Thrift store finds

The post Christmas months are not usually good times to find board games at thrift stores. I am surprised by my recent finds. Let’s take a look at some of the treasures I’ve reclaimed.

1. Screaming Eagles

Classic Milton Bradley: A Muskegon love affair
Milton Bradley’s Screaming Eagles

I remember seeing commercials for Screaming Eagles in 1987. The commercials looked cheesy but the game looked fun. Players take on the role of MiGs or F-16’s. Is it a coincidence this game was published months after

1986's Top Gun
1986’s Top Gun

I found a complete copy of Screaming Eagles recently. I already have two copies of the updated version (Mission Command Air). I decided to rescue the thrift store copy and give it away. I had a young lady stop by The Gaming Annex last week to collect it. Another local board gamer connected with a board game–another local board gamer informed about our local club. Win-Win!


2. Qwirkle


Qwirkle is an odd duck of a game. Sold at department stores, one would naturally assume Qwirkle is qrap. But it holds a respectable 6.8 rating on BGG.

Qwirkle’s components are polished wood tiles with glossy paint. The components are durable enough for children to handle without the risk of damaging them. The rules are simple enough so the game can be played by 6 year olds (per the box).

And this is the reason why Qwirkle is an auto-buy when I find a discarded copy at a thrift store. One of the thrift stores on Harvey Street had a copy. I snatched it up. I’ll be giving this away at our next Kids’ Gala.


3. Wits & Wagers

Wits & Wagers Family
Wits & Wagers Family

Wits & Wagers is another odd duck. It’s like the party game version of Qwirkle in a sense. Both are found at department stores. But both have respectable ratings. Indeed, Wits & Wagers (any version) has a BGG rating over 7.0. Quite impressive.

The components for Wits & Wagers are pretty good. Dry erase marker, poker chips, glossy card stock. But Wits & Wagers is a fun game because it’s a trivia game with bluffing. It’s Trivia Pursuit meets Poker.

Wits & Wagers games are also auto-buys for me. I found a copy of the family edition in the past month at a local thrift store. The Gaming Annex’s library needed a copy. 🙂


4. Ingenious

Ingenious board game
Ingenious board game

Reiner Knizia is the Carroll Shelby of board games. He has designed about everything. He’s a natural Euro designer, what with his doctorate in mathematics.

Overview of the Ingenious board
Overview of the Ingenious board

His many gaming credits includes Ingenious. Ingenious is a like a hexagonal dominoes game. It’s very highly rated for an abstract (7.21) putting it in the top 250 games of all time. When I saw a copy of it at one of the thrift stores down the road from The Gaming Annex, I swooped in.

I haven’t checked it for completeness yet. I’ll keep you posted.


4. Risk & Castle Risk

Muskegon and classic board games like Risk & Castle Risk
Parker Brothers’ Risk & Castle Risk

I got a copy of Risk for my 11th birthday. It changed my life and set me on the course I am on now. When I saw “Risk & Castle Risk” at the Kmart on Apple,

Kmart 1973
Kmart circa 1973

The game was actually two games. The board was double sided. As a lover of Risk, I was enamored by the Castle version. But the game went for a whopping $10.99. In my pre-engineering days, it would take a lot to muster that kind of scratch.

I was at the Goodwill on Harvey Street. I walked in. I saw a couple picking up a copy of Risk & Castle Risk. They inspected it, moved it to a table and reviewed it. It was bittersweet because I wanted it but at the same time this young couple who (probably) lived locally was interested.

Suddenly, after a few minutes of reviewing the game, they put the game back on the shelf. I set my wallet to auto-buy. The lady at the counter said, “We just put that out there a few minutes ago”. Now the Annex has a copy. Drop by if you would like to play it.


5. Ooga!


I found a complete copy of Ooga! This is a family game where speed and dexterity reign. Everyone is given a spear with a suction cup on the end. You spear the dinosaurs as they come out.

The suggested ages for this game are 5 or older. I think this one will be going to an attendee at our next Kids’ Gala.




FITS from Ravensburger
FITS from Ravensburger

I found another Knizia game in the past month. A Goodwill in Grand Rapids had FITS for $2.99. The game was unplayed. The pieces are still in the original sealed packaging.

FITS is like Tetris
FITS is like Tetris

FITS is like a board game version of Tetris. The pieces are geometric shapes made up of squares. Players must position them in their game board as they appear. Players score based upon how filled up their board is.

I’ve played a copy of this game several years ago at Jeremy S. Pyne’s. It’s an okay game. But I think I’ll be giving this one out at the next Kids’ Gala as well. I got to nurture the next generation of gamer.


7. Slide 5

Slide 5 card game
Slide 5 card game

The great Wolfgang Kramer designed Heimlich & Company, Tikal and El Grande. He also designed the little card game Slide 5. Slide 5 is a trick taking game where players try to avoid taking the tricks.

The game is unusual in that there are four simultaneous tricks in play at once. Players must take a trick if their played card would be the 6th card in that sequence or if their card would force a 5th trick to come into play.

I actually found two copies of this game in the past month. It’s a good family game. Anyone who wants a copy, just drop us a line.

8. Other notable finds


Chickyboom is missing a chicken

Star Wars Monopoly. It is missing two of the eight pewter figures.

Monday Night Football.




9. Where you can play or pick up these games

Muskegon Area Gamers

Muskegon, MI
111 Muskegon Area Gamers

This group is for anyone interested in playing board games, card games or any table top game. This group learns and teachs new games all the time. We welcome fresh players. We…

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