Monday, September 22, 2014
Memory Bank: Situation 7 (Parker Brothers; 1969)
One of my favorite games from childhood is Parker Brothers Space Puzzle Game: Situation 7, manufactured in 1969, the year I was born. I did not play it until the late 1970s, but it was a favorite in my household, and on camping trips.
As described on the box:
“Here is a game and a puzzle combined. Each player of team has a complete puzzle, identical except for color. Both puzzles are played on the same area. The object is to cover more areas than your opponents and score more points. Special pieces! Special plays! Watch the crowd gather and join in the fun.”
Situation 7, then, depicts two planet home bases, and a solar system up for grabs. The idea is for one team to win the “space race” and to conquer as much of the solar system as possible. You not only want to claim planets (and the sun) for points, but also man-made satellite, rockets, and astronaut installations.
So, you want to take over the solar system, and you want to do it fast, a fact which causes a lot of excitement and tension as you vie to find the right piece.
Also, you can’t just claim any piece you get your hands on, you have to build to it, meaning that you must be the first to legitimately reach from the planet to your sun, for example.
My family played Situation 7 from New Jersey to California and back again on our cross country, six-week camping trip of 1979, and I’ve never forgotten it. I always loved it, but my sister got to where she couldn't stand the anxiety of the game.
There’s another game in the series too: Situation 4, set in Europe during World War II, if memory serves.
I still have Situation 7 in my possession (thanks to my parents), and took some photos of it to accompany this post. I can’t wait to play it with Joel…