If there’s one thing people like, it’s playing board games. So therefore, if there’s one thing fictional people on TV, in comics, and books like, it’s playing fictional board games. And though some of them have made the jump to the real world, there’s plenty more that – at least so far – don’t exist. Here are ten of the best board games that never made it into real life… And how to play ‘em:
10. Double Cranko – M.A.S.H.
In order to pass the time between being cracking jokes, and being wistful about the war, Hawkeye and B.J. crate Double Cranko, a combo of checkers, chess, poker, and gin rummy. The rules are… Well, they’re kind of arbitrary, and made up as they go along by Hawkeye so he can win. Here’s a sample: “Bishops are worth three jacks, checkers are wild, and you have to be 21 or over to open.” Yeah, sounds like most of the games we play, too.
9. Kadis-Kot – Star Trek: Voyager
Most likely played like Othello, except with three colored tiles (red, green, and orange) instead of two, this game is usually played by two players, though possibly as many as five. The biggest downside to the game, though, is that you have to play it on the Voyager. Yuck.
8. Land Baron – DC Comics
Introduced in Justice League Quarterly #6, Land Baron is basically Monopoly, but set in the DC Universe. The dear, departed Sue Dibny gets trapped in the game by the “Land Baron,” though it all turns out to be a birthday present mystery for her husband, The Elongated Man. Oh, and Land Baron was secretly Martian Manhunter, which is why we were always burning our Mr. Monopoly figures when we were kids. You know, just in case.
7. Organ Harvest – Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Imagine if Candyland was all about organs, instead of candy. Then imagine you were playing it with a sentient meatball. Now, imagine you were interrupted by a dancing bunny and an elf. There, now you’re all caught up on Organ Harvest, which briefly appears at the top of an episode of ATHF. Bonus facts: part of the game takes place in China, for some reason.
6. Tadek – Farscape
Often played by Rygel in Farscape, the game is probably closest to Chess, though without all the clearly defined pieces. Instead, you get holographic columns anywhere from one to three cubes tall… And unlike Chess, it’s a scummy game often used for gambling. Okay, it’s exactly like Chess, then.
5. Don’t Whiz on the Electric Fence – Ren and Stimpy
After Ren returns home to find his house – and possessions – trashed by Stimpy and Cousin Sven, he tries to destroy something they love. Unfortunately, that’s “Don’t Whiz On The Electric Fence,” a board game that is just a circular field of squares, with a giant electric fence in the middle. The only rule is in the title, which Ren learns to his dismay… From Satan. After he dies. He should have known: the box clearly states that the game is for ages “2 To Death!”
4. Pai Sho – Avatar: The Last Airbender
Possibly similar to Checkers or a Chinese tile game called Pai Gow, the most popular game in the Four Kingdoms is far more complicated than both. The circular board is divided into twelve sections, and each section is divided into a grid of 324 squares. And then some other stuff happens… Though we don’t know, because all we’ve seen is people pushing pieces around the board. We expect the upcoming Legend of Korra will be all about Pai Sho strategy, rather than anything more interesting.
3. Crazy Chase – The Whitest Kids U Know
According to this sketch from IFC’s show, Crazy Chase is, “The only game with literally one thousand dice!” It’s a regular board game, where players compete to get to a castle at the end of the board first… Except first you have to count up all thousand of your dice, first. Oh, and at any point, the other player can hit a buzzer to challenge you, forcing you to recount all your dice. Fun!
2. Scrabbleship – The Simpsons
Invented – we’re guessing – by Homer and Bart Simpson, Scrabbleship is played with both Scrabble tiles, and Battleship pieces on a Scrabble board. You build words, and move your boats around, calling out… Oh, who are we kidding? As Lisa says, “This game makes no sense.”
1. Cyvasse – A Song of Ice and Fire
As far as we can tell, Cyvasse is a mix between Chess and Battleship, but with Dragons. Which sounds amazing. Unfortunately, George R. R. Martin has been pretty sparse with info on how to actually play the game in his Song of Ice and Fire books… Which only makes us want to play the game even more. Given the popularity of the show, we can’t imagine it will be long before we’re playing it in real life; though it doesn’t show up into the fourth book (and we’re only just about to get to the second one in TV land), so hang in there, Westerosi.