The Board Game Remix Kit
March 27, 2020 7:32 PM   Subscribe

Turn the classic board games you've got into new games you'll love.

The Board Game Remix Kit is a collection of games that you can play using the boards and pieces from games you might already own: Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Cluedo (Clue to Americans) and Scrabble. A few of the games also use pens, paper and other household objects.

There are 26 different suggestions for ways to play, plus another four in the Valentine's Day Expansion. The simplest ideas are just tweaks to the original games, to make them differently fun: a more intensely strategic Scrabble, a faster Trivial Pursuit.

We're putting the cards online for free now, in March 2020, in the hope that some of the game ideas might be useful for people who are staying inside due to quarantine, lockdown or social distancing. (If you enjoy the Kit and can afford it, please consider a donation to the World Health Organisation's COVID-19 Response Fund.)
posted by Etrigan (36 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
I'd love to take a monopoly set, increase the money supply several thousand fold, and make people play that in order to earn money to pay for units in a concurrent game of axis and allies, at some absurd but sustainable ratio. The set-up of this would drive novice players mad outright, and the length of the experiment might kill off expert players from old age. Whatever the outcome, the science would be mad, the gaming ferocious yet tedious. My data would be priceless.
posted by vrakatar at 8:14 PM on March 27, 2020 [20 favorites]

I don't recognize any of these folks, as a long time BGGer. But, great concept.

Always cool to see the design people do their thing. But, if you live in NW Seattle, and need some games, drop me a line. Most of my stuff is locked down in storage, but...

Tell me your age/player count, I'll see what I can do.

I'm a thrifter. I have thousands of games...
posted by Windopaene at 8:24 PM on March 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

How about Scrabbleship?

You plot your hidden ships on the Scrabble board, and if your opponent places tiles on those spots, it’s a hit!
posted by darkstar at 8:29 PM on March 27, 2020 [14 favorites]

Trivial Risk?
Connect Jenga?
Battleship Twister?
Hungry Hungry Yahtzee?
Apples Against Humanity?
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:46 PM on March 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

In my younger days we made up a game that I can't remember the full name of because it was named for the combination of several other games... I think the foundation was played on a Trivial Pursuit board, but for the pie pieces instead of answering a trivia question, you would do a task from another board game. Like Time's Up (charades) or Pictionary, or whatever. Bop-it was in there somehow, too? And it was a drinking game. And I think a Jenga tower with challenges written on each of the Jenga pieces. It was a lot and it was epic.
posted by team lowkey at 8:52 PM on March 27, 2020 [11 favorites]

Mousetrap Diplomacy
Iron Dragon, Hungry Hippo
Pandemic Sorry
posted by away for regrooving at 9:32 PM on March 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Cosmic Wimp-out. Not a mashup but you can take it and play it anywhere.
posted by vrakatar at 10:02 PM on March 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Speaking of print-and-play (if you count 3D printing), my family made up this game back in 1980 or so while we lived in a log cabin that my parents built where we had no electricity, no running water, and no phone (that link is the actual place.) The outer space theme is no doubt because of Star Wars. I think I was 11 years old at the time. It has an interesting mechanic, it's a little like Battleship, in that each player has a hidden board, but half the board is shared between players. You move pieces a bit like chess, but you tell your opponent where your pieces move from, but not where they move to, and collision resolution happens the next time you attempt to move the piece. So it's like a weird mix of Chess, Stratego and Battleship. Anyway, it's called Dueling Masters of Space Time, although what we called it back in 1980 was just "The Game". Because of the lack of information, there's quite a bit of luck in the game, but it's a very natural feeling kind of luck, much less artificial feeling than the kind of luck you get from rolling dice.
posted by smcameron at 10:13 PM on March 27, 2020 [8 favorites]

I'd love to take a monopoly set, increase the money supply several thousand fold

Then you would need the stacks of cash from one or more Masterpiece games as well!
posted by Splunge at 11:30 PM on March 27, 2020

"The Game".

And we all just lost!
posted by Splunge at 11:31 PM on March 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

This is by Mefi’s own severalbees!
posted by adrianhon at 1:54 AM on March 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

And me.
posted by Hogshead at 2:01 AM on March 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

Of course! Mea culpa.
posted by adrianhon at 2:13 AM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I came across a couple of ideas I pitched for BGRMK a couple of days ago. The first was CLUEDOPOLY, a murder-mystery in the world of the high-end property market, in which Mr Moneybags has been found dead in his limo on the Free Parking space, and one of you is Going To Jail. However, to investigate a property you have to pay rent on it first, and police budgets being what they are, it's quite possible you'll go bankrupt before the mystery is solved. The concept is great but it needed a lot of work to balance, and we didn't have time.

