Board game reviews, news and commentary.
The OC Television Show Board Game
Thrift Sift
Updated: Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
Would your life make an interesting board game? Ah, gut what if your life was that of an attractive, fictitious Californian? In that case, I bet it would. And I’m not the only one who has taken that bet. In 2006, Cardinal Industries published The OC Television Show board game, based on the then popular Fox television show of the same name.

In this episode of Pair Of Dice Paradise’s Thrift Sift series - where I discuss games that I pick up at local thrift stores because they look interesting, bizarre, or a combination of both - we explore the game based on this outstanding cultural touchstone. So, pour yourself a tall glass of teen melodrama, because it’s the OC Television Show board game.

In the OC Television Show board game, you’ll encounter attractive, opulent Californians, roll a die, visit an ATM and go surfing. That may not be the correct order, but that’s not what’s important. If we find ourselves playing the OC Television Show board game, we have other considerations to deal with.

Before we go onward, courageously taking a look at this game, I need to give full disclosure. I must offer confession that I haven’t watched one episode of the OC television show. I don’t even know what the “OC” in OC stands for. If I had to take a guess, I’d conclude that this game is about Organic Chemistry, Omnipotent Cats, Oliver Cromwell, or an ornery cephalopod in an octagon cage-match with plenty of octopus carnage.

Ooh, cool! Well, if that’s the case, then this is going to be the most incredible board game review the cosmos has ever seen! Let’s check Wikipedia for an official confirmation. Here we go:
"The OC is a teen drama series about a family residing in the affluent oceanside community of Newport Beach, California, dealing with the culture clash between the idealistic Cohen family and the shallow, materialistic and often closed-minded community in which they’re cast. The series includes elements of postmodernism, and functions as a mixture of melodrama and/or comedy."

Huh. Yeah, well, how could you not turn that into a board game? It almost writes itself. Well, optimistic confusion aside, let’s open this obnoxious container and see what original content it includes.

As with any game obtained on Thrift Sift, my own copy may be incomplete. So, let’s see what’s included. The OC Television show game includes:
  • game board,
  • 56 cast trivia cards (mine did not include this),
  • 24 cast survey cards (mine did not include this),
  • 28 Show Deck cards (mine did not include this),
  • money (mine did not include this),
  • four player moving pieces (mine did not include this),
  • and a die (mine did not include this).
(Sigh.) That’s ninety-nine cents I’m never getting back. Fortunately, other copies of this game are so plentiful at thrift stores that I was able to go off campus and pick up a couple more OC Television Show board games before I ran out’a cash. Now that I’ve acquired all the obligatory components, let’s find out how to play.

How To Play The OC Television Show Board Game
Place the board by all players. Shuffle the Cast Cards and place them near the board, photo side up. Each player chooses a moving piece, and places it on Start.

On their turn, the active player casts the die and moves that number of spaces orthogonally clockwise. The player to their left then picks up the top orange Cast Card, and, if it is a Trivia Card, reads the corresponding question. If the active player answers correctly, they collect $5,000. Then, they take the Cast Card and their turn concludes.

If the Cast Card contains a Survey question, the active player must now conduct a survey of the other players. For example, Corey may ask, “Which of you is overtly compatible with me?” All competitors then secretly compose their answers, and then reveal them and openly confer. The active player gets $5,000 for every answer that matches their own. Any player who matched the active player’s answer also gets $5,000.

The first player to collect cards for 6 cast members and accumulate $100,000 wins. Congratulations!

Now, a roll-and-move trivia board game based on a melodramatic postmodern tv show may not sound like the most exciting (entertaining? even remotely playable?) original concept in the world, and perhaps I’m being overly-critical, but, to me, the idea sounds offputting. Certifiable, even. But, au contraire! They have considered this objective concern. The rules actually suggest watching the OC television show while you play the OC Television Show board game. Apparently, this game is best played while simultaneously doing another activity to distract yourself from it.

Encouraging your only customers to do something else more entertaining while they use your product? I have to admit, that oozes craftiness. Organized crime couldn’t have come up more oppressive coercion!

So, what’s our conclusion on the OC Television Show board game? Well, not to sound like an old curmudgeon, but if this was an opinion column, I’d call it obscene claptrap. Offensive? Certainly. But, opportunity’s calling, so it would be obstinately careless of me not to do so.

Perhaps I’m being too obtuse. Clarification: In summary, if your life wouldn’t make for an interesting board game, then don’t fret, because even the lives of outgoing characters in the OC television show didn’t either. So, of course, the obvious consequence is that there’s hope for all of us.

I’m on call for any online comments debating the opposite case. I’ll try not to take them out of context, because that would leave my optimism crushed. But, for now, this off-color episode is over. Concluded.
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