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Neewollah Bingo

  • July 23, 2011 5:30 pm
bingo cards

A skeletal hand shows his hand

I’ve always loved Halloween, even as a child, and I recall being so excited to receive a grab bag full of games, records and toys. The one thing I kept from that gift was Monster Match, a game with several fun characters, like Morkel, a marshmallow like tree, Moon, a horned owl with rainbow-colored wings and bright blue eyes, and Neewollah, a craggy witch with an unforgettable name — Halloween spelled backwards!

The game was produced in 1983 by Design House Incorporated. I haven’t been able to find it anywhere since, so I’m really glad to have kept this throughout the years.

Making your own bingo cards with Halloween characters would be a fun activity to do at home.

This matching game is much like bingo, with different cards on which 25 haunting characters are printed. Players win by filling out their rows with buttons. When all spaces are filled either horizontally, vertically or diagonally, that player wins. Instead of numbers, players draw these characters and look to see if they are on their card.

Part of the fun for me was collecting the cards with the unique characters on them. Here’s to nostalgia.

bingo card

Monster Mash card


monster match

Players select cards for Monster Match


Classics Never Lose Edge

  • July 23, 2011 5:13 pm
board games

Ghosts! and Boooo-opoly are full of Halloween fun

Most gamers seek their action on a computer or flatscreen TV, but there’s something to be said for spending hours actually touching pieces, shuffling “monster money” and seeing images glow in the dark. Two of my favorite Halloween-themed board games are Ghosts! and Boooo-opoly.

Ghosts! was always fun to play as a child, and it hasn’t lost it’s allure today. The 1982 Milton Bradley game is billed as “a very creepy, sneaky, guess-who game,” and it is that, especially when played at night, where rows of ghosts emit a soft green glow among the bed sheets.

Each player is given eight ghosts, four of which are bad with a yellow sticker affixed to the backs, and four good, blue-sticker spooks. The object is to capture bad ghosts by moving horizontally or vertically next to their square to capture them, or move the good ghosts through exits at either end of the board, which is designed as a creepy castle interior.


Ghosts stand guard

The fun is in knowing whether the ghost is good or evil only after it has been captured. If a player captures all their opponent’s bad ghosts, then they lose the game. Or if you capture all four of the good ghosts, then you win the game. Good ghosts may also float out the exits to win.

Although the game is designed for ages 6 to 14, it remains one that adults will enjoy, because of its clean design and the guessing factor of determining which ghosts to trust.

Availability: I believe you can still find these on eBay. Prices range from $8 to $40, depending on quality.


Monopoly is given a Halloween Twist

If you like Monopoly, then you will love Boooo-opoly by Late for the Sky, especially if you also are a Halloween fanatic. The same premise applies as in the original game, but with a monstrous twist! The money features a witch, Dracula, Frankenstein, skull, mummy, cauldron, jack-o-lantern and frightened person for the $500 bill.

Properties have appropriately haunting names such as Mummy Manor, Caramel Apple Corner  or Dreadful Drive. Six player pieces come with the game. They are adorable and detailed. You can be a caramel apple, bat, witch hat, pumpkin, cat or ghost as you make your way around the game board.

Positive cards include money won for winning a jack-o-lantern carving contest, for example, and negative would be getting caught soaping windows, which requires a penalty fee. Players receive $200 every time they run through the graveyard, and whatever money is on the board from player fees if they land on free candy. Just don’t get sent to scared stiff too often, which may make you lose three turns and pay up $100 to get out of “jail.”

Houses are black, and it takes purchasing four before you can replace them with a full moon, allowing you to charge exorbitant prices to anyone unlucky enough to land on your property.

spooky hollow

Spooky Hollow is an expensive place to visit

Part of the fun is saying the names, like landing on Bats in Your Belfry. The Halloween catchphrases are enough just to get me in the mood for all things October.

Availability: Prices are about $24.95.

free candy

This caramel apple is lucky to land on free candy


Spooky Games

  • June 20, 2011 9:28 pm

Do you like to immerse yourself in fog-shrouded cemeteries, melancholy swamps or slightly sinister carnival grounds? If so, there are plenty of these worlds to enter at Big Fish Games. I’ve been a club member for about two years and have naturally gravitated toward spooky games that could all serve as Halloween scenes. Games are mostly available for PCs, but there are also Mac versions and some games designed for iPhone and iPad.

Collector’s Editions are slightly more expensive ($19.99 or $13.99 if you are a game club member). Regular games are $9.99 and $6.99 for club members. If you fill up your monthly punch card with six purchases or two collector’s edition purchases, you are eligible for a free game that is not a collector’s edition. These editions offer bonus chapters, early access, song samples, concept art, desktop wallpaper and screen savers. Sample versions of the games are available for you to experience the game before purchasing.

I wrote down all the ghostly games I’ve played and was amazed and how many I’ve bought. Each game featured gorgeous graphics and soundtracks. My favorite will always be Return to Ravenhearst. This game’s soundtrack is performed by the Berlin Orchestra and is a separate purchase from the game. So haunting. I played it for this year’s Halloween festivities. People asked where I purchased it. They were surprised to learn that it was from a game.

Part of the fun is just looking at all the wonderful graphics. Each of these games include hidden object scenes in which you are rewarded with an item that will help you later in the investigation/game plot. Others are puzzles. Most are pretty common-sense. If you get stuck, Big Fish Games user help forum will have a game walkthough posted, and some collector’s editions come with an integrated strategy guide.

Warning: These games are addictive. You will find yourself looking for keys in trees and smoking pipes in the clouds. Some games are more challenging than others, but I have discovered an improvement in memory and attention to detail since logging a few hours at the computer — no matter which game I’ve played.

Best of all, if you’re an avid Halloween fan like me, these games offer a chance to enter paranormal situations throughout the year. Check out my links list below (screenshots, strategy guides and a video may be viewed) of favorite games and feel free to leave comments about your favorites and game experiences.