The other was CLUBBABLE, Cluedo meets Scrabble: it's the Cluedo board, but with Scrabble letters distributed among the various rooms, and you're trying to collect enough to spell out a plausible solution to the murder (GREEN STUDY PIPE would be a a grand-slam win, but being able to spell WHITE would lock in Mrs White as the killer, and score you... seven points, I think?) Again, I really like the concept but it needed a lot more work.

Might go back to CLUEDOPOLY sometime.
posted by Hogshead at 3:29 AM on March 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

A really fun-sounding idea I heard described once but never got the chance to try, was to connect TSR's "Dungeon!" board game to Monopoly, such that the dungeon entrance is at Jail. If you get sent to Jail, you have to spend at least three turns in the dungeon, or you can enter voluntarily if you go through Just Visiting. I've forgotten what the suggested exchange rate of gold pieces to dollars was -- four to one, I think?

Something else that I thought might be interesting, although you'd need a lot of table and a lot of time, would be to just set up X+1 different board games for X players, and on each player's turn they can play one turn on one game of their choice.
posted by rifflesby at 4:06 AM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Back in the nineties on a listserv somewhere I found some rules from a guy in Ohio, Dave van Domelen by name, who had mashed up Steve Jackson’s classic Illuminati with Monopoly. The result was, of course, Illuminopoly.

My bunch of gamers played it two or three times and found it okay. There were a couple of applications of the rules we were not quite clear on, so I tracked down van Domelen’s e-mail address and asked him for clarification. His response was essentially, “What? You actually played it? I never did.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:42 AM on March 28, 2020 [12 favorites]

Life. Trouble. Payday? Sorry!

Sounds like a natural progression or mashup these days.
posted by delfin at 5:54 AM on March 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

I bought the app when it was initially released all those years ago. I tried playing a game of Clue with Zombies, but it was a bit underwhelming. I might have to give it another shot. What else am I going to do?
posted by papineau at 8:10 AM on March 28, 2020

I think Scrabble + D&D has a ton of potential. The grid of the Scrabble board could serve as a dungeon map, with placed tiles serving as interconnected rooms, and players represented as tokens moving around on the Scrabble tiles. Each letter could mean that the room included something or other (like A means there's hidden treasure, B a trap, etc), but only the DM would have this information. By taking turns spelling words (or "casting spells", haha), the players would be building the dungeon, but also accumulating points that could be spent to move or do damage. Also the DM would try to work the spelled words into the setting somehow, or players would be rewarded for doing so.
posted by oulipian at 9:00 AM on March 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

I think Scrabble + D&D has a ton of potential.

"A wild qua appears!"
posted by HeroZero at 10:18 AM on March 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

HeroZero: ""A wild qua appears!""

It eats your za!
Take 3 points off your qi!
posted by chavenet at 10:27 AM on March 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

Of course, there's the god-game: Chardee MacDennis: Game of Games.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:30 AM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oooh, vrakatar's comment makes me think that someone needs to create an epic meta-game like Azad in The Player of Games.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:36 AM on March 28, 2020

I still have the physical book version of this kit from when it was first published. Don't sleep on Murderland, which uses Clue in a really novel and violent way.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:58 AM on March 28, 2020

I've always had a strong dislike for Monopoly. It's not really a game - it's an object lesson against capitalism. It wasn't designed for people to have fun. The fact that it became such a popular money-maker is really the irony of ironies.

Anyway, back in my high school days, I wrote rules to mash up Monopoly and Steve Jackson's Illuminati into "Illuminopoly", as an experiment to see if there was a way to correct some of Monopoly's "don't ever do this in your game" anti-fun flaws. You basically played the games in parallel, but you could trade money between the two at a rate of $100 <> 1MB. You also had opportunities to intentionally send opponents to jail, which prevented them from taking most actions on either board. It sort-of worked. Thinking about it now, a few more play-throughs and rule adjustments might have made it pretty good.
posted by Citrus at 11:26 AM on March 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

Citrus, meet ricochet biscuit. Ricochet, Citrus.
posted by migurski at 11:42 AM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Great minds, I suppose. I actually did a search for van Domelen’s name of MeFi before I posted, just in case he was a mefite; looks like if he is, he keeps quiet. We have some mutual friends on Facebook, though.

