Game On: 40 Captivating Facts about Board Games



Ancient Egyptians played a board game called Mehen. The rules for the game are lost but it's presumed to have been played with marbles and lion and lioness-shaped pieces.

27. In 1971, BP endorsed a board game called "BP Offshore Oil Strike" that included a game card which read, “Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1million.”

28. There was a board game called Blacks and Whites that came out in 1970 which was, basically, a racist Monopoly.

29. Carrom is an extremely popular table game in South Asia with its own World Cup tournament.

30. Sorry!, Trouble, Ludo, and Parcheesi are all western versions of an old Indian game, Pachisi, that was first played in the 4th century.



A board game titled “Arimaa”, from 2003 uses a standard Chess set, but with rules designed such that it is hard for computers and easy for humans. By 2015 though, computers became better at the game than humans.

32. There is a board game called U.S. Patent No. 1 whose goal is to invent a time machine, go back to 1790, and receive the first U.S. Patent for your invention.

33. In 1950, Nobel Prize winner John Nash co-invented a board game called So Long Sucker. Before it was published he wanted to call it “F**k You Buddy.” During play, players make agreements with the other players which are ultimately unenforceable. To win, players must eventually go back on such agreements.

34. There was a board game named "Ghettopoly" where instead of railroad properties, there were liquor stores.

35. The Ouija board was originally intended to be a fortune-telling game, similar to the Magic Eight Ball. They were even advertised as fun date activities.

36Juden Raus!

Juden Raus!

In Nazi Germany, there was a board game called "Juden Raus!" in which the object was to strip Jews of their property and push them off the board.

37. According to the instructions for the board game Mousetrap, you are not supposed to set up entire trap when starting a game. Instead, players add a new part every time they land on the “Build” space on the game board.

38. There is a board game version of Stephen King’s “The Shining.” In the game, one player is the Overlook Hotel and the other is the Torrence family, with each player trying to best the other.

39. There is a board game called "Equate" that is like Scrabble except players use numbers and math symbols instead of letters.

40. Taikyoku Shogi is an old chess-like board game played on a 1296-square board with 402 pieces per side, with each side owning pieces like the Drunk Elephant, Strutting Crow, Enchanted Badger, Playful Cockatoo, Free Pig, and Violent Wind.