Last month my father drove up from his new place in Florida to pack away what was left at the old home here in Columbus. While he was packing he found a great many games that I had growing up. I had already removed a few over fifteen years when I first moved away.

He called me up & asked if I was working at Beyond the Board, the tabletop game store I work at. I told him yes & he said he was going to come up & hand me a box of goodies. I told him I would be waiting to see what he brings.

That evening he brought in a huge card board box full of old games. One of which is the 1989 version of Milton Bradley game This Game is Bonkers!bonkers

Another roll & move game from the 1980’s, most board games from that time had the roll & move mechanic. That being said I took it out of the big card board box & my buddy Scott, sitting next to me, yelled out, “Lets play!”

So I obliged & set it up on the big table for us to mess with. We went through the component list to see if I had everything. I could see that we were short on player markers & on game cards. Luckily it was just the two of us playing so there was no complaining.

We figured it would be a short game & that would be perfectly fine. I dusted off the movement track & the game board & away we went.

At the beginning of the game each player receives four movement cards, placed face-up in front of them, & one big card that says “Go to Lose”. The “Go To Lose” cards are spent by giving them to another player forcing them to lose their turn & landing them on the lose space.

First player rolls the two dice & moves that many spaces. After the first time a player lands on an empty spot they place one of the game cards on that spot. These game cards have a either a number or an action on them. For example a movement card may state moving forward three spaces or backwards ten spaces. Other cards might state go to lose, or roll again. These cards could help or become a hindrance depending on the position of other game cards & how they are placed throughout the game.

Object of the game is to have the highest score after all game cards are placed on the board. I had twenty-six cards so it was about a twenty minute game. To score you have to land on the “Score” space or land on the game card that moves you to the start space.

Spaces you have to watch out for are the  lose space & the “move back fifteen” spaces. These spaces place you right on the losers area causing you to lose a point & immediately ending your turn.

I had things going my way until Scott on the last roll was able to perfectly hit on the spaces he needed. It was a quick, fun retro game from my youth. I may bring it out for another retro day at Beyond the Board.

When certain old games are brought out it tends to bring back good childhood memories. My gaming group mostly consists of folks around my age which is mid-30’s to early-40’s. We pick the fun & exciting retro games like This Game is Bonkers just for the sheer fact it is nostalgic.

If you happen to find it sitting on a thrift store shelf or at a yard sale for a few dollars I say pick it up. It is fun & easy to learn. Totally quick to play. So roll those dice, place those cards, & game on!

-Christopher Richter

Twitter: @Boardgaming_FTW