4 Games From the 1960s to Rediscover Today

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Spending time with friends and family can be so much more fun when accompanied by a game. While so many new games are released every year, there are some games that have traveled through the decades with timeless appeal. Here are four treasured games from the 1960s you may have forgotten about.

Many people say the 1960s was one of the best decades to grow up in. Economies were starting to boom again as things were back on track after the Second World War. Fun was well and truly back on the agenda, particularly after candy rationing ended in 1953, and lots of new sweet treats were created.

The 1960s was also a decade of fun because everything from fashion to film were flourishing, and even things like vacations were possible again. It was also a time when some wonderful games were created, many of which are still around today. You may have forgotten about some of them. You may not have realized others have been around for so long. But many are definitely worth reintroducing into your games cupboard once more!

Here are four of our absolute favorite games from the 1960s.

1. Skip-Bo

This game was first commercialized by “Skip” Bowman from Texas in 1967. This card game consists of 162 cards in total, with 12 sets of numbered cards from one to 12, plus a further 18 wild cards. According to the Skip-Bo rules, each player is dealt 30 cards at the beginning, and the aim is to build various series with numbers. The winner is the first to finish all the cards in a personal stockpile.

As well as playing as a group of individuals, it is also possible to play Skip-Bo in pairs. When played like this, each pair has two stock piles. The active partner (the one whose turn it is) can also use their partner’s stock and discard piles as well as their own stock and discard piles.

2. Twister

This fun physical game was first released in 1966. It consists of a plastic mat with six rows of colored circles on it – green, yellow, blue and red. The mat is placed on the floor and someone takes control of the spinner. Each spin results in both a color being called out, and also either right foot, left foot, right hand, left hand being called. This tells a player where they must place either a foot or a hand.

It starts off easy, but quickly becomes more difficult, as players must reach different colored spots while navigating themselves around other players. It is definitely known as “the game that ties you up in knots” for a reason!

Twister still has a large following today, with some people even playing for world records for the largest game of Twister ever played, with multiple Twister mats placed next to each other. The current record sits with Belchertown High School in Belchertown, MA. In 2010, they placed 1,008 Twister mats on the football field, while 2,500 students and staff played Twister together.

3. The Game of Life

The original version of this game was created in 1860, and was called The Checkered Game of Life at that time. It is believed to be the USA’s first game of its kind, designed specifically to be played indoors with a group. The version we know today, simply called The Game of Life, was created in 1960. It is a game that is so revered, it is even part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, as well as an inductee in the National Toy Hall of Fame. 

While the game is regularly updated to make it appropriate to modern ways of living at any given time, the idea of the game is about traveling through life. Players are born, go to school, get jobs, get married, have children and retire. Players can even experience life events such as getting a pet, or filing a lawsuit! The Game of Life also has a video game version nowadays.

4. Aggravation

This board game with a similar premise to Parchisi or Ludo been around since 1960. The difference with Aggravation is that up to six players can get involved in the game, and that playing pieces are either marbles or plastic balls that slot into holes around the board. Unlike Ludo, there are also no ‘safe’ spots on the Aggravation board, meaning a player’s marbles can be captured by another player any time. This is known as ‘aggravating’ a player’s marbles, hence the name of the game!

In the game, players take it in turns to move their marbles around the board. It is possible to take a short cut through the middle of the board, but if other players use the shortcut too, the chance of capture is higher. The winning player is the first to get all their marbles home safe.

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