“You and your buddy come to Alaska looking for gold…”
Released in 1977 by Milton Bradley, the Big Foot board game challenged players to avoid encounters with the mythical bipedal primate in an effort to be the last surviving gold prospector on the mountain.
The 1970s were a busy time for Bigfoot lore. The creature was featured in a two-part episode of The Six Million Dollar Man titled “The Secret of Bigfoot” that first aired in 1976. Sid and Marty Krofft also included the beast in their Bigfoot and Wildboy television series that aired from 1977 to 1979. The FBI also got involved. An Oregon man convinced the bureau in 1976 to test hair and tissue samples he claimed were from the creature. The results indicated the samples came from a member of the deer family.
The legend lives on.
The Big Foot game board depicted a snowy-covered mountainside complete with a path, bodies of water, and structures.
Before beginning the game, the large brown plastic Big Foot figure was loaded from the bottom with ten plastic discs. Five discs were blank; five were illustrated with the footprint of Big Foot.
Chance cards were shuffled and placed facedown on the board.
Players chose their tokens — each illustrated with the silhouette of a prospector — and placed them on any of the blank spaces along the board.
High roll of the dice started the game.
Each moved one of their tokens the number of spaces indicated on the dice in either direction of the path.
If a player landed on a blue space, they chose a chance card. The cards prompted actions such as “move Big Foot to any unoccupied space”, “move one of your tokens to a safety station”, “move any token to mining town”, “lose your next turn”, “move any token to supply store”, and others. If the spot to which a player had been directed was already occupied by an opponent, no action was taken. If a player drew a “protection” card, it was kept for future use.
Players who rolled the dice and landed on the spaces featuring the likeness of Big Foot risked an encounter that might eliminate them from the board. The dice was rolled a second time and the Big Foot figure moved along the board. If Big Foot passed a player on his journey, he stopped and released a disc on the player’s token. If the disc was blank, no action was taken. If the disc featured the footprint of Big Foot, the player was removed from the board for the rest of the game. If the player was in possession of a “protection” card, it could be played to keep them safely on the board.
The trials and tribulations of prospecting continued with penalties throughout gameplay. There were also opportunities for safety. Locations such as the mining town, safety station, and supply store that were accessed through the chance cards offered temporary sanctuary from a Sasquatch skirmish.
Gameplay continued until Big Foot had eliminated all but one of the prospectors. The last player with a token on the board won the game.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included the game board, eight player tokens, chance cards, one Big Foot figure, 10 discs, and one dice. Instructions were printed inside the box top.
The Big Foot board game is a nice addition to a collection of board games but also to collections focused on mythical creatures, pop culture characters, and the Big Foot, Yeti, Sasquatch, and Abominable Snowman cast of characters. The game is easy enough to find online and makes a great conversation piece.
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