I introduced the family to Concept yesterday, the 2014 Spiel des Jahres winner, a game which we had to modify lightly to account for the lower-than-expected number of players available (only three of us here in isolation). The game is conceptually (heh) in the same general headspace as charades, I suppose: you have a board with several dozen icons on it and by placing markers in the icons, you are trying to get others to guess what the concept you have selected off the card you have drawn. To communicate the idea of “milk,” for example, you’d probably indicate “food/drink” and “liquid” and “white.” I wound up with “The Lord of the Rings” yesterday and indicated “book” and “film” and “power/politics” and “ring/cycle.”

As well, there are several layers of difficulty on the cards to choose from. Easy ones are along the lines of “kitchen” or "weekend” while the medium ones might be “screen door” or “bicycle” and the harder ones are things like “diplomatic immunity” or “Aziz Ansari.”

The tricky part with playing here is that the offspring is psychic. Yesterday I drew “The Sistine Chapel Ceiling,” for which my scheme was “Art/sculpture/painting” plus “religion/myth/belief” plus “building/construction”and then “tall/high.” Kid guessed it as soon as I put the art one in place.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:21 PM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've always had a strong dislike for Monopoly. It's not really a game - it's an object lesson against capitalism.

But almost everyone cheats to win so that's basically the only lesson you need to learn about capitalism.
posted by madajb at 1:09 PM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Dave van Domelen...that's a name definitely recognize from my Usenet days. I ran into tyg (Thomas Galloway) over on a little while back, and keep meaning to read the books Sea Wasp (Rik Spoor) has written. James Davis Nicoll posts regularly on of course.

Sorry, random nostalgia blast there. People here have mentioned crossing D&D with board games--I played in a convention game once where we found out afterward that it was a Monopoly board. Each space was a room with an appropriately colored monster, difficulty corresponding to rent--I think Boardwalk had a Deep Blue Worm instead of the more usual Purple Worm, for example. Every so often we'd mysteriously earn 200 gold for no obvious reason.
posted by Four Ds at 6:15 PM on March 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

Bop-it was in there somehow, too? And it was a drinking game.

Well, since you're here to tell us about it I'm just glad a Bop-it drinking game didn't kill you.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 7:40 PM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Bop-it! Twist-it! Pull-it! Chug-it!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:23 PM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

My favorite version of Monopoly is the one where the T-Rex piece can eat characters. In the first hour, the game progresses as normal. In the second hour, the T-Rex starts on Go, and at the end of their turn, the player who just went rolls for the T-Rex. if the T-Rex lands on a square containing a character's token, the T-Rex eats that character.

In the third hour, just having the T-Rex pass a character inside character is eaten. Last one surviving wins and has a T-Rex to enforce their Monopoly over the peasants.

Some variations on the rules are that if you have X amount of money you can feed the T-Rex, but the X number always increases. And if you are on a square with houses or hotels, no matter who they belong to, the T-Rex destroys the shelter instead of the character.
posted by Jacen at 6:25 AM on March 29, 2020 [10 favorites]

This isn't a mashup, but rather a modification that makes the game way more fun. It's Guess Who, but instead of asking factual things like "Is your person a woman?" and "Does your person wear glasses?" you can only ask subjective questions. Things like "Does your person donate to public radio?" or "Does your person like White Claw?" or "Does your person ride a skateboard?" It's cooperative and silly and works better if you know the other player relatively well.
posted by vytae at 12:52 PM on March 29, 2020 [5 favorites]

> Citrus, meet ricochet biscuit. Ricochet, Citrus.

Wow. My eyes totally skipped over that comment. I guess we did that completely in parallel, since I'm not the guy in Ohio. My version never made it anywhere besides being written on paper. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Citrus at 7:26 PM on March 29, 2020

How about a mashup of Monopoly and Life based on drug dealing?
posted by lathrop at 2:12 PM on March 30, 2020

The makers of Catan have published a #WeStayHome mini-expansion that turns the Robber into a distributor of resources.
posted by Etrigan at 3:09 PM on April 17, 2020

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