Strange Board Games #2: Marching Season

We recently highlighted the odd board game of Feel Safe. Another brilliantly odd board game for lovers of the strange is The Marching Season Game. For three and only three players, in The Marching Season Game one person takes the role of Loyalist, another is the Republican and the third plays the part of The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
The game is set during the Orange Marching Season and the aim of the Republican and the Loyalist player is to place counters on the board to control a specific Northern Ireland geographical area. The Loyalists want to claim areas of the board to march down, the Republicans try and stop them. The role of the RUC is to try and control the situation. They must decide whether to allow a march and risk a riot or try and divert it and risk a riot or...just risk a riot.
The game’s designer David Kershaw, who created the game around the time of the Drumcree Standoffs, has said that the aim of the game is not to push any agenda or glorify violence but just to highlight the lunacy of the situation using black humour. Rumours that he is working on a Sunni versus Shia version of dominoes are totally unfounded.

Dunce Wars

Some of the greatest party games are little more than brainless, violent fun and Dunce Wars, one of the stupidest, is also one of the best.
Simply give everyone at the party a cone shaped dunce's hat with elastic to hold it under the chin and also furnish them with a stick (or rolled up newspaper).
Then get them to try and violently knock their opponents' hats off whilst all the time trying to defend their own. The last dunce standing is declared the winner...and told to stand in the corner.

Strange Board Games #1: Feel Safe

Strange Games normally covers childhood and childish games as well as unusual festivals and sports. Board games are not really covered, however, there are some really odd ones that need more players. One in particular is a game called Feel Safe. What Monopoly does for the celebration of rampant consumerism Feel Safe does the same for the loss of human rights. It's a satirical board game based upon the US Department of Homeland Security and the Bill of Rights (the 1st ten amendments to the constitution). The object of the game is to give away your basic rights as quickly as possible so that the DHS can protect you from terrorist threats.
The highlight comes in the form of a ‘terror alert’ when all players must immediately jump their counters to the ‘Bill of Rights Bonfire’ square and throw their rights onto it.
As it says on the box: 'Feel Safe – remember always to follow the rules.'

It has been suggested that Feel Safe successfully reveals the conflict between having a full set human rights and protecting national security from terrorist threats…or maybe it’s just taking the piss.
Hats off to the fabulous board game blog Jergames for highlighting this game
Feel Safe at Board Games Geeks

Strange Games with Maggots: Modern Art

The modern childrens' party is a mixture of additive laced junk food and a handful of staid and dull party games aimed more at avoiding parental litigation and accusations of bias than actual entertainment. The hyped up kids are then sent home having all won a prize and all with an I Pod in a goody bag.
All that can change if you play Modern Art. The simple requirements to play are some paint, paper and a jar full of maggots. Each child is given supplies of each and by dipping the maggots into a selection of paints and encouraging them to crawl over the paper must produce a masterpiece of abstract expressionism. Realism is added to the game if the party host puts on pseudy art critic mannerisms and voice and goes around the finished work dispensing withering criticism. The child that has communicated their inner feelings the most, and screamed the least, wins.

Strange Games is indebted to reader Stace Coley for sending in details of this game.

More Fun with Buckets

After writing about the superb game of Bucket Ball, Strange Games has been inundated by an email detailing a couple of other games worth playing if you have a spare plastic bucket to hand.
Bucket Basket Ball is an old Scout game, apparently. Two teams are formed and one player from each team forms the basket by standing at one end of the room, on a chair and holding a bucket upright on their head. Team mates must now pass a tennis ball between themselves in a similar fashion to basket ball with the aim to throw it into their own bucket/basket. The player forming the basket may help their team by moving their head but the bucket must remain held on the head at all times.

BucketBall(2) is an office game that "involves elements of basketball, tennis, bowling, quarters, and chess". Two players sit facing each other on office chairs but 14 feet apart. In the middle stands a bucket. Players take it in turns to throw a ball so that it bounces then lands in the bucket. The more times the ball bounces the more points are scored and the first player to reach 3 points wins. For incredibly detailed 'official' rules see here.

Fans of bucket related fun should also try the wonderful game of Bucketheads. For two or more players. An easily recognizable object is placed on the floor somewhere at the edge of the room. Players then return to the centre of the room and each places an upturned bucket on their head. This acts as a disorientation device as well as a partial blindfold - players should still be able to see some of the floor in front of their feet. All players then spin round and round for a set time then set off in a chaotic race to find the object first.