Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Vintage Board Game For History Geeks @HighgateOxfam

Adam writes…

What a find! Nosing around in the Highgate branch of Oxfam over the Christmas holidays and I picked up this…

Is that the most psychedelic board game you've ever seen? Groovy.

It's called Saga and it dates from 1968 – hence the trippy design. 

The principle is Monopoly-esque with a time travelling twist. Progress round the board and accrue money to go on a time travelling voyage… 

 …learning facts about British history along the way. I like this one in particular (tee-hee)…

The spiral design on the board reminds me of the spinny bit on Rod Taylor's time machine in the movie adaptation of H.G Wells's proto-sci-fi tale…

… a roughly contemporaneous allusion (the film was made in 1960) so no accident there I'm sure.

(London spotters: H.G Wells notes that the time travelling scientist in his tale lives in Richmond.)

In terms of game play, so far so simple. But there are penalties, too. As you spiral though history, beware of the Black Spots…

…where fines eat up your funds. Lose all your money and it's back to the start!

I'm particularly fond of the wording in the instruction leaflet…

"And as you go you will learn without effort, all part of an exciting, stimulating, unique game.

Played on a board of breathtaking design [who'd dare argue?!] to suit the splendour of the game itself."

Quite so!

In our house we have become so addicted to our lovely, vintage, second-hand set of Saga that we have completely neglected the brand new board game brought by Santa Claus, Scotland Yard

… although as soon as we've opened it, I'll report back here. (It looks pretty good, too.) 

I'll also be blogging later this year about the board game that eclipses them all, Monopoly. Last year, on the Kensington walk, an American London Walker opened my eyes – she expressed surprise that London had its own Monopoly board, and a blog series was born. Stay tuned.

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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