Friday, December 08, 2006

Warning: Way too much personification ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

In the unofficial hierarchy of the board game universe, Chess is certainly the all-knowing grandaddy of all games. Sure, chess is kind of pompous. If you met him at a party he'd probably be insanely intelligent, grandiloquent, and intimidating and you'd leave thinking "Man, that guy was intense but, you know: what a prick." Of course, nobody writes books about Hungry Hungry Hippos. Nobody plays computers at Tiddlywinks* (though, if we did, humans would dominate. Computers: no hands with which to tiddly. Tiddly: probably not a real verb). These are the facts.

Chess has his spouse Checkers and his hotter, less predictable wife Chinese Checkers who he broke up with when he saw six people playing her at once (scandalous behavior, quite frankly). Chess hates his younger brother Monopoly, probably because underneath his unctuous exterior, he's a little jealous that Monopoly is more popular, has his own currency (worth slightly more than the Italian Lira), and a mascot who looks like a non-peanut Mr. Peanut. Chess thinks Monopoly is all luck and that you might as well spend two hours of your life flipping coins with four friends. Sure it would be less fun but less people would be left crying.

So what I'm trying to figure out is where Fireball Island fits in. For those of you who don't remember, Fireball Island is a game in which four plastic explorers brave a treacherous plastic island in search of a valuable plastic jewel, all the while trying to set boobytraps for their peer archaeologists, avoiding giant-flaming-balls-of death (which, of course, don't really kill them at all; these are hearty folk), and trying to be the first little plastic man to the painted on boat at the end. Oh yeah: there's a giant, vengeful God on top of the island named Volkar. And no, I'm not making any of that up.

Maybe Fireball Island is a son from Chess's marriage with Chinese Checkers, except, not with Chess but with some other game because, let's face it, Chinese Checkers was promiscuous and she knew that Chess was filing for divorce, so she started seeing other people. Like Mouse Trap, who was a complete idiot but was phenomenal in the sack. Yes. I think that's what happened.

If you're ever lucky enough to see a Fireball Island anywhere, buy it. If there are two, buy two. It's just utterly fantastic. And yes, I obviously played it last night and I lost and I'm still kind of angry about it. Which is childish and obsessive and borderline pathetic but I'm okay with that.

Also, that may have been the most pointless thing I've ever written. I'm also okay with that. Have a fine weekend, one and all.

* In the interest of wrapping up lose ends from last week, Team Human lost it's final chess match about Team Robot Overlord, making the score four ties and two failures for carbon-based life forms everywhere. I say we punish the computer with a sledgehammer. Just to keep it in line. And by in line, I mean obliterated.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

We abbreviate Fireball Island FBI in my house. I thuoght I shuold share that with you.

Katie said...

Never heard of Fireball Island but I'm an avid fan of both Monopoly & Scrabble. Next time I see you, prehaps there will be a game in order...?

birdmonster said...

Anon: HOLY SHIT. You must identify yourself. We use the same abbreviation everytime we play. And, um, not to be a prick, but the "u" goes after the "o". (Dork alert, dork alert)

Katie: Those games are quite time consuming---let's go for Connect Four. Underrated and totally kick ass.

milton bradley said...

Um, not to be a prick, but Vul-Kar is spelled with a "u", not an "o". (Dork alert, dork alert)

Also, the French name for the game is "L'Ile Infernale" - The Infernal Island. I thought that was pretty cool...

birdmonster said...

Look Milt, maybe at your Catholic-style, old school, latin-mass saying "Vul-Kar" temples you spell it that way. At the Third Presbitarian Church of Volkar, we spell it our way. We are the way of the Lord.

Sabrina said...

my favorite was rubiks race when I was a kid. I've never found a replacement to my broken one. Hours of fun!
The hungry hippos sucked, got one of these for Christmas when I was about 10. I knew what it was as soon as I shook the present under the tree.
connect four, yes.. a family game must have. simple yet strategic.

Peter said...

Justin, I must teach you the Eastern board game: GO. It's sort of like if Chess went on a date with Chinese Checkers, but ended up going home with that IQ game they have at restaurants like Cracker Barrel where the pieces are like little golf tees...and made out while Marble Madness and Stratego secretly videotaped it. You'll like it.

birdmonster said...

Sabrina: I can finish a Rubik's cube algorithmically in 13 seconds. I can also lie in under 3 seconds. One of these things is true.

Peter: Oh, I know GO. It's an allegory for racial tolerance & interracial marriage. It's downright utopian

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