“An exciting, authentic Western game!”
Released in 1958 by Lowell Toy Mfg., the Bat Masterson board game was based on the TV series of the same name that ran on NBC from 1958-1961. With box art that featured the show’s star, Gene Barry, the simple deduction game took place in the fictional town of Dry Gulch, an homage to the show’s frontier-days setting.
Players took on the role of Deputy Sheriffs trying to help Masterson identify and arrest “The Chief,” the leader of a band of outlaws masquerading as a respectable businessman.
The game board was a replica of a small western town, complete with several sets of cardboard buildings. To begin, a stand-up outlaw figure was placed in front of the doorway of each building, while the Bat Masterson stand-up was perched in front of the entrance to the Jail.
The game’s various sets of cards were then added to the board; the six Informer Cards were shuffled with one card set aside and the others placed at building locations along with individual Outlaw Cards. Finally, Wanted Posters were allocated to the Jail.
Players begin their quest at the Town Square at the centre of the board, moving from building to building via dice roll. Arriving at a building allowed players to arrest outlaws and review Informant Cards, using clues and a process of elimination to zero-in on The Chief’s location. The first player to correctly guess the store where The Chief hid out was declared the winner.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included 1 game board, 3 sets of assembled buildings, 1 pack of Informer Cards, 1 pack of Wanted Posters, 1 pack of Outlaw Cards, 6 stand-up Outlaw Figures, 1 stand-up Bat Masterson figure, 4 playing pieces, 2 dice, and 1 dice cup. Printed instructions were included in the box.