Sometimes, the classics are the best. The original Italian Job, Don McLean’s version of American Pie rather than Madonna’s and the first edition of Super Mario Bros – all better than the sequels that followed.
When it comes to board games, the story is the same. Some modern board games feature too many gadgets, do little to hold your attention and end up at the back of the cupboard. Meanwhile, the timeless classics stick around for decades and decades.
Don’t believe me? Well, allow me to present exhibit A – Connect 4.
Whilst the design might have changed slightly, the formula has barely changed since the game first hit the shops in 1989. Put simply, two players go head to head to create a line of four coloured pieces in a stand-up frame.
From urban legends suggesting that that David Bowie invented the game, through to mathematics professors calculating the perfect formula for success at the game, Connect 4 has worked its way into popular culture with perhaps one of the most basic ideas imaginable. Factor in the travel versions, along with the computer games and iPhone apps, and the game is one that doesn’t seem to be disappearing any time soon.
Another great game that was genius in its simplicity is Doh Nutters. In the game, players gather around the board, don an elephant mask and go for the donuts with their plastic trunks.
Of course, the game has always been hugely popular with youngsters but it has also proved to be a bit hit with adults – there is even a drinking game based on Doh Nutters!
For the final game, we’re looking at one that has taken a classic format and brought it well and truly into the 21st Century – Guess Who Extra
The original mystery face guessing game has been given a modern makeover with four ways to play and 144 mystery faces to identify. Instead of flipping the faces down, you simply push the button next to the corresponding player to turn their light on or off.
Designed just like an electronic notebook, this clever design means it can fold away when not in use and stand freely, making it a great travel companion.
Of course, we have just picked out three games from a huge range of classic board games. They may have been modernised but the formula has remained the same, simple family fun that you can take almost anywhere. Technology might have moved on but why mess with the classic?