surface. The sea creatures goal is to kill/eat the diver.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Ghostly Estates

  • In Ghostly Estates two players enter a spooky mansion in order to collect different objects. The goal of the game is to collect four objects and return to the entrance.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Mall Madness

  • In Mall Madness players are given $200 and must move from store to store trying to use up all of their money. The first player to get rid of all of their money first wins the game. Beware of the bank though or you will get more money that you have to spend. Despite teaching terrible money management skills, Mall Madness is actually the most well known of the Flipsiders games since it was an inspiration for the more well known Electronic Mall Madness which was released a year later. Electronic Mall Madness was actually a pretty popular 1990s board game.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Prom Date

  • In Prom Date players try to impress their “favorite guy” in order to go on a date with them and collect hearts. The ultimate goal in the game is to land on the prom space which means that your “favorite guy” asked you out to prom.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Rocket Race

  • Rocket Race has two players compete to get their rockets to Pluto and back the quickest. The game has two spinners one which lets you use fuel and move further while the other lets you drift which limits how far you can move. Players have to conserve their fuel though or they will have to land on a planet in order to refuel their rocket.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Scavengers Gold

  • In Scavengers Gold one player plays as the scavenger while the other plays as the Navy. The scavenger tries to collect seven gold coins by moving around the game board. The Navy player tries to get their ship within firing range in order to try and sink the scavenger’s ship.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Slumber Party

  • In Slumber Party the two players compete to stay up for as long as possible while also making the other player get closer to their own bedtime.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Tank Battle

  • In Tank Battle two players compete to destroy each others’ tank. The players spin both spinners with one spinner showing how far the player has to move their tank while the other determines how far away they can shoot. The first player to destroy the other player’s tank wins the game.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

1989

La Cité Terrifiante

  • La Cité Terrifiante has one player play as a robber while the other player plays a police officer. The robber tries to gather four items before escaping. The police officer tries to catch the robber.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

1990

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

  • Based on the title of the game being Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles instead of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this Flipsiders must have been an European exclusive. The game looks like it involves a spin and move mechanic and possibly a fighting mechanic.
  • Buy on eBay

1992

Alien Assault

  • Alien Assault puts the two players into a race in order to defeat the alien boss. Players would move through three levels and compete to be the first player to destroy the alien boss.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Caterpillar Causeway

Gold Fever

  • In Gold Fever two players would compete to see who would be the first player to make it through the mine four times. One of the spinners is used for movement and the other is used when players encounter obstacles.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Le Mystère Des Pyramides

  • One player plays as an archaeologist while the other player is the mummy in Le Mystère Des Pyramides. The archaeologist tries to retrieve a ruby and escape the pyramid while the Mummy tries to kill the archaeologist.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Prized Pony

  • In Prized Pony two players would compete in a horse steeplechase race. One spinner is used to move a player’s horse while the other spinner is used when the players encounter an obstacle.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

River Run

  • In River Run the two players compete in a canoe/boat race. Players would need to move up and down stream in order to reach the finish line. The first player to reach the finish line wins the game.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Road Rally

  • In Road Rally the players compete in several races around the track. The first player to win three of the races wins the game.
  • Board Game Geek Page
  • Buy on eBay

Non-US Flipsiders

These are the Flipsiders that were released outside of the United States. Thanks to Mike, Michael, and Miranda for their comments that pointed out these Flipsiders not made in the United States.

  • La Chasse Aux Tresors (Spanish)
  • La Cité Terrifiante
  • Conquête de l’espace (Spanish)
  • Course En Eaux Vivs (Spanish)
  • Le Mystère Des Pyramides
  • Le Manoir Hante (Spanish)
  • Pole Position (Spanish)
  • Star Wars (Spain)
  • Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Europe)

Sources

https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Flipsiders

7 thoughts on “Complete History of Board Games: Flipsiders

    • October 1, 2017 at 11:36 am
      Permalink

      Thanks for the info. I have added it to the list.

      Reply
  • November 7, 2017 at 8:13 am
    Permalink

    I’ve also seen a Star Wars flipsider game on eBay.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2018 at 9:31 am
    Permalink

    There are 27 ones i know of that were either US or spanish. Still on the hunt for the pyramid one and the star wars otherwise i have 25 of the 27

    Reply
  • August 5, 2018 at 9:44 am
    Permalink

    Spanish Versions I have found: Conquête de l’espace, Course En Eaux Vivs, La Chasse Aux Tresors, Le Manoir Hante and Pole Position

    If anyone finds Le Mystère Des Pyramides or Star Wars let me know. Missing those two from my collection.

    Reply
    • August 5, 2018 at 10:32 am
      Permalink

      Thanks so much for your comment. Without your comment I wouldn’t have known these Spanish Flipsiders games even existed. I have added them to the list to let other people know. I hope you have luck finding the last two Flipsiders that you are looking for.

      Reply
      • August 5, 2018 at 11:22 am
        Permalink

        Thanks and your welcome!

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

css.php