eureka

When I was a kid, we had this board game that I barely remember. It was science fiction themed. At the center was this black plastic thing — a tower, in my memory — with a spinner and a small flashlight bulb. The spinner had a nice mechanical feel and made a satisfying thunk as it moved, and thanks to some kind of spring arrangement, always landed in one of a few directions. When it stopped, a light would flash a few times from a window at the base of the tower. I loved fidgeting with this thing.

The game pieces to move around the board were translucent, brightly colored spaceships with “pods” that stacked on top. They would catch the light from the central tower dramatically, letting you know you’ve been hit.

Several times over the last few years I’ve searched online to figure out what this game was called, and I kept failing. It’s not Dark Tower, which was something different — a fantasy game, recently reissued via a Kickstarter campaign, that used a more sophisticated (by 1981 standards) electronic tower to drive gameplay.

Last night I finally found it, by going through the entire list at boardgamegeek.com.

Now that I know, I’m not actually all that keen to find a copy of it. The Dreaded Enemy Laser and the not-really-fluorescent spaceships were much cooler in late 70s childhood memory than in 2021 reality. Although I suppose if there’s a fancy reissue like there was for Dark Tower, I might consider it.

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