As we inch closer to Christmas, Hasbro Gaming is making its latest effort to breathe new life into its classic board games. The new idea is mash-ups of classics, combining two games into one, which should tap into the nostalgia of long-time players. The game company is taking its recently developed game Speak Out and its famous acquired Parker Brothers inventory Monopoly, Clue, Taboo, and Scrabble, and combining them with its celebrated former Milton Bradley games Candy Land, Connect Four, Guess Who?, Jenga, and Twister. The result: Hasbro Mash-Ups, some strange combinations, but new twists for family game night, all at less than $21 each retail price.
The best bet looks to be Monopoly Jenga. This game adds some additional strategy to the wooden block game where players remove a piece of the tower one by one until the tower collapses. The Monopoly twist is adding color-coded Monopoly properties as blocks: Railroads, Free Parking, Chance and Community Chest cards, and a Go to Jail block. The goal? Collect the most properties, property sets, and railroad blocks without making the tower fall.
The strangest is Hasbro’s Taboo Speak Out. There’s something really creepy about a family game with mouthpieces, and the box cover art doesn’t help much.
Perfect for ventriloquists, but a problem for everyone else, the speaking barriers are the key twist to the fun classic Taboo game. The rules are simple: Give clues to get teammates to say the Taboo word on the card, without using any of the five forbidden words, all while wearing a Speak Out game mouthpiece. Easy peasy, right? Maybe not.
For younger kids (okay, and everyone else), there’s Candy Land Connect Four. The key twist here is a removable bottom-only row from the traditional Connect Four game. The goal is to prevent your opponent from collecting candy token sets pulled from the Candy Land board game.
In Twister Scrabble, the backbone of the game is the classic Twister floormat, but instead of those cheery colored dots you have a grid of number-valued Scrabble letter squares. You’re only limited by your back and your own twistiness as you try to spell words for points.
The final game in the new Hasbro Mash-Ups series looks to have all the spirit of classic Clue (or Cluedo for UK readers). It’s Guess Who? Clue. The gameplay is Guess Who? with classic Clue components. Players ask each other Guess Who? style “yes” or “no” questions to eliminate suspects. It’s a Guess Who? game grid with Clue game characters, weapons, and rooms. Here you don’t need the Clue paper detective notebook as the game grid serves that purpose.
A key negative for consumers is the exclusive roll-out. Initially the five games are being released as Target store exclusives only, limiting your purchasing options.
But they all look like good fun. Each game is available now here at the Target website (it’s not yet known whether or when they will be available elsewhere).