Growing up, my family was quite into board games. I have lots of happy memories playing Monopoly, Cluedo and Trivial Pursuits regularly with my mum, dad and brothers. They were probably the games we played the most often. But then there was a second rung of board games that would also often get played including Risk, The Game of Life, Mousetrap etc. The majority of these were bought when I was too young to remember them being added to the mix, but there was one, slightly newer, game that I remember choosing myself in a toy shop or Argos catalogue… Go For Broke. Or rather, “Go For Broke!” Perhaps it was the exclamation mark that really sold it to me.

To be honest I think it was the graphics that really got me. It was a very well made game with some gorgeous graphics throughout the board and on the cover. But also the concept of gambling was probably quite exotic to me. Nowadays you can gamble in so many ways such as The National Lottery, bookmakers apps on your phone, online gambling such as Dublinbet review and many other ways. But back in the 80s it was harder, and particularly for a child this board game was a glimpse into the exotic world of horse racing and casinos. Not only that but the object of the game was to lose all your money. Sounds easy and quite cathartic? Wrong. Very frustrating when you keep winning more money as you travel round the board.

The object of the game was to travel round the board and spend all your money ($1 million) in the process. The winner is the first person who goes bankrupt. A very novel approach to a genre that is normally about amassing as much money as you can. The challenge was that you often landed on squares proclaiming you to have won the pools and other things like that which showered you with cash. It was nice to have a reverse reaction to things like having to give money to your fellow players that are so annoying in Monopoly. It’s fun to give other people money in Go For Broke!

Probably the thing I loved about the game the most was the interactive module in the middle. Depending on what squares you landed on you could take a trip to the casino where you got to spin the fruit machine or spin the roulette, you could go to the horses where you spin to see what horse wins, and you could take a flutter on the stock market by spinning a barrel to see if you stock goes up or down. This was really exciting to a 9 year old or however old I was when I played it. It was a step up from the Chance cards in Monopoly, and was a fun game-within-a-game as you travelled round the board. My favourite was the roulette wheel. Great fun.

I always thought it was a new game for the 80s, but doing my research for this blog post I’ve actually discovered it was first released in 1965.

Great fun for families and I highly recommend it if you haven’t played it.