Discover more from The Retroist
Let’s Play Arcade Mania the Board Game!
One can only imagine the turmoil and excitement at companies like Milton Bradley during the peak of the video game craze. With the ever-growing popularity of those pesky video games, how could traditional board game companies compete? Well, for many of them, the strategy seemed to be quite straightforward - jump on the bandwagon. In 1983, Milton Bradley came up with a clever idea to embrace the video game trend while still staying true to their board game roots - enter Arcade Mania.
Arcade Mania was an innovative board game that required players to engage in video game challenges to emerge victorious. The centerpiece of the game was an electronic unit, which you would pass around, hosting simple electronic games. The brilliance behind this concept was that it combined the strategic elements of a classic board game with the novelty and allure of electronic gaming. It was a remarkable hybrid, and the idea itself was pretty cool.
However, like all endeavors, it encountered a snag when it reached households like mine, inhabited by two generations with differing gaming preferences. While we could all enjoy the traditional board game part of Arcade Mania, the electronic game segment wasn't exactly a hit with the older members of the family. As a result, the game was primarily reserved for those moments when the younger ones craved some gaming fun.
Although Arcade Mania's claim of reuniting a divided household might have been a bit exaggerated in our case, it's worth acknowledging that Milton Bradley was attempting something innovative. They bravely sought to bridge the gap between traditional board games and the emerging realm of electronic entertainment. It's commendable that they didn't shy away from experimenting with new ideas during such a rapidly changing era.
In the end, Arcade Mania might not have revolutionized the gaming world or single-handedly brought harmony to every household, but it does stand as a testament to the creative efforts of companies trying to adapt and cater to the shifting preferences of the gaming community. And who knows, perhaps some other families out there found the perfect balance between board game enthusiasts and electronic gamers through this unique and daring creation by Milton Bradley.