Quicksand from Parker Brothers (1989)

Company: Parker Brothers | Release date: 1989 | Ages: 6+ | # of players: 2-4 | Where to purchase: eBay

As comedian John Mulaney recalled as he reflected upon his childhood, “I always thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem than it turned out to be.” In the board game Quicksand, the perils are real!

Released in 1989 by Parker Brothers, Quicksand pits would-be adventurers against each other in an effort to be the first player to successfully navigate a jungle and return to camp. Inside the box are a playing board, four five-piece pawns in blue, green, red, and yellow, along with one movement dice, one green Quicksand dice, and game instructions.

The game begins with fully-assembled pawns placed at the start of the board, a pit of quicksand. With a roll of the green Quicksand dice, players must disassemble their pawn by the number shown on the dice. The pawn pieces include shoes, legs, torso, head, and hat. The pieces come off from the bottom up; players who roll a four will find that the only item left on the board is their adventurer’s hat. The original instructions state that the youngest player goes first. Each player must decide to either move their pawn ahead by the number of pieces remaining in their adventurer OR the number of pieces remaining PLUS the number indicated on the movement dice. This is where game strategy comes in. Players want to avoid the spaces on the board that say Mudslide, Roll and Sink and other unfortunate events. The ever-present threat of an alligator creates additional tension to each play. The game isn’t completely full of pitfalls. There are helpful spaces on the board such as Pull, Swing Ahead, and Handhold. Along the way, pieces of the adventurers are added and removed to each pawn in play. The object of the game is to be the first player back to camp with their pawn (in any state of completion).

Quicksand is for two to four players, ages six and up. The game takes approximately 30-minutes to complete.