Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Birding Board Game Pt. 1


Over the years, I have purchased two birding-themed board games on eBay. This isn't Birdopoly we're talking about here. These are actual games about birding. I'm going to highlight both games in this post and a subsequent post. The first game is called Gone Birding. Published in 1990, it's a video-based game hosted by Bill Oddie and Peter Alden. You also may recognize the artwork on the cover and playing cards. Let me start my description of the game by saying that I haven't actually played it, but I plan to the next time I can get a group of birders together in a non-birding situation. Is that even possible?

This is the board above. The premise is relatively simple. You are on a cross-country birding trip trying to see as many species as possible. The person who "sees" the most species wins. You are dealt a series of cards from a "hotspot" deck at the start of the game. These cards each list a well-known birding spot. As you "visit" each spot, you pick up birds for your list.


You also pick up "Surprise" cards along the way (including a very surprised-looking puffin). Surprise cards help change the game up a bit and keep it interesting, sort of like a Chance card in Monopoly. Some of them are pretty funny as you can see in the second photo.


The video element of the game helps create the flow of the game through a series of ID challenges and also takes you from hotspot to hotspot. There are 10 games on the tape, each leading you through an approximately 2-hour board game experience. It seems like an interesting game. Have any of you played this game? Anyone want to come over and play? I hope the video tape works!

13 comments:

Carol said...

Is this strictly a birders game or would it be interesting for youngsters as well. A good way to get them interested in birds.

www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com

Nuthatch said...

I'm not sure he'd want me to reveal this, but this game was developed by Oliver Komar and a partner (isn't the company Rupicola?). We met shortly after its release, as we were in a field training course and learned bird banding together. Now, Oliver is the science director for SalvaNatura in El Salvador and has done incredible things for Neotropical bird conservation. I still have my game somewhere!

John said...

Maybe at a future birding festival.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Dude. I have one in the basement. One of my early illustration jobs. I had completely forgotten doing it.
Exploding prairie chicken neck sacs, very messy.

I am not making this up: my verification word is buthed.

Nate said...

I would totally play this. You should bring it to the SuperBowl of Birding next year.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Bring your VCR!

Patrick Belardo said...

@Carol - It seems more geared towards birders than kids unfortunately.

@Nuthatch - It's ok. His name is on the boardgamegeek.com site. Very cool though!

@John - Genius!

@Nate - Genius too!

@Julie - I have one of those around here somewhere. It's the thing that plays the rectangular DVDs right? We love the artwork regardless of explosive prairie chickens. I think they look cool and wouldn't know the difference if you didn't say something.

Grant McCreary said...

I'd love to play! It would be great if it could be updated with a DVD, though!!

dguzman said...

I THOUGHT that artwork had a familiar look about it! hee hee!

I would definitely play!

Larry Jordan said...

I'd love to try it! Where can I get it?

Patrick Belardo said...

Larry - try eBay or maybe someplace else on the web. I got mine on eBay.

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

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