Monday, August 20, 2012

Snakes and Bonzos: a Gift for You

Click on the game board to enlarge and print.

The Game of Life aside, there’s no board game that teaches the verities of life quite like Snakes and Ladders, or Chutes and Ladders for the reptile-squeamish. As rocker Dave Edmunds sang it in a song of the same name, “You’re in the game. you‘ve got no choice / You can’t complain, you’ve got no voice . . . Take a turn, roll the dice / Sometimes nasty, sometimes nice...”

And you never know, do you, when one of those chutes is going to open up underneath you (or when one of those snakes is going to some slithering along...) I do find that the climb is always arduous and the fall always precipitous. And when we played as children, it never helped that my sister always got the ladders and I always got the chutes, or that she always gave out a mean laugh as she grabbed my playing piece and moved it herself down the chute to the lower part of the board.

Of the many, many variations of Snakes and Ladders published by dozens of game publishers over the years, The Bozo Chase Game is my favorite. Bonzo the Pup was created by British cartoonist Geo. Studdy, and appeared on picture postcards, in magazines, comic strips advertising and in many other places. I have an original Bonzo comic art page by Studdy that I inherited from my mother; I could not bear to part with it. Bonzo even lent his name to a very fine and funny Rock Band. I hope you enjoy his game.

-- Freder.


“Hallo' kiddies, I do love sausages, don't you? Whenever I get a few, somebody interferes and I have never eaten one in comfort yet. Have you ever tried to climb on to a pile of plates? -- if not -- see what happens in square 57. I love policemen because they can run faster than I can, but I hate boys who throw stones at innocent puppies, see square 13 -- I'm sure it's an unlucky number! -- If you get into square 39, you really must go up to square 98 and give my love to the wet policeman. From square 45 you will have a lovely ladder to climb, but don't fall down again as I did from square 121. Then do try and dodge square 127 because if not you'll probably lose the game and never be able to end up with me on square 130 all bright and smiling. --With love from ‘Bonzo’ "

Rules of the Game:

  1. Up to six players can compete. Draw a number to ascertain the order of starting.
  2. Each player in turn throws the die or spins an indicator and travels the number of spaces shown on die or indicator starting of course from No. 1 in left-hand corner.
  3. The first to reach or pass 130 is the winner.
  4. Should a player land on any square with a colored arrow on it, he must follow the picture starting from that space until he reaches a square with a star of the same colour; for instance, a player arriving on 39 will go up to 98 or -- 121 goes back to 68.

Originally published by Spear's Games and designed by Geo. Studdy.

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