BP, Monty Python & Other Musings From This Week

Box artwork for Offshore Oil Strike courtesy of Boardgamegeek
I spotted an article in the Metro about a game from the 1970’s called “Offshore Oil Strike Europe” that had BP branding on the front of the box with the first player to earn $120 million being the winner, I wonder what that figure would be today? Not surprisingly (certainly in the light of recent events in the US) the game had hazard cards with the cost for one in particular being a mere $1 million (‘Blow out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean up costs. Pay $1 million’). Even allowing for inflation then BP would
be happy if that were all! The game can now be found at The House on the Hill Toy Museum.

Reading through two gaming magazines I received recently (“COUNTER” Issue 49 and “thru-the portal” January 2010) I was struck by a number of points:
Box artwork from Monty Python Flux courtesy of Boardgamegeek
  1. I personally know a number of people that love Monty Python style humour and will give frequent renditions of ‘Always look on the bright side….’ or give their rendering of the ‘dead parrot sketch’. If you are one of these then “Monty Python Flux” may be worth looking at; this is a simple, fun card game with much humour taken from the comedy series and related films.
  2. A quote from the famous games designer Reiner Knizia “When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning
  3. Mark Kaufmann from “Days of Wonder” made a number of comments that might be summarised as. That in these hard economic times what does it cost to go to the cinema? Something many families do regularly without a thought. Buying a board game with the opportunity for family interaction (instead of sitting in silence in the dark) is probably both cheaper initially and with the replay ability it might be suggested offers much better value for money long-term too.
  4. Two games that were reviewed in “thru-the portal” January 2010” and I thought might interest others in our group were: 
  • Great Fire: London 1666” a very new, British game and one that might work well in support of those learning about this period in history; it is described as “interactive and engaging” ergo fun. 
  • Secondly “Smallworld” a high quality game from Days of Wonder that has a strong fantasy theme and is described as being “a great Gateway Game” (the term Gateway Game is used to indicate that the game would work well as an introductory game for people who haven't played these types of games before) for people who like this genre.
Finally it was great to see friends last weekend and hear how one who is a teacher is using simple cards games to support her work with Reception Class children who arrive in school not knowing some of the basic social norms e.g. taking your turn. Katie has found that the games help introduce and re-enforce these concepts in a simple and fun way.

The theme of games supporting education is something we will return to in future posts.

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