If Hunger Games-esque free-for-alls are your thing, you’ll probably want to look for the quirky Fang Bang game released by Milton Bradley in 1967.
The “indoor-outdoor fast action game” pitted two to four players role-playing as witch doctors in a duel to the death. And by death, we mean popping the other players’ balloons using a balloon snake “sword.”
Preparing to play Fang Bang required some arts-and-crafts skills. To arm each snake for balloon breaking, sandpaper “fangs” were attached to each multi-coloured snake head. A long, thin balloon was inflated and attached to a snake head using a wide rubber band.
Armed with their balloon snake, each player donned a colourful mask and stood in a circle facing each other. Other than adding design flair to the proceedings, the masks had no impact on gameplay.
Once a player yelled, “Go!” the melee began. Each player attempted to break their opponent’s balloons by striking them with the fang of their snakehead while simultaneously trying to prevent their balloon snake from being popped. Milton Bradley allowed players “complete freedom” to duck and dodge to avoid their snake from being broken.
The last player in the game with an unbroken balloon was declared the winner.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included four plastic snakeheads, four cardboard masks with ties, balloons, an air pump, and sticky-backed sandpaper. Instructions were printed on the box cover.
The frantic nature of Fang Bang’s gameplay makes finding a complete game in good shape quite challenging. Locating a copy with unused components, especially balloons and sandpaper, should be considered a great find.