Board games are the backbone of civilization, testing the strength of human relationships year after year by making families and friends bitterly fight over fake money, inhabitable plastic houses, and the ultimate question of who gets to be the coolest token. Throw your favourite musicians into the fray then, and you’ve got yourself a lucrative market that provides ‘family-friendly’ entertainment that lets you live the lives of the best and brightest of our musical celebrities. A special edition Queen version of Monopoly is set to be released this month, but here are a few other musician-board game collaborations that may or may not be coming to stores soon.
Ed Sheeran’s Game of Life
The Game of Life is the quintessential board game life simulator, engaging in the bare bones of consumer capitalist culture. In your progress around the board you find yourself making tough decisions between diving into a cushy dead-end job or pursuing expensive further education, having marriage and triplets unexpectedly thrust upon you, and getting sacked more times than Cam Newton in a Super Bowl final (A sports reference in a music article!? Incredible!). But there is only one rule in Ed Sheeran’s Game of Life: You must NOT go to University. You must then spend the rest of your career letting everyone know about this decision, exploiting your ‘man-of-the-people’ personality for commercial gain- “Oh, look how loaded yet down to Earth I am”. As your income steadily increases, treat yourself to such iconic properties as the edgy Lego House, or the coveted Castle on the Hill. At no point should you allow your accumulation of wealth to spent on new clothes, a haircut, or an electric guitar. Remember, if it works for Ed, it will probably work for you.
Operation is one of the most sweat-inducing skill games of all time, requiring you to execute the perfect surgery on a guy that has a broken heart and an actual horse in his thigh. Ozperation– officially endorsed by Ozzy Osbourne himself -is much more simple, for we all know Ozzy Osbourne can’t die. Honestly if you fail this game then you’re possibly the biggest embarrassment to medicine since we discovered Dr. Dre doesn’t actually have a doctor’s license. Ozperation tasks you with extracting around 50 kilos of coke from various areas of Ozzy’s body, removing the severed heads of a dove and a bat from his throat, and performing a literal exorcism on his liver. Basically you have to get Ozzy to a suitable enough state for him to pass through customs without setting off every metal detector and sniffer dog within a 5-mile radius. The Prince of Darkness’ reputation is in your hands, do your best not to ruin his innocent image.
Cluedo: Murder on the Dancefloor
Someone just killed the groove, and its up to you music sleuths to discover who-dunnit! Was it Sophie Ellis-Bexter on the Saturday Night Feveresque dance floor with the deadly melody? Was it Sophie Ellis-Bexter in the piss-stained toilets with the killer bassline? Or was it Sophie Ellis-Bexter in the smoking area with the savage drop? Only you can uncover the truth and bring justice to the groove’s family and loved ones; make sure you get the right culprit before they burn this god damn house right down! (My bet’s that it was Colonel Mustard coked off his nut in the VIP area with a dirty mixtape).
Balderdash: When Artists Need to Consider Early Retirement, Seriously
Balderdash is a game of bluffing and manipulation, as players spout utter bullshit and proceed to sell that excrement to the other players, attempting to convince them that their lies are actually the truth. It’s for this reason that in Balderdash:WANCERS, contestants get to choose between playing as Pitbull, Vanilla Ice, and Nickleback, as they try to convince each other that their musical careers aren’t a tragically limp-dicked joke. Tactics involve releasing an album including lyrics like “Let’s do it/How you want it, English or Spanish?/Both of them, I’m fluent” and then pretentiously calling that album Climate Change, providing baffling cameos in Adam Sandler films, and releasing the song ‘Photograph’. The aim is not to win this game, only to not be the biggest loser.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Buckaroo
This is basically an ultra sensitive version of Buckaroo. Everybody loves teasing Kanye, as he rises to even the smallest and pettiest indignations. Instead of adorning Kanye with a blue cowboy hat or a red frying pan, push Yeezy to breaking point by refusing to stand during one of his concerts, reminding him that Apple Music exists, telling him that he likes fish sticks, or by giving an award to someone other than Beyoncé. When Kanye finally snaps and tells you for the thousandth time that he’s an artistic genius, reset and repeat until you become the monster, overwhelmed with too much power.
Battleships: Kendrick’s Armada
Admittedly this entry is a little one-sided, as the player commanding Kendrick’s armada faces off against an opponent controlling the fleets of basically every rapper who isn’t Jay Z, Nas, Eminem and Andre 3000. The sides are evened however by the widely-accepted fact that whoever is controlling Kendrick can never miss; every shot is a hit. It is also impossible to hit Kendrick’s ships back, which makes the battle slightly redundant, but no less entertaining to watch.
Justin Bieber Presents Risk 2.0
It may sound like his new album title, but Bieber’s version of Risk is a game that involves taking over the world by any means necessary, be they diplomatic or aggressive. There are many ways for you to spread your music to every corner of the globe. The approach of subterfuge sees you donning an adorable, vulnerable, punchable face, releasing apparently harmless music while systematically poisoning the world’s population with songs about indiscriminate amounts of babies. If this fails, try a more forceful method by turning yourself into the world’s biggest dickhead and pissing everyone off until they give you what you want. If the whole of the Earth’s surface still isn’t kneeling by your feet, then apologise, and transform yourself into a troubled, misunderstood, heart-of-gold pop-star who just needs love and attention. Congratulations! You have just completed Risk 2.0, and we will never forgive you.
Slipknot’s Guess Who
Perhaps the most difficult of the entries on this list, Slipknot’s Guess Who follows the same premise of the original game, only all its characters are wearing masks that look like they came from the confiscated pile at a sadomasochist’s cosplay convention. Here are a few questions to avoid in your quest to find out which demon your opponent has picked:
1- “Do they look scary?”
2- “Do they look like they’d murder you in your sleep?”
3- “Do they look like they have good personal hygiene?”
4- “Do they look like the type of person who orders a tap water at Nando’s and then proceeds to fill it with unlimited soft drink?”
5- “Do they look like they’re wearing a mask in an anxious attempt to hide their underlying imperfections because, underneath, they’re just another scared little boy trying to pave their way in an industry that will never show them the love they are so desperately searching for?”
Choose your questions wisely, and don’t play if you’re susceptible to nightmares.
Yahtzee and U2. Shit game. Shit band. Not very useful for Bono either, a man who thinks the number 14 follows the number 3. Can be found loitering on the discount clearance shelves at your local ASDA, or as an uninvited addition to your iTunes library.
Image: [365 Games ; Winning Moves Shop]