Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Romanticism vs Practicality

It was towards the end of March... I was nursing a particularly unexpected headache while holidaying in Sarawak where I was introduced to the wonderful world of Risk. It was the most intriguing board game ever, and although I was attacked left, right and center throughout the game as certain people made it a point to eliminate all my little red troops off the map, I had tonnes of fun. Now for those not in the know, Risk is a game that involves strategy, and some cold, calculated moves. Sympathy and feeling bad for destroying someone's troops may only come back to haunt you someday. Nevertheless, I was hooked and planned to get my own set (let's just forget for a moment that getting 3 or more players to play with me will be a whole challenge in itself!)

Anyway, last Saturday saw me, my sister and my cousin having an 'under 30's day out' which consisted of a very late and long lunch which then extended to a drive to a different town as none of us wanted to go home. As usual, we had not made any plans, and by the time we drove out, a lot of places would be closing up... so we ended up at a mall, and co-incidentally, just as luck would have it, Toys'r'Us was there right in front of our eyes, beckoning us to get in.

The last time I stepped into Toys'r'Us was when I was about 9, I think... that was 20 years ago. Stepping in, it seems as though it wasn't as big as it was when I was 9. After passing through the babies section, and seeing some Star Wars merchandise from afar (which made me think of my colleague who enters the shop in the pretext of buying toys for his daughter, but instead takes snap shots of himself with Star Wars gear!), I saw the rows of boxes with the words Risk written on them.

I picked one up, and figured that i might as well get it. Clutching onto it, I walked around the shop, secretly envying the kids nowadays when I stumbled upon something on a shelf. Among the many games and toys displayed was an old fashioned box of Risk made of wood that looked like it was made in ancient times! I immediately fell in love with it, because it was so incredibly rustic. However, I later found out that it most probably had missing parts, the most notable, the instruction manual - and for Risk, the instruction manual is an integral part of the game! Plus there are many versions of the game, so no two manufacturers will have the exact same instructions. The romanticism in me insisted that we could somehow find a way to play it, missing parts or not... as for the instructions, no harm looking for them on the net, right? But the practical side of Terra decided otherwise. So for that day, practicality won over romanticism. Sigh...



This is an exact version of that gorgeous box, except this one looks new and clean. That one looked like it had history (probably dropped to the floor a gazillion times)

28 comments:

  1. Hasn't the world moved on to Video Games???

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  2. Um, yeah... but there's always a place and time for a little old fashioned fun! ;)

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  3. i love a good boardgame - they're more inclusive than video games. I went through a phase of playing them with my friends. But we had to stop after "the pictionary incident". I've only played risk a few times and never managed to get a board but I loved it and would love to play it again!

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  4. Ooh i love love Risk!!! So ironic k...been thinking bout buying it this past one week since i got a ton of vouchers from MPH! But this vintage one looks good!!! Do you know they actually had a LOTR version?!!!!

    How much is it by the way?

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  5. Aunty: There's a pictionary incident? Hmmm... intriguing... Yup, Risk was awesome, played it only once though. As far fetched as this may seem, maybe we could have a game if I ever visited you in Ireland or if you visit me here in Malaysia!

    Sabrina: That's an interesting co-incidence... The vintage one looks awesome, and kinda good for carrying around. Due to the missing parts, Toys'r'Us was selling it for RM60... The one I got was RM 139 (I am an impulsive buyer)

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  6. the pictionary incident nearly caused the break up of two friends of mine who've been in a relationship for more then 10 years. One of them is ultra-competitive and blames the other is the team loses, which kick starts a lot of repercussions about other things. It was particularly bad at a game of pictionary we once had. We stopped playing games after that but whenever we need a team for anything they are not allowed play on the same team together!

    And yes! we shall play risk together some day!!

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  7. Risk! has evolved so much over the years. Been playing since I was a kid. I think they should come up with a "non-colonial" version though.
    Btw, they do have a video game version for Playstation. And its just as inclusive since it supports so many players. I feel your pain about finding enough players. If you ever need one...

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  8. Oh wow... they really took the game seriously, then! And yes, we shall play, someday :)

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  9. Cyberfish: Oh, having it on playstation sounds cool... more motivation to get one, now.

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  10. well you should have let you inner romanticism won " old is gold"

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  11. You are the third person in as many days that I've found out adores Risk.

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  12. However our board game of choice is Apples to Apples. We do not falter on that.

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  13. I will start looking for a complete Vintage Risk :)

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  14. Nowsherwan: I know... I can always look for another set, hopefully a complete one someday. Thanks for dropping by.

    Woozie: I didn't know so many people adored Risk either. I've not heard of Apples for Apples... will need to check that out.

    Jai: Oh... do tell if you find it. I might want to look for one myself...

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  15. I woulda bought the old one :) But thats just me...

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  16. I should've bought both....

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  17. I have a confession to make :-( I'm crazy about kiddy stuff too.....

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  18. yup both woulda been the best option :)

    I love toys. Can't wait till I can afford all the movie figurines I want!!

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  19. I am just pulling ur leg when I said I will start looking for d complete Vintage risk.. I am not good at keeping things and saying no to kids...so u can imagine how d vintage risk board will look like if I bought it .The one that I have is still in good condition bcos it is sort of borrowed and comes wit strict instruction from d owner not to be given to d kids..but nowadays its bcoming harder for me to say no to my nephews who just dont give up asking . Nway if I come across d complete version of d Vintage Risk I will let u know :)

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  20. Unicorn Girl: Psst... me too! But I don't think we can call Risk 'kiddy' at any rate... kids might actually attempt to eat the pieces ;)

    SS: LOL... Yep, that's the good part about being all grown up!

    Jai: Oh, ok... I thought you were serious. LOL!

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  21. I love Risk! There's nothing better than sitting down with a boardgame and trying to conqueror the world :D

    And if you liked risk and then you just might like Axis and Allies though it's all about world war too and can take hours to complete but with the right bunch of friends it can be extremely fun :D

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  22. I'd agree with Terra. I played Monopoly on PC and also the old style, I still prefer the old style.

    There is always something missing when you play some games on PC... sometimes you just can't figure it out.

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  23. I will have to play Risk with you someday. But you'd have to teach me first.

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  24. Nick: Yeah, that's absolutely true... Axis and Allies sounds fun as well... but I shall attempt one game at a time, LOL.

    Brian: There's a PC version of Monopoly? I've tried PC version Scrabble before... and I always lose because the 'computer' is too smart!

    Orhan: Sure... why not? Someday...

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  25. I love game night with friends. I've never played Risk though. Odd because I loved board games as a kid.

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  26. Yeah, board games are fun... even if you're a lousy strategist like me..

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  27. I love that game so much and no one ever plays with me!!!

    I was recently in a Toys R Us as well, and remembered thinking that it wasn't nearly as thrilling as it had been when I was a child.

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  28. I found a few online versions... they aren't as fun, though.

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