Mystery Date came out in 1965, this tin version matches the original artwork. This game was for young girls ages 6 to 14 and could be played by 2 to 4 players. To get in the feel for this please watch this commercial from the 1960s.
I only consider this game a classic for how iconic it. This has been referenced a lot in pop culture and was extremely popular at the time. This also set the way for other date games like Sweet Valley High and Dream Phone which were popular when I was a kid in the 80s and 90s. Unlike the other classics I’ve discussed in the past this one does not age well. It’s not a game I have rotation to play, but there’s something charming about the look of this old game and it really shows how far we’ve come not just in how games are played but also in subject.
In this game you are collecting cards to get ready for a date.
The board contains spaces with instructions per turn. In the centre there is a door that when opened will reveal one of the dates or “the dud”.
Options for dates include a formal dance date, bowling date, beach date, skiing date or the dud.
During the game you collect cards with pieces of the outfits needed to get ready for the dates. There are three cards per different date. You must collect one set of cards to open the door.
To start the game each player is dealt two cards and the remaining cards are placed face down on the board.
Players take turns rolling the dice and move their character around the board following the instructions and trying to collect cards for the date. Six cards are the max a player can hold. In some cases cards will be picked up or swapped with another player.
When a player lands on the open the door space and has collected all the three cards for a date, the door can be opened. To open the door, spin the doorknob and open to see which date has arrived. If the player does not have the right date for the cards they have collected, the door is closed and the game resumes. If the player opens the door to “the dud” she loses her matching 3 cards and draws three new cards. A player wins by finding the correct date for the cards they have collected.
Again not the greatest game now, but was really popular at the time and definitely has its own place in America’s pop culture.