Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here. A few months ago, while browsing the Board Game Geek website at work for, uh, an important client project, I stumbled across an image for an old Donkey Kong board game from 1982. Seeing the images of the game unleashed a wave of long forgotten memories about the game, which I had owned a copy of as a tyke.
Then, a short time later, while doing online research for my planned secret hostile takeover of the Flip The Table podcast during my lunch break, I stumbled across their episode of the Pac Man board game from 1980. Another wave of recognition splashed over me, as I began to recall memories about the copy of that game that I had owned too.
Those rediscoveries got me wondering about a couple things. First, why has the company that I work for started blocking my access to so many websites? But, more importantly, did I have any board games growing up that weren’t based on arcade games?
Wading hip-deep into my murky memories, I could barely make out mental images of an old board game, if not the first board game I ever had, it was the first one I remember I ever really wanted. But the only facts about it I could dredge up were fuzzy memories of a blue, plastic board and... meeples that gave each other piggy-back rides?
My Google searches at work proved fruitless… mostly because of that new firewall they installed. But searches from home turned up nothing as well. The quest to rediscover what this game was became an obsession, like a quest for my own personal Holy Grail. I even mentioned my quest for my “grail game” on several podcasts that I weaseled my way on to.
Miraculously, several months later, a random listener directed me to the 1981 Parker Brothers game Push Over. The instant I saw its blue plastic board and player pieces that fit on each others’ shoulders, I knew I had found a copy of my grail game. Being reunited with it has been pretty special. It’s more than just nostalgia, more than just adding another bauble to my collection.
I feel fortunate to have been able to obtain a copy of my forgotten relic. But how about you? Do you have a “grail game”? If so, have you found a copy of it, or are you still on your quest? Tell me about it in the comments below, and, who knows, maybe this internet community can help reconnect some gamers with the long lost treasures that they’ve been searching for.