Goosebumps, a wildly popular children's book series in the nineties, revolves around horror themed tales with pre-teens as the main protagonists. The books cover everything from ghosts, monsters, and even a sinister ventriloquist dummy. Like most things aimed at children, a plethora of Goosebumps related tie-in products existed; Toys, video games, even birthday party supplies. As a kid I wanted to get my hands on as much of this stuff as possible. Anything I didn't get as a kid I've since hunted for as an adult. A few years back on my birthday I was fortunate to have been gifted one of their board games. I was so stoked as I had no clue this game existed. Like most collectors I've kept it in it's original packaging in attempt to keep it as pristine as possible. Finally giving in, I said 'F-it", opened it and boy, was it worth it.
Released in 1995, 'Goosebumps: Shrieks and Spiders' has a pretty easy set up; as strange as it sounds; I'll do my best to explain. Four players each grab a scoreboard with four chips. You then shuffle the goosebumps themed cards and divide them evenly to all the players. Place the three rubber spiders provided in the center. At the same time every player must flip a card in their deck (face down) reveling a signature Goosebumps character. The character of "Curly the Skeleton" is drawn at random. All players must shout "GOOSEBUMPS!" when the card is revealed and reach for one of the spiders. The player who isn't fast enough (spider-less) loses a chip. Additional rules that make the game a bit tougher are things like if a player shouts Goosebumps prematurely and a "Curly the Skeleton" card isn't drawn, they also lose a chip. Once all of a player's chips are gone, they're out of the game.
The game itself is colorful and vibrant. Each scoreboard features artwork from some of the series most popular books. The deck of cards is made up of all the characters we remember. Slappy the Dummy, Mud Monster, and the main dude himself Curly the Skeleton are all represented. Adding the rubber spiders makes for a fun little detail. Even the rules manual uses some spooky lingo to round things out. Keep in mind this is a children's game and my group was made up entirely of adults. We played about three rounds and had a blast every time. I will admit some alcohol was involved and honestly the game lends itself to that. If you wanted, you can have a player take a shot or swig of their beer every time they loose a chip making for a fun drinking game. The absurdity of the whole thing is sure to bring a smile to you and your friends faces. Now snatching up one of these things doesn't appear to be too difficult considering it was released over twenty years ago. I've seen a few up on eBay for a resonable price and highly recommend picking one up!
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