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Favourite Board Games of the 80s and 90s

Updated on October 4, 2015

I have bought my children quite a few games over the years that I too had as a child. Some of the games include Guess Who, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Operation to name but a few.

There seem to be so many of my childhood games that are hard to track down now or they are just plain expensive because they are now classed as retro or vintage.

Searching through all the old games online made me reminisce about all the time spent making up story lines in the neighbours game with my sister, and the hours we all spent on the spectrum playing chucky egg and those Daley Thompson sports games.

Does anyone else remember the Daley Thompson game? It was called decathlon and it gave you a dead hand by shaking the joy stick back and fourth to run or swim really fast.

Oh they were good times!

Here I have put together a list of some of my favourite games from my childhood. I hope you enjoy reminiscing.

Feel free to add your own favourites in the comments below.


Ghost Castle came out in 1985. I remember you used to slide the faces on your counter piece. Ghost House was a 3D game that contained parts which glowed in the dark. The aim of the game was to be the first to close the coffin lid and slay the ghost but in order to do this you had to dodge all the traps like the falling skull and the skeleton in the dungeon.


Fashion Wheel was a must have for many girls of the 80s. I never actually got one but my sister did and we would sit and crayon over our favourite designs. Fashion Wheel was a pink wheel with three sections. You could choose the head with different hats and necklaces etc and then you got to choose the top and the bottoms consisting of different trouser and shirts, or skirts and jackets. Once you had chose your design you would place a white sheet of paper over it and run over it with a wax crayon. You could then colour it in however you wanted too.


Bed Bugs was a 1985 game. It was a motorised game which would be full of little plastic bed bugs. The idea of the game was to pick up as many bed bugs you could using your plastic coloured tongs, while the bed bugs are shaking and jumping all over the bed. This was a fun game for the whole family.


Pizza Party- You may not remember the game but if you are a child of the 80s I am betting you remember the advert (Partaaaay! Pizza Party!) This game was a favourite in our house. All the pizza toppings had little faces and you would turn them all over and then have to remember where each one was in order to fill up your pizza slice. The first one with a complete pizza slice was the winner.


Dont Break The Ice first came out in 1965 and has since been re-produced by many toy chains. This was a fun game and one I am still looking for, for my own children. It was a blue stand which contained white squares of fake ice. You would stand a little man on top of the ice and then each player would take turns knocking out a cube of ice with their plastic hammers. Be careful though because if the little red man falls down then you loose!!!


Mr Frosty was a kids machine used to make snow cones and ice drinks. You would crush the ice and then could add different flavours to it. To be honest my Mr Frosty didn't crush the ice all that well but i still had fun trying.


Paul Daniels Magic Set - Who remembers the Paul Daniels magic show? It was really popular at the time although I had forgotten all about it until now. I always wanted this magic set but never got it. However, my friend did and so every time I would go around to her house we would practice all the magic tricks. Looking back on it now it was not as good as the magic sets you get today but it was still fun at the time.


Dingbats- We still have this game although I think we all know all the puzzles now so its not as fun. Dingbats is similar to the game show Catchphrase. The idea of the game is to correctly guess the puzzle you are given from the card drawn out of the box before the egg timer runs out. If you guess correctly you move your counter up the board and the winner is the first person to reach the end of the board. The winner even gets a Dingbat badge to wear. Now you don't get that on Catchphrase ha-ha.


The Enchanted Forest is a 80s memory game. You have a board where the village is the Start and you also have the enchanted forest and the castle. There are trees that are placed on the playing board and under the trees are pictures of hidden treasure. Each treasure symbol matches a card that is placed outside the castle. All the cards are faced down except one and that one is the piece of treasure that you need to find under the trees throughout the game.


Lights Alive was a fun thing to play. It was a light box with a black cover full of holes. At the side of the box you had different tools to create different patterns and shapes. Once you had made your design on the black cover you could turn the switch at the side of the box to create different colours.


5 In A Row- Now i know everyone loves connect 4 but my favourite was always 5 in a row. I have recently bought it on eBay. You opened the box to find a card piece full of holes that remains in the bottom of the box. You then have four different coloured pegs (Red, Yellow, Blue and Green).

The idea of the game is exactly the same as connect 4 only you have to have 5 pegs in a row rather than four chips. The game was published by Spear's Game in 1985. I enjoyed this game as a child and now my children enjoy it too.


Fireball Island came out in 1986, and was a plastic moulded 3D game. A rotating idol is placed in the middle of the mould and the idea of the game is to move your explorer men counters up the paths, and through caves, in order to steal the idols ruby and get it back to the waiting boat. Throughout the game the Idol spits out marbles that roll down the paths and will knock over any explorer men that happen to be in its path. Can you get the ruby back to the boat in time?


Blockbusters- If you remember the phrase "Can i have a P please Bob?" then you will remember Blockbusters. However, if you have no idea what i am talking about then you probably thought I was referring to the video store. Blockbusters game was based on the hit TV quiz show where contestants had to answer trivia questions correctly to complete a path across or down the game board of hexagons.


Dream Phone came out in 1991 and was the most wanted game for Christmas by girls everywhere. In the game you have a electronic phone and photo cards of different boys on them. The idea of the game is to find out which boy is your secret admirer by listening to a series of clues such as the boys favourite food, clothes etc. You then have to search the board and try and determine who he is or isn't. When you think you know the correct admirers name you phone him up and if you are correct he will say "You're right, I really like you". and you win the game.

Pizza Party 80s Advert (@RetroWinnipeg)

Is your favourite game on the list?

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