Some of the most significant forms of media and pop culture rose in popularity during the ’90s, including board games. While most millennials spend their time with a Nintendo 64or the latest PlayStation At a friend’s house, board games remained the backup as unplugged entertainment. Popular games like twister and monopoly were the first choice, but they didn’t embody the 90s like other games.
The ’90s favored 3D pop-ups, scary scenarios, and thought-provoking instruction manuals to set the game. They weren’t “roll the dice and move the pawn to the finish line” games. From kid-friendly setups to strategic trading cards, the ’90s brought out exciting and memorable games.
10 Jumanji brought the audience into the film
The ability to create a board game based on the 1995 film, jumanji, proved too good an opportunity to pass up. Milton Bradley recreated the same game from the film and released a smaller version. For audiences, the opportunity to play the adventure-based board game was almost as exciting as the movie.
While the board game doesn’t bring animals into the real world or throw players into another dimension, jumanji follows largely the same rules. The instructions are relatively simple, with players attempting to reach the center before “the jungle takes over”.
9 Mr. Bucket was physically demanding
Although Mr Bucket not crossing a board or drawing cards, it got kids up and running as fast as possible. The concept was simple enough. Players chose a tiny colored scoop and threw their corresponding colored balls into an anthropomorphic bucket, which periodically shot them out.
The first player to bucket all of their colored balls at once would be the winner. While Mr Bucket wasn’t particularly complex or thought-provoking, it remained a hit among young players.
8th Crocodile Dentist is intensive for children
A children’s game that did not involve a board or pawns, Crocodile Dentist became popular because of its simple concept, but it also instilled fear in everyone under the age of 7. The medium-sized, plastic crocodile head had hinged jaws and removable teeth—or, in later years, sliding ones—encouraging young players to venture into dentistry.
Players would pick a tooth and hope it wasn’t the “sore tooth”. If the players chose wrong, the jaws would pin the player and they would lose the game. Similar to jengait was all a matter of chance.
7 splash! Was simple but fun
Like many games geared towards younger players, splash! gave users an excuse to use “Play-Doh”. The concept involved players assembling the game, grabbing the tool that “crushed” the dough bug, and moving pesky bugs across a board to get to the cookie box.
While the ultimate goal was to reach the finish line of Cookies, most players found using the tool to “splatter” other players’ mistakes as the best part of the experience. However, the disadvantage of using Play-Doh as a character was that the substance could dry out quickly.
6 Cranium is perfect for trivia fans
skull marketed itself as a party game since it required at least four players. It was almost like an activity-based version of Trivia tracking. As with most board games, a board was laid out, colored for different activities that needed to be performed for that area. Players rolled the dice and drew cards to trick their teammates into guessing the answer.
The difference between skull and other trivial games were the mini-activities that each area of the board would participate in. From sketching, sculpting, and humming songs to solving puzzles, players had to put on their best creative hats to win the game.
5 13 Dead End Drive is a lighter version of Clue
Although it remained an underrated game, 13 dead end drive gave younger players a chance to play a less serious version of a notice. Among its unique features, the crime board game supported a three-dimensional mansion.
Instead of solving a murder and playing detective, the players’ sole objective was to win the estate of the deceased manor owner by inserting their character portrait into the pop-up frame. Players were given character cards that gave them access to multiple pawns and trap cards, and helped them knock other players out of the race.
4 Magic: The Gathering is still bringing players together
Magic the Gathering almost came from the same vein as dungeons, but only in relation to the fantasy RPG format. The game consisted of various decks of cards that gave players “magic” to use in duels against other players.
The cards were split horizontally down the middle, with the top half showing artwork and the bottom half listing type. While Magic the Gathering requiring only two players, fans formed larger group gatherings to play weekly or in tournaments, something players still do today.
3 Atmosfear contained a terrifying VHS tape
for horror fans, atmosphere anxiety was the best board game to jump into. Advertised as a “video board game,” the game box contained a board, pieces, and a VHS tape to play with. The goal was to collect the six capstones and defeat the gatekeeper.
However, on a nearby television, the gatekeeper gave instructions on how to play and threw random Jump Scares to advance the game. While the game wasn’t overly complicated, the added use of the videotape and horror elements made it enjoyable.
2 The settlers of Catan encouraged players to expand
published in 1995, The settlers of Catan is still available, and for good reason. Originating in Germany, the game used a hexagonal board, cards, dice and more to set it up. The overall goal to win was to build settlements and roads down the line by collecting or trading resource cards.
A robber token would also be placed on a hex and would prevent a player from building unless the robber was moved. As soon as a player has reached ten “victory points” by building settlements or roads, he has won the game. The game could be time consuming, but the strategic gameplay kept players engaged.
1 Pokémon trading cards did not require a board
The collectible strategy card game from the Pokemon franchise encouraged players to “Pokemon trainer” and use theirs Pokemon embossed cards to battle each other. Both players would lay down a card and damage each other. Whoever suffered the most damage from the attack was knocked out and the winner received a prize card.
The winner was whoever got six prize cards first or completely destroyed the other player’s cards. Although the setup was easy, the best part was that players could participate Pokemon Fight like the ones from the franchise and collect or trade valuable cards.
NEXT: The 10 Best Board Games of the 2000s, Ranked