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They Really Made That 10 Weird Children’s Board Games That Defy Explanation

Everyone has some board games from their childhood that they still remember fondly to this day. Some might not be the greatest games ever made but they have stuck with us for some reason. Board game designers are always trying to create the next great children’s board game that will be a hit and remembered for generations. Too often the opposite also applies. Either due to a questionable theme, the chance for children to get hurt playing the game, or just the complete randomness of a game’s concept; some children’s games make you go “huh”. Today we are going to take a look at the later category with 10 Weird Children’s Board Games That Defy Explanation.

Swack
Image credit: BoardGameGeek | Patrick Carroll

#1 Swack!

When thinking about a topic to base a board game around, does a mousetrap come to mind? Well it just so happened to come to mind twice for the designers at Ideal. After their huge hit Mouse Trap, they thought the new fad in board games must have been in mousetrap related games which brought the game Swack! into the world. In what should have surprised no one, Swack! didn’t quite become as popular as Mouse Trap.

In Swack! children would play as mice. A mousetrap was set up with a bunch of cheese placed in the trap. Players could choose to take up to three different pieces of cheese and earned spaces based on the size of cheese that they took. Players couldn’t be too greedy though since if they took too much cheese they would set off the trap which would lose them spaces. Whoever reached the last space first would win the game.

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

Who thought it was a good idea to make a game that would slam down a bar unexpectedly on a child’s hand. At least the designers had enough forethought to make the bar move slow enough that it couldn’t cause any real damage when it hits your hand.

I am guessing that the game is not that good but I like these quirky games so I kind of want to try it out. This looks like a game that you could cheat pretty easily in. Unless the game has a way to randomize when the trap would spring, you could probably figure out pretty quickly when the trap was about ready to spring.

Video Link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv7Vt70c4wI)

Swack! is a more common game than I would have expected. On EBAY you can typically buy a copy for less than $20 while on Amazon the game generally sells for around $50.


Stuff Yer Face
Image credit: BoardGameGeek | Patrick Carroll

#2 Stuff Yer Face

If your child wasn’t already freaked out about clowns, I bet this game didn’t help.

In 1982 Milton Bradley released the aptly named Stuff Yer Face game. The game seems to play a lot like Hungry Hungry Hippos. Two players would compete to try to feed their clown the most marbles. If the clowns themselves weren’t creepy enough in order to feed your clown you had to use a pair of semi-realistic looking hands in order to stuff the marbles down your clown’s mouth. Players tried to collect all of the marbles of their own color which allowed them to start grabbing the red marbles. Whoever grabbed the most red marbles would win the game.

Video Link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KY0pHCegNk)

While I have made fun of the game, after watching that video I actually kind of want to try out Stuff Yer Face. While I am guessing that it gets repetitive quickly, it kind of looks fun like a lot of the other quirky children’s board games from the past. There is something about those creepy clown hands though.

For those of you who want to try out the game it actually doesn’t appear to be that expensive. While the game is currently at $60 on Amazon, you can regularly pick up copies on EBAY for around $20.


Pie Face
Image credit: BoardGameGeek | Frank Kämpfer

#3 Pie Face

In Pie Face players take turns putting themselves in danger of getting hit in the face with a pie (a sponge covered with shaving cream or whipped cream). The current player would put their face through a hole in a piece of cardboard that was attached to the pie launcher. Players would then spin the spinner to see how many times they had to turn the crank. If a player got hit in the face with the pie they would be eliminated from the game. If they avoided getting hit in the face, play would move to the next player. The last player not to get hit in the face would be the winner of the game.

While there is very little to the game itself, Pie Face would be one of those games that could be hilarious to see other players play. That attitude would probably change quickly though when it became your turn to turn the crank. The game has absolutely no skill to it and it is probably a game that would get boring very quickly. The game is charming in its’ simplicity though and who can’t enjoy seeing another player hit in the face with a pie.

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

The most surprising thing about Pie Face is that the game was actually recently re-released this year by Hasbro. I guess there were just so many people begging to get pied in the face that they demanded that this 1964 “classic” be brought back.

Since the game has been recently re-released you can pick up the new version of the game for pretty cheap at less than $20. The older version of the game is obviously more expensive at around $50.


Flush! Game

Image credit: BoardGameGeek | Tim Johnson

#4 Flush!

When you think of household objects that you wouldn’t think would get board games, the toilet has to be high on the list along with the mousetrap. Fotorama ignored common sense just like Ideal and ended up making the game Flush!

In Flush you play as a novice plumber. The bathroom has been invaded by creatures who live under the toilet. Each player needs to use their plunger shaped headband in order to pick up the creatures. Players then place the creatures on their launcher and they try to shoot the creatures back into the toilet. Players have three minutes to try and get as many of their creatures as they can into the toilet before it stops spinning. To make things more difficult the toilet starts spraying water all over the players for the last 30 seconds of the timer. Whoever gets the most creatures in the toilet wins the game.

