“It’s the greatest, wackiest game ever!”
Released in 1964 by Ideal, Crazy Clock Game took players on a Rube Goldberg-inspired journey to spring a man from the comfort of his bed.
The game borrowed heavily from Mouse Trap, another game designed by Marvin Glass & Associates and published by Ideal in the 1960s.
With all the game pieces placed in the box top, the entire deck of 27 cards was distributed to the players. The cards outlined the sequence of events necessary to build the game one piece at a time.
The sequence followed a convoluted path from crazy clock to sleeping man. As outlined on the box itself: player winds alarm clock • which punches broom • into cat • causing ball of yarn • to roll down rickety stairs • opening creaking door • which rotates umbrella • causing shoe wheel • to roll down track • and hit golf ball off tee • onto drain pipe • hitting golf club • springing long johns • up the crows nest • causing egg • to fall into old oaken bucket • and onto pool table • going out the end pocket • pushing the do not disturb sign • which tips candle • against the foot of the unsuspecting sleeper • who springs out of bed.
The player holding the card marked with a “1” began the game. Each card included the name and illustration of the piece of the game that was to be played. The player took the piece from the box and laid it on the playing surface.
The player with the “2” card played next, following the instructions on the card to pick a specific piece from the box and affix it to the previously played piece.
Players could make multiple moves in one turn when they had cards that followed next in the sequence. When a player couldn’t play the next card in the sequence, they took a card from the hand of the player to their left. The player could continue if the card fit the sequence. If not, the player with the next card in the sequence took their turn.
This play pattern continued until all the pieces in the box had been placed and the track was fully built. At this point, one card remained. It instructed the holder to wind the crazy clock, which set off the chain reaction of events everyone was waiting for. If the play was successful and all the actions performed as expected, the sleeping man would be catapulted off the bed. If there was a point of failure along the way, the track would be readjusted and the player to the right took the next turn.
The first player to catapult the spring-loaded sleeping man from his bed won the game.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included all the plastic pieces necessary to assemble the track: base “a”, alarm clock, broom, ladder and window, staircase, cat, base “b”, door frame, tree trunk, pole, golf club, long johns, nest, bucket, fence rail, base “c”, rain gutter, base “d”, pool table, candle and sign post, bed with mattress, sleeping man, running feet, golf ball, egg, and key. Also included was the deck of 27 instruction cards, one steel ball, and two glass marbles. An instruction sheet came inside the box.
The many pieces required to play Crazy Clock Game make finding a complete original game challenging. Assembling a complete game from various sets by purchasing replacement pieces, or through 3D printing, may be necessary.
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