During the 1960s, most people preferred ways to spend their free time outside or engage in physical activity. Some stay inside to engage in more traditional forms of entertainment like board games and card games due to the limited availability of video games and the internet. There were hundreds of different board games released or played in the 1960s. Still, only a handful stood out due to their innovative design and engaging gameplay. These classics from the ’60s are still some of the most enjoyable board games today.
Game of Life (1960)
The Game of Life, made famous by Hasbro, entered the market for the first time in 1960. The game transports players to 1950s New York, where they can immerse themselves in Mrs. Maisel’s fantastical universe. Players in this game of life must decide how they will achieve their goals of success and recognition. You’ll go through the ups and downs of attempting to make it big in New York City as you play through this game. One of two things can happen to you: you either become obscenely wealthy or live in a filthy basement apartment. You can give up, or you can take some risks and maybe become renowned, and if you do the latter, you win.
Mouse Trap (1963)
Mouse Trap, released in 1963, is widely regarded as the first 3D board game. It educates children about strategy and building. Every player in this game starts by constructing a mousetrap somewhere on the board; later, on their turn, they try to catch the mice of their opponents. Players can also use their mouse to navigate the map and avoid hazards. The winner is determined by who catches the most mice.
Acquire is a board game for two to four players that centers on mergers and acquisitions. The game’s components include a board on which hotel tiles are placed, fake money and stock certificates, and rules. Building and merging hotel businesses for maximum profit is the goal of this game. Players who own stock in a chain subsequently acquired by a more significant chain receive compensation according to the size of the acquired chain. At the end of the game, everyone sells off their holdings to see who came out on top financially.
Hands Down (1964)
Hands Down is another well-known board game from the ’60s that’s great for active, competitive kids ages 6 to 12. The fact that you don’t need to give it any thought is probably its best aspect. You can play this 1964 game with up to four people. They need to use all their cards and some drawing skills to get a pair. The game’s goal is to determine whether or not your opponent is holding a pair. You need to act quickly and efficiently to win this game.
In the board game Trouble, players race to be the first to move four pieces to opposite corners of the playing area. The “Pop-O-Matic” is a portable device used to move pieces based on the results of a die roll. Get as far as you can on the game board by popping the dice in the dice popper and making your way to the end zone. The goal is to get all four pegs to the end as rapidly as possible. However, you should be wary of your adversary’s pegs. If an opposing player’s peg lands on yours, the game is ended and your peg must be reset to its starting position. The game’s 2-to-4-player capacity makes it ideal for kids aged 5 and older. The game comes in a plastic gaming unit with a “Pop-O-Matic” dice roller, rules, and 16 pegs to play with.
The Milton Bradley Company and Winning Moves Games USA created the physical skill game Twister. A huge plastic mat is laid on the ground or floor for play. In each of the mat’s six rows, you’ll find a huge circle in one of four colors. Players use a spinner to determine where to put their hands or feet. Two players cannot simultaneously have their hands or feet in the same circle; with additional players, the rules change. Due to the limited number of colored circles, players will be forced into various awkward and perhaps unsafe postures. They are out when an opponent touches the mat with an elbow or a knee.
“Wee-ja” or “wee-gee” is how you say the name of the famous spelling board game Ouija. You can pose a question in a game and watch as the board displays the corresponding response. This game’s concept is based on a report from 1886 about a “talking board” that possessed the ethereal spirit of a mysterious oracle. The board game Ouija is great for eerie fans and may be played during Halloween or other themed events. Wooden solid construction, plastic message indication, and unique artwork distinguish this version of the Ouija board game.
To win the war-themed board game Battleship, players must locate and destroy their opponent’s fleet of ships before time runs out. A paper and pencil version of the game has been around since World War I. However, the Milton Bradley Company introduced the plastic board game in 1967, which most people are familiar with. The game’s mechanics are easy to grasp. Each participant uses a plastic grid with space coordinates to conceal their ships. Each player takes turns stating the row and column of the opponent’s grid to pinpoint the exact square that houses a ship.
Don’t Break the Ice (1968)
The year 1968 marked the beginning of widespread popularity for this timeless game. Children found it entertaining because they got to assist Phillip the Penguin in building an igloo out of ice blocks. If you crack the ice, Phillip will fall through, so plan and strategize as you smash off ice chunks in this thrilling board game.
Ants in the Pants (1969)
This timeless 1969 board game is recommended for kids aged three and up. Two to four players must work together to successfully flip all the ants inside the dog’s pants. Whoever collects the most wins. The board game includes 16 ants, a cardboard dog, some pants, and suspenders. It even became more popular after being featured in an episode of South Park.
Even though most of the games on this list are likely to be unfamiliar to today’s youth, folks who grew up in the 1960s will likely feel a wave of nostalgia upon witnessing a game of any of these titles being played. If someone in the ’60s has ever expressed interest in giving their kids a chance to enjoy the same classic board games they did, it is time to introduce these beloved board games to them.