While sitting around waiting for a Gamma World game to materialize, Frank Mentzer asked if I'd like to check out a game. Now I'm a sucker for games, so I was like, "Yeah!" Frank proceeded to explain the rules of Black Box, a board game released by Parker Brothers in 1978.
According to Frank, Parker Brothers released the game at Gen Con instead of directly to the mass market because it is a 'head game.' As it turned out, only some gamers are into head games, so Black Box wasn't a huge success.
Frank has a real knack for explaining rules and I picked up the game fairly quickly. In a nutshell, the game has a black box with 32 ports. Within the black box are situated four atoms, placed by one player. (Of course, these atoms are not actually placed on the board; rather, they are marked on a sheet.) The other player spends his time firing lasers into the black box through the ports. The results of these shots are indicated by placing various markers along the sides of the black box. It's not really all that complicated. We played a couple of times. Here's what the board looked like when Frank finally identified the locations of the atoms I had placed:
Of all the board games I have played, this one really stimulated me mentally. I'm definitely going to track down a copy. In addition, I wonder what a 3D expansion would play like? Better yet, how about a 4D version where atoms shift in and out of phase? Madness!