Saturday, 2 August 2014

Review: Dennis the Menace the game

Every Christmas, when I was small, I received a board game from Santa(/my parents). There are three stand-out classics from that time: one I've reviewed before, one shall feature as soon as I've found it in the loft and this one: the Dennis the Menace game.

The idea of the game is, as Dennis (aka a coloured counter), to travel around the board, visiting various locations to perform tricks and pranks (aka hand in an appropriate card), all the while avoiding Dad (aka an orange slipper playing piece). First to perform all their tricks (and get rid of all their cards) is the winner. Simples!

Playing this as an adult, you very quickly spot the flaws in the game. As a child, you happily wandered round the board, visiting all the locations available to carry out your nasty deeds. As an adult, you realise that it's much more effective to just move between two neighbouring locations. Which makes the game much more dull, but greatly increases your chances of winning.

I'm not certain how popular the Beano is these days. I know the comic has, to my annoyance, turned into more of a magazine, with the comic strip element reduced greatly (for child-preference reasons or simply to reduce costs, I do not know) from when I was a lad. It's still a fun read, however, and the artists are really nice people (as I found out from our school comic con).

While not being huge Beano fans, my boys really enjoyed playing the game. I suspect a number of elements - the prospect of being on the receiving end of the slipper from Dad, especially - would be absent from the game if released today, but added immensely to their enjoyment of it. I can see a bunch of children loving this, though additional rules may need to be created if an adult joined in too.

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