Monday, November 17, 2014

Score Four

I think I'm getting rid of Score Four. Santa Claus brought me this game in 1976 or so, and then, at some point after that version disappeared, I acquired Susan's original, 1967 version of the game at a yard sale or something.

Score Four is a quick and entertaining activity that's simple enough that it really didn't demand all four pages of rules and "playing tips" that were provided in its original iteration.

The four little cups that accompanied the game also were superfluous, given that the little trough around the playing board is perfectly sufficient for holding the wooden beads that are not in use.

I learned today that Score Four was originally produced by an outfit named "Funtastic," which, according to the helpful folks at, was a division of KMS Industries (the board director of which at one time was Thomas Stafford, who commanded Apollo 10!) and located at 5910 Farrington Ave. in Alexandria, Va. Here's that address today, per Google Maps:

We had a snow day here in western Kentucky today, so I got to play this game with my first-grader this morning. Pretty quickly, she lost interest in the actual Score Four competition and moved on to using the little metal rods as swords and the wooden beads as tiny bowling balls. 

But I don't mean to crack on Score Four, and I do want to say thanks to everyone who had a hand in bringing it to and back to my life over all of these years: the folks who labored at Funtastic in this Alexandria industrial park back in 1967 while their future boss, Commander Stafford, was getting ready to orbit the Moon, Santa Claus, Susan, etc. This game didn't much fly with my daughter this morning, but my wife quickly recognized it as one I would bring out during our days of dating. Obviously, that worked out. Quick, entertaining and simple Score Four--with its attractive (however superfluous) cups and artful wooden beads and metal rods--delivers a powerful combination of sophistication and primitive appeal that really lends itself to sitting by a fire and imagining what's next.

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