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Popular Board Games in the 70s: Tabletop Nostalgia

Popular board games in the 70s spent more time on Formica tables and dropping pieces into shag carpet than the next ten TV dinners combined. How many of these classic tabletop, family-sized diversions do you remember playing?

Mouse Trap (1962)

In Mouse Trap, players take turns moving their mice along the board to try and get them into the trap in order to score points. The game is a bit more like an obstacle course than anything else, as players have to figure out how to move around obstacles such as cheese wedges, tin cans, and squeaky boards.

Risk (1959)

In Risk, players take control of one of the six major world powers and try to expand their global domination. The game is played on a map that represents all the countries in the world, as well as oceans for trade routes. Each country has different values for each resource such as armies or crops, which are used by both military conflicts and trading.

Mastermind (1970)

Mastermind is a game for two players. One player becomes the codemaker by letting the other play think they are trying to guess four colors, when in reality there are only three colors used. The goal of the code maker is to give hints that make it difficult for their opponent to determine what color each letter represents while still being relatively easy for the codemaker to remember.

Trouble (1965)

Trouble is a board game for two to four players. The object of the game is to be first to get all one’s pieces from start (the shoe) around and off home or back to the shoe without getting in trouble with any other player, which causes them to go back an additional space. Trouble may also refer to the game being too much for an individual player(!).

King Oil (1974)

King Oil is a board game involving the popular combination of skill and luck. The object of the game is to buy as many oil wells as possible, but in order to do that you will have to gamble your money by betting on dice rolls. Be careful not to lose all your coins if you are not successful!

Monopoly (1933)

Monopoly is a board game for two to six players, on which the object of play is to become either an entrepreneur or millionaire. It’s not about how much money you start with—it’s all about real estate! You can buy your favorite properties and watch them grow in value as long as nobody else decides they’re more valuable than you.

Trivial Pursuit (1979)

Trivial Pursuit is a board game that has become one of the most popular in modern history. It’s really fun to play with friends, because you can test your knowledge on diverse subjects like entertainment and sports! The object of the game is to be the first player to collect six wedges of pie by rolling a die, moving your own pie, and answering trivia questions correctly.

Go for Broke! (1974)

Go for Broke! is a board game designed to teach the principles of probability and statistics. The object of play is to estimate numbers that are hidden from view (which have been generated at random). Players who guess correctly reveal their estimates, and players whose guesses were too low or high receive negative points. If there is no winner by the time the number of questions has been reached, the player with the most points is declared a winner.

Payday (1975)

Payday is a board game designed to teach the principles of economics. Players are given stacks of money and must decide on purchases, investments, borrowing etc. The object of Pay Day is for players to accumulate more cash than they began with by answering questions about economic decisions or make enough correct predictions in order to win before anyone else does.

Bermuda Triangle (1975)

Bermuda Triangle is a game where players and their friends try to escape an island before the curse of the Bermuda triangle claims them. It takes place in three phases – exploration, building, and combat.

Twister (1974)

In Twister, two teams compete against each other on opposite sides of a plastic mat that contains various twisting and turning pathways. The teams are given cards with colors on them and they must place their hands, feet or head so that the colors match up without going over any of the lines on the mat.

Jenga (1974)

In Jenga players have to build a tower by stacking building blocks one at a time, carefully taking turns. The tower can’t fall over.

Operation (1965)

In Operation, players use tweezers and a scalpel to remove plastic body parts from the board without touching any metal edges of other pieces on the board or their hands. They also need to avoid removing too many blood cells before they get out of surgery in one piece!

(Like Popular Board Games in the 70s? Then you might like our article on Totally Ridiculous 80s Board Games, click here. Or how about Totally Ridiculous 80s Board Games, click here.)

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