Taking a chance with games
There is a special place in my heart for vintage board games. Not only are they often a charming reminder of my youth, but there is something special about old game pieces and board game design that tends to catch my eye too.
There is an inherent risk however, in buying someone else’s old board game. Odds are good that pieces might be missing, which is always disappointing. It is for this reason that I haven’t been brave enough to buy puzzles. Just thinking about sorting and painstakingly placing 999 pieces only to find one has been AWOL the whole time is torture for me. Leaving a sad hole in a near-completed masterpiece would leave a hole in my heart as well. (Which leads me to my shopping philosophy: Shopping is supposed to be fun, not disappointing or annoying.)
The best game I’ve ever bought was a 1980s edition of Rebound. Finding this game was a particular thrill because it was one I had always wanted when I was a kid, but never received.
I finally found my Rebound at Value Village.
It is a pretty simple game. It’s kind of like shuffleboard. You roll a special game piece in such a way that it rebounds off a pair of elastics at the top of the board and ends up on the high-value area at the other site at the end of the board. Push too hard and it will wind up in the gutter, too softly and you don’t get any points at all.
It is a lot of fun, although I wouldn’t quite agree with the marketing department execs who deemed it to be a “sizzling action game.”
This was a risky purchase. The box was taped shut, and I am not the kind of person who tears open the packaging to investigate the contents within. In a very unscientific fashion, I gave the box a good shake instead, to try to determine whether it sounded like there were eight pieces inside. It was hard to tell. The fellow at the cash was unable to tell me if ValVill checks to see if the games are complete before putting them out on the shelf. Dare I? As it turned out, it was a $4.99 chance I was willing to take.
We took it home, where I tore it open (carefully) and to my relief discovered that all the pieces were there! Woot!
But this time it was already past the girls’ bedtime but we were all itching to play a game. My husband however, deflated my excitement by complaining about the lack of slidyness of the game pieces. He fussed and spritzed it all with Fantastic and gave it a good clean while we waited patiently. (Lesson learned! It actually worked better after a layer of grime was cleaned off the board.)
It’s probably the best secondhand game we’ve ever bought.
We’ve had fun playing with it ever since. Every once in awhile we pull it out for a Rebound tournament on Family Game Night. I’m so glad I took that chance in the store that day.