Sunday, January 24, 2010


This was a Christmas gift from my mother. I was surprised at how little I knew about this interesting game -- it has such a history! It was first published in 1887 by the Parker Brothers, under the name "Chivalry," then as "Camelot" in 1931 (when it enjoyed the most popularity -- apparently Stan Laurel was a big fan, appearing in ads for the game), and then again in 1985 as "Winning Moves."

So, despite a 120+ year history, the game is mostly unknown today. Of course, there is the World Camelot Federation, but that's pretty esoteric. Why isn't the game better known, I wonder? It's basically like playing checkers on crack. The pieces can move one square in any direction, and you can jump over your own pieces to take shortcuts. These strange rules, combined with support for multiple jumps make for situations where one bad move allows your opponent to capture a HUGE number of your pieces, which is exciting -- but can also be frustrating.

One really weird part of this game was the packaging. The copy I got is over 50 years old. The pieces are stored inside the box by sticking to a piece of exposed masking tape. Somehow, this tape was still perfectly sticky after 50 years! This, honestly, seemed kind of eerie to me.

Anyway, I'm totally fascinated by Camelot. It's as cool as Helios, but a much better game.

No comments:

Post a Comment