Nightmare, Dragonstrike... Oh and Dr. Horrible too

Posted by Labyrinthian in ,

Gamers love game, and not just tabletop RPGs. As a kid I wasn't aloud to play D&D once my Mom found out (that is actually a true story) so often my group would look to board games and video games to fill the void.

Probably my all time favorite board game is Dragonstrike. Now many of you doubtless have never heard of it, and those you have are probably laughing hysterically right now. To the former, please educate yourselves on a classic, and for the latter please understand that it was the closest to actual D&D we were allowed to engage in.  The game is more of lesss a simplified version of D&D in board game form, and it came with a video that I watched constantly.  In retrospect this game was actually a great springboard into D&D and my group had countless hours of fun playing the game.  I love the game (and the video) so much that I included the Sunstone adventure in a recent campaign I ran. 

Want some third party evidence of just how amazing this game is?  Well you recall everyone in the Gaming community going bonkers (and rightly so!) over The Ultimate Game Room?  Well I'd like to draw your attention to exhibit A.

That's right!  The Ultimate Game Room was not content with a mere ONE copy of Dragonstrike, it had to have TWO.   You say you're still not convinced, you say you want more.  Well folks here is exhibit B, the video that went with Dragonstrike.

Ok, this video is really terrible. But to a young lad it was once the coolest thing in the world.

Though Dragonstike is my all time favorite board game, my single favorite board game experience actually came while playing a game of Nightmare with my older brother and my parents. Nightmare was released in 1991 and was a horror based board game that relied on a video to play. The video had the timer for the game as well as a character who ran the game for all the players, a sort of video GM. Now I have played many different versions of Nightmare, and each expansion has a different character acting as GM, but none compare to the original, The Gatekeeper.

Just as none can compare to the original video guide, nothing could ever compare to that first time playing the game.  It was nearly impossible to get my Dad to play board games of any sort, I'm still not sure why.  He loved video games, especially sports video games, but I could never get him to play Dragonstike with us once.  Anyway my Mom must have blackmailed him or something because he was there and sat down with the rest of us to play the game.  My mom shut off all the lights, and lit some candles to create a spooky environment (she loves Horror movies) and we all sat down to play the game. 

Though Nightmare isn't a cooprative give, it managed to create a real sense that it was us (The "Maggots") against the Gatekeeper.  We were cheering each other on when things were going well, and lamenting "our" bad luck when something bad happened or the Gatekeeper screwed us over.  The game lasts exactly one hour, that is how much time someone has to win before its over and you all lose.  Well this particular game went down to the wire.  My dad got all his keys and reached the center of the board with about 3-5 seconds left.  We were all screaming at him to get up and shut the tape off (The final step to end the game).  He tripped over the couch and dove to shut the VCR off.

It was epic.

I don't think I'll ever have a board game experience that amazing ever again, but it does show how much fun they can be.  To give those of you a tase of the game, and its immortal character, the Gatekeeper, here is a highlight real.

Finally, at the time I was playing Dragonstike and Nightmare I also loved playing video games.  I was never a huge Sega fan, but I loved Nintendo.  8-bit games still have a special place in my heart.  For that reason I was pretty entertained when Revil sent me the link to a video of a Dr. Horrible Sing Along Blog 8-bit Video game.  If you love Dr. Horrible and/or old school Nintendo games you should check it out.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 at Tuesday, April 06, 2010 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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