Skip to main content

A Retrospective Look Back At The Close Encounters Board Game

Released in 1978 by Parker Games, Close Encounters of the Third Kind - The Board Game was, unfortunately a little uninspiring when it came to tie-in board games.  The object was to get your five pips (supposedly the five tones from the movie) from the bottom of the board (Devil's Tower) to the top (the Mothership.)  Along the way you would set traps for the other players.  If they landed on one of these traps then they would have to move their pip back.

It may not be the best board game ever released but it's nice that it exists.  There was a lack of Close Encounters merchandise released when the movie came out, certainly in comparison to other movies of the era such as Star Wars, Superman and Star Trek.

The board itself has a wonderful picture of Devil's Tower behind 149 squares which was your playing area.  The board layout was also replicated on mini cards included with the game.  These cards were used to place your traps for the other players.  Two traps each (unless you are only playing with two players, in which case you placed four traps.)

The instructions were self explanatory and the little write up explaining the Close Encounters scenario on the front of the instructions and the back of the box were amusing:

Imagine this. 
First you see some spaceships. Then your mind becomes possessed; you see visions of Devil's Tower in Wyoming; you hear a weird, mysterious 5-note melody; you travel to Devil's Tower only to discover that others have come for the same purpose. You learn that only one of you will be allowed to board. To board the Mother Ship, you must compete against the others in a game, and win.

The Game
During the game you and your opponents move between Devil's Tower and the Mother Ship. As you move, you try to avoid the hidden traps that your opponents have set for you. At the same time, you try to slow your opponents' progress by creating hidden traps of your own. It's a game of mystery, of concentration, of chance. To play, you'll need nerves of steel. To win, you'll need a few lucky breaks. It's exciting. It's fun. It's unusual. Best of all, it's a game designed to be shared by the entire family.

 The pieces inside were pretty generic.  Two dice, four playing pieces and four sets of five pips of different colours were included but unfortunately had no resemblance to anything in the movie.

As I say, it's nice that the game exists even if it is a little uninspiring.  Still it's a nice addition to a Close Encounters collection.

Do you remember playing the game?  Leave a comment below and let me know if you enjoyed playing Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Rob Wainfur

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams




Popular posts from this blog

Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen? I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in  Raiders of the Lost Ark ?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth? I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack. Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with  and settled 'flygate:' This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of th

Star Wars VII Movie Poster - Every End Is A New Beginning

Star Wars VII Movie Poster Just saw this Star Wars VII movie poster on Kyle Newman's Facebook fee d.  The poster is by  Lyndon Berresford and Paul Bateman.  I am loving this.  Who do you think the two characters are?  Lando and Leia?  Han and Leia's children? Have you seen other Star Wars VII movie posters?  Let me know. Rob Wainfur @welshslider

Pinewood Studios To Expand To The Usa

BBC News have reported that Pinewood Studios are to expand to the USA.  This is great news for the famous studio that is rich in movie history. UK film studio Pinewood Shepperton has announced plans to build its first sound stages in the United States. The Pinewood Atlanta complex will be built on 288 acres of land south of Atlanta, Georgia, as a joint venture with a US investment company. Georgia has been among the US states drawing film-making away from Hollywood with tax incentives in recent years. The deal is the latest sign of expansion at Pinewood, the home of the James Bond franchise. Earlier this month it announced a joint venture with a Chinese media group, potentially giving it access to the fast-growing Chinese market. Read the full article here. THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+