Can you remember you favourite childhood game? Is it something you play now with your own kids? Do they love it every bit as much as you did before iPods and Wii and X-Box hit the scene?
We just spent an awesome rainy day with friends we were babysitting, and I was thrilled that the star of the show was my most beloved, most favourite, most crazy good fun childhood game… CHAIN LIGHTNING!!!
Most of you have not heard of this game I’m sure, but here is a video clip that shows the game in all its glory… along with the kids cheering as they watch it unfold!
Chain Lightning is the game my sister and I would wake up early Saturday mornings to play for hours and hours on end. It is comprised of hundred of tiny little coloured dominoes along with template cutouts from which to create some magnificent patterns which we would build and (you guessed it!) watch fall down in a dazzling show of domino delight! This is akin to spending the day building a fabulous lego project, but the fun of the show as the domoines go down is really something to see.
I’m not actually suggesting that you hunt down Chain Lightning for yourself. In fact, it’s not even available in stores anymore. This one game is something I had dreamed of playing with my own kids from the time they were babies. I always thought I would just go to ToysRUs and pick up a box when they got to the right age. Well, when they did arrive at the age, I was shocked to discover that this game was nowhere to be found. I tried every big name game store I could think of. I searched the title online. I just couldn’t find it. I was so disappointed, but from time to time I would tell my kids about it in great detail trying to explain the sheer, crazy anticipation of watching our incredible creation’s grand finale.
Well, a couple of Christmases ago, I was hunting online for games for my son, and I was completely floored to discover the words “Chain Lightning” before my eyes. I couldn’t believe it was true! I had somehow arrived at Darwin’s Game Closet online store, and it listed Chain Lightning in its vintage game list. I proceeded through the system to discover it was sold out. But I couldn’t drop it. I was giddy with delight at even locating someone who knew what this game actually was. I phoned the store, and spoke with them … HOORAY!!! They were expecting to receive a couple of partial games in the coming weeks! I could not believe my good fortune. I was singing and dancing and jumping all around telling my kids that at last we would play this most incredible game… I was delirious (and my kids got a huge laugh out of my zainy antics). The owner of Darwin’s Game Closet agreed to call me with the full details of the game he would piece together from the two remnant kits.
A week later, I was overjoyed to order the game of my dreams!! For sure it cost a pretty penny… an amount that I would NEVER be caught spending on a game under any other circumstances. But what could I do? This really was a dream come true! I bought the game with my husband’s blessing, and the moment it arrived I set about carving out an uninterrupted weekend day that my kids and I could get down to creating some incredible domino displays together.
As it turns out, my kids LOVE this game (bless their hearts!!) and today when we had 3 friends over for an afternoon, no amount of rain could spoil our fun … we had Chain Lightning. And they loved it too.
Please share your favourite childhood game in the comments below. Do you play it with your own kids? If you cannot find it available in stores these days, take a look at Darwin’s Game Closet… you never know what you might find there!