Dark Tower – Atlantis (1981)

A couple of days ago I posted the commercial for the Dark Tower board game and Retroist commenter, Marco, was kind enough to share his memories of the game from where he hails in the Netherlands. There the name of the game was Atlantis and my little bit of research has shown that there wasn’t any further differences to the game besides box art and the name.

I found out another reason this board game didn’t do well…Milton Bradley was sued shortly after releasing Dark Tower.

The all-knowing Wikipedia gives us this: “Dark Tower was the subject of trade secret litigation in 1985. Two independent game developers named Robert Burton and Allen Coleman submitted a game to Milton Bradley entitled “Triumph” that involved an electronic tower as the centerpiece. Milton Bradley rejected the game, but proceeded to release “Dark Tower” some time later. The inventors sued for misappropriation of trade secrets and won a jury verdict for over $700,000. The trial judge, however, vacated the jury’s judgement. Despite finding that Milton Bradley had likely “plagiarized the plaintiffs’ idea without so much as a by-your-leave” the judge proceeded to issue a directed verdict for the defendant because Burton and Graham had signed a contract waiving any contractual relationship (which arguably included any duty of confidentiality). The First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, finding evidence that Milton Bradley entered an implied agreement to keep the game confidential and reinstated the damage award.”

A big tip of the hat to J. SE over at BoardGameGeek.Com for the photo of the Atlantis box art as well as a HUGE thanks to Marco for giving me the heads up on Atlantis in the first place!

Dark Tower TV Commercial (1981)


I’ve stated before on the site that in my youth there was one board game that after seeing it’s TV commercial gripped my imagination and refused to let go. That game was the legendary Dark Tower by Milton Bradley. I never received one, I remember it being slightly expensive but that could just be my faulty memory banks, though I’ve been able to play around with one since…and I still want it.

For a young kid just getting started in TSR’s Dungeons and Dragons that commercial was right up my alley, besides it had Orson Welles in it!

I want to thank Retroist regular Magisterrex for uploading this fantastic commercial over on YouTube! Thanks to Jonathan Harrison over at Board Game Geek for sharing the box art to his own Dark Tower game.