Video Link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGEREJqRGW0)

This actual quote from the back of the box sums up the game perfectly: “This is the most fun you will ever have with a toilet.” While the game is meant to be mindless fun, I really want to know what was going through the designer’s heads when they came up with the idea behind this game. The toilet theme really makes no sense since it doesn’t really even factor into the gameplay. They could have used many other themes and the gameplay wouldn’t have changed. The designers for some reason decided to go with toilets.

The game itself doesn’t look much different than your typical children’s game. You have your wacky headband. You have to collect marbles of a particular color. Finally you have you have to launch said balls into the air. To top it off the game spurts water at you which could possibly make a mess. What’s not to love?

Being a more modern board game than a lot of the games on this list, it’s not surprising that the game isn’t very valuable. At this time you can pick up a copy of the game for less than $15 shipped on Amazon. So if you ever wanted a board game centered around the toilet, you now get your chance and it won’t even set you back that much money.


Big John Game
Image credit: BoardGameGeek | Chris Keller

#5 Big John

I guess the toilet based board game theme was a lot bigger than I originally thought.

In Big John players try to get rid of all of their “scuzzies”. Players spin the toilet paper spinner to see how many scuzzies they get to put into Big John. After putting the scuzzies in, the player pushes the handle the same number of times and sees if the toilet flushes. If the toilet flushes it shoots all of the scuzzies out of the bottom and the player has to take all of the scuzzies that fall out. If the toilet doesn’t flush, play passes to the next player who gets to try their luck with the toilet.

Video Link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDRtl8nMb30)

Just like with Flush!, Big John seems to be pretty harmless. I just want to know what board game designers fascination with toilets is. The game doesn’t look very good though. The game relies entirely on luck. All you do is spin the spinner and get rid of that many scuzzies. That is all there is to the game. The game has no skill involved since you don’t get to make any decisions that impact the game. Other than the theme, Big John seems like a pretty boring game.

Due to I am assuming the theme, Big John looks to be an uncommon board game. On Amazon and EBAY right now the game averages around $30-$50.


Box for Pass The Booger Game

#6 Pass the Booger

Yes this is a real game for those of you who might have thought that I made it up. As a matter of fact I have already reviewed the game on Geeky Hobbies if you would like to check out the full review of Pass the Booger.

In Pass the Booger the object of the game is to pass the booger to other players. The game essentially works like a normal roll and move where you move around the board collecting different types of boogers. In order to win the game you need to collect all five different type of booger cards that depict different “types” of boogers. After you have collected all five types of boogers you need to get the booger into another player’s possession and land on the space that forces them to eat the booger (the player doesn’t actually eat the booger) which will win you the game.

So let’s just jump right into it and say that the theme for this game is kind of disgusting. While the game tries to be “humorous” it fails. The theme is pretty harmless for the most part but it will turn some people off for sure. It doesn’t help that the game’s “life size” booger had to be made of a disgusting substance that just makes things even worse.

While the theme could be considered questionable, the gameplay is more disgusting. The game is broken and is just plain boring. You draw a card, roll the dice, rinse and repeat until someone finally wins the game. While I have played worse games, Pass the Booger has to be one of the worst games that I have ever played.

If you for some reason want the Pass the Booger game, the game seems uncommon but not rare. I guess not many people wanted to purchase a game called Pass the Booger. At this time you can pick up a copy of the game for between $30-$40.


Dynamite Shack Game
Image credit: BoardGameGeek | Poisson d’Avril

#7 Dynamite Shack

Dynamite, huge thumbs, and an exploding shack; what else do you need for a great children’s game. In the 1968 Milton Bradley game Dynamite Shack there was all that and much more.

The objective of Dynamite Shack was to be the first player to get rid of all of their dynamite. Before playing the dynamite shack was wound up. Players would then take turns playing cards and placing the corresponding colored dynamite sticks inside the dynamite shack. Players would need to hurry because whoever’s turn it was when the shack exploded (the roof flies off) would have to pick up all of the dynamite that was placed inside the shack.

While this seems complicated enough, it wasn’t enough for Milton Bradley. For some reason the game came with large over sized pink thumbs that you needed to use to pick up and place the pieces of dynamite inside the shack.

Video Link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l75j4i0n9hE)

I don’t know where to start with this game. While the game is harmless since the roof barely flies off the top of the shack, I just don’t get the theme. Why are you stuffing dynamite into a shack? I also don’t think it is a good idea dropping dynamite into a shed from the roof. Who thought kids would want to play a game where they are stacking dynamite in a shack?

