Thursday, October 13, 2005

Interesting Curiosity from a Bygone Era

Published by Random House in 1979, Star Wars: Darth Vader's Activity Book is exactly the kind of thing I would have totally been into as a kid. It's mostly a collection of mazes and world puzzles and that sort of thing. And it's about frickin' Darth Vader! Some of the standout items from this little gem include a recipe for gigantic Death Star cookies (you make a regular size batch of cookie dough, which you use to make two huge cookies) and Darth Vader's top secret code (which looks like a cheap ripoff the Masonic code used by the Masters of the Holy Royal Arch!). But my favorite page is devoted to the rules for the Darth Vader card game.

DARTH VADER CARD GAME

Here's a "Star Wars" card game to play with your friends. But beware! Whoever loses will be left with Darth Vader!


1. Use a regular deck of 52 playing cards. The Ace of Spades is DARTH VADER. Remove the other 3 aces.

2. One player deals all 49 remaining cards among the players. (The deal will come out even only if there are 7 players. Otherwise, deal the cards around as far as they go.) One of the players has the Ace of Spades --
DARTH VADER! The object of the game is not to get caught with it. Here is how a player can hope to get rid of it:

3. Each player matches up any pairs in his hand and puts them face up on the table. He keeps the rest of his cards in his hand.


4. Play starts with the dealer and goes around to the left. Each player in turn picks a card from the hand of the player on his left. He may not see the card before he picks it.


5. If the card makes a pair with a card in the picker's hand, he puts the pair on the table. If it doesn't make a pair he has to keep the card in his hand.


6. The game keeps going until all players but one have no cards left. That players, of course, will have the Ace of Spades -- and end up in the clutches of Lord Darth Vader!!!


A pretty crude game, but this book is clearly aimed at the elementary school kids. I like how no one wins the game; one player is the loser. I can't recall playing a whole lot of games like that. Dingus by Cheapass-imitator Placebo Press and stacking/unstacking games like Jenga are the only ones that immediately spring to mind.