The Mad Magazine Game
The Mad Magazine Game, titled Mad Magazine: The "What-Me Worry?" game on the cover, is a board game produced by Parker Brothers in 1979. Gameplay is similar, but the goals and directions often opposite to, that of Monopoly; the object is for players to lose all of their money. Play proceeds to the first player's right and the first player is determined by a left-handed roll for the lowest number. The game includes cards, money, dice, and tokens, and the game board features Alfred E. Neuman and illustrations from Mad magazine. By design, no conclusive strategy exists for the game, since even if a player is winning, several spaces and cards direct players to exchange money or chairs with others, causing advantages to be lost instantly.
To begin the game, after placing all tokens on Start and determining the first player, one player is selected to be the Banker ("preferably someone honest"), who gives $10,000 to each person to begin the game. The dice may only be rolled with the left hand, with a penalty of each other player giving that player $500 if dice are rolled with the right hand. Also, tokens move counterclockwise around the outside track. If moving clockwise, the player is informed that he or she is a nerd person, and may never play the game again.
Some of the bizarre directions given in cards or spaces are specifically defined, such as the two "inside tracks" of the game board can only be entered by landing on the "double arrow space" leading into them, which also award an additional turn; once on an inside track, only one die may be rolled; players not being allowed to take their money with them when directed to change chairs with another player; and when changing chairs, the person who ends up in the Banker's chair becomes the Banker.
In all other cases, if any ambiguous directions are in dispute, majority rule may be used to conclusively determine the action to be taken. The rules further state that a majority typically refers to anything over 50%, but in order to determine what constitutes a majority, it may also be defined by majority rule.
The game includes 24 "Card cards" that includes strange but humorous instructions, including:
- Change chairs with anyone.
- Change money with anyone.
- Flip this card in the air. If it lands with this side face up, you lose $1000. If not, go to 'Tough Luck'
- If you are good looking, stand up and imitate your favorite animal, and lose $2000.
- If you can jump up and stay airborne for 37 seconds, you can lose $5000. If not, jump up and lose $500.
- If you like this game, cross your legs, sit on your hands, cackle like a chicken and lose 1 egg; also $500.
- Plan ahead and move to any space on the board.
- Put this card on top of your head and walk around the table backwards. If it doesn't fall off before you sit down you lose $1000.
- Stand up and boo the person on your left. Also lose $1000.
- Take the next card, don't peek, and give it to anyone else.
- This card can only be played on Friday (no other instructions are given on the card).
- You are a rock. Act like one. If you're good, you lose $1000. If you're not so good, you win a rock.
The game includes 60 spaces that includes strange but humorous instructions such as:
- Start: Whenever you pass or land here, lose $500.
- If no one is standing you lose $1000. If someone is standing you win $2000.
- Must gamble everything you have. Roll dice: Odd - win twice as much; Even - lose everything, but collect $1500.
- Lose your turn or go ahead 27 (if your name is Alfred E. Neuman, forget it).
- If there is an opponent with elbows on the table lose $2000. If not, lose $4000.
- Tough Luck (If anything is under here, you gotta take it).
- Everyone moves one chair to the right.
- Everyone moves one chair to the left.
- Old Maid (Stay right here until someone rolls a one or seven).
- If someone is smiling go back 3 spaces. If no one is smiling go ahead three spaces.
- Wait right here for another player to pass you...and then move with him or her.
- Exchange money with the person on your right.
- Change money with the person on your left.
- Anywhere (Roll 7, collect $500 and go to start. if you don't; just go to start).
- If your name is Alfred E. Neuman collect $1,329,063. If not, lose a turn.
- Everyone else moves 1 space back and does what it says.
- Go to Toledo, Ohio. If the bus has already left, stay where you are and pay $500 for train tickets.
- If you are "magnificent" go to Anywhere.