On top of all of that I don’t understand the huge pink thumbs. The designers probably realized that they needed to add some difficulty to the game since it would have been a little too easy otherwise. Why would they come up with the idea of using oversized thumbs though? Why not two plastic hands or some other device that people might actually handle dynamite with?

I have to say that I was actually surprised by how little Dynamite Shack is worth. These strange games that never caught on are usually at least uncommon and thus somewhat valuable. Dynamite Shack regularly only sells for $10-$20 on EBAY though.


Karate Chop Board Game
Image credit: BoardGameGeek | Dave Coscio

#8 Karate Chop Game

Parents must have loved this game. If parents weren’t already worried about their children getting hurt, lets play a game where one player holds a foam “board” while the other player tries to karate chop it. I wonder how many children got hurt playing this game.

The objective of the Karate Chop game was to try and successfully chop the board in half eleven times. Players would take turns (five turns at a time) to try and “break” the board in half. The other player would hold the two halves of the foam board together in order to form a solid board. The hitter would have to hold their hand up to their ear until they started their karate chop. It might seem easy to chop the board in half but the holder was allowed to fake out the other player by doing anything they wanted in order to make the other player miss the block. Once the hitter committed to their “chop” it counted even if the player totally whiffed.

Outside the danger of children “accidentally” karate chopping one another, I have no idea why anyone thought a game based on karate chops was a good idea. I guess Milton Bradley was running out of ideas for games in 1970 if the Karate Chop game ended up being made. The game is pretty much just a test of reaction time and hand eye coordination. Despite being a pretty stupid looking game, if I ever found a copy of the game I would probably have to try it out just to see how strange it truly is.

The Karate Chop Game must have been so “popular” that you can regularly buy copies of the game on EBAY for around $5. The game is pretty much just two pieces of foam so that isn’t that surprising.


Big Foot Board Game Box

#9 Big Foot

We at Geeky Hobbies have already taken a look at the Big Foot game so check out our full review if you want to find out more about the game.

For the most part the Big Foot game is a traditional roll and move game. You roll the dice and move your playing piece the corresponding number of spaces. The objective of the game is to be the last player remaining. The only unique mechanic in the game is the ability to move Big Foot around the board. Occasionally players will land on spaces or draw cards which allow them to move Big Foot. Players try to move Big Foot to spaces occupied by the other player’s pieces hoping to “scare” them away. When Big Foot lands on or moves through a space occupied by another player, the player presses down on the Big Foot marker which makes a disc fall out of the bottom of the piece. If the disc is a footprint this player is “scared” away and is eliminated from the game. When a player loses both of their pieces they are eliminated from the game. The last survivor wins the game.

First off I would like to say that the designers of this game must have mixed up their mythical creatures. The game’s subtitle calls Big Foot the giant snow monster which last time I checked was the Yeti and not Big Foot.

Actually having played this game, while the concept is kind of stupid and makes you wonder why it was ever made, the game is not that bad for a roll and move game. Its not highly original but you can do a lot worse for a roll and move game. I had some fun playing the game and I would maybe be willing to play it every so often but it is not the type of game I would play regularly.

Video Link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTmZHc1hz2w)

Due to the theme and the fact that there probably wasn’t a ton of the game made in the first place, the Big Foot game is somewhat expensive. The game regularly is out of stock on Amazon and on EBAY you can usually expect to pay $40-$60.


Hey Pa! There's A Goat on the Roof Game
Image credit: BoardGameGeek | Bryan Arroyo

#10 Hey Pa! There’s A Goat on the Roof

In Hey Pa! There’s A Goat on the Roof you play as a goat that is for some reason trying to get on the roof of the farmer’s barn. Players spin the spinner and move their goat either forward or backward the number of spaces spun. Players move their pawns in order to try and get their goats past the farmer and onto the top of the barn. If that wasn’t enough though, each player collects cans along the way which are used as points at the end of the game and determine who ultimately wins the game.

Video Link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf8q28eRwXk)

This game mostly made the list due to the really weird premise behind the game. Who would have thought about making a game about goats trying to get on top of a barn’s roof? Also why are the goats collecting cans? The whole premise behind this game makes little sense.

Not surprisingly that is one of the reasons that board game collectors are actually interested in the game. Most board game collectors can’t help themselves and need to pick up games with really strange concepts. Collectors also love the game’s components. It’s too bad that the gameplay doesn’t live up to the rest of the game since the game is apparently quite dull. The game plays like your typical spin and move game.

Despite being so weird that the game has become collectible, Hey Pay! There’s A Goat on the Roof is not as valuable as I was expecting. Complete copies of the game generally only sell for $30-$40.


 

Do you actually remember any of these games from your childhood or are there are other strange children’s games that you feel deserve to make this list? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

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