Thirty-two years. Years! That’s how long this thrift copy of Instant Replay sat on someone’s closet shelf without being played. Except for some tape on the sides to keep the lid closed, it is in brand new condition. All the way down to the still-sealed plastic pieces and the perfectly-working turntable. Thirty-two years this game went unloved.
Parker Brothers published Instant Replay in 1987, the only time it would be in the market. It’s a simple game that mixes speed with dexterity in 3-D form. Included in the board is the aforementioned turntable and four sets of plastic pieces that slide together to create whatever form you wish.
Each player receives one sets of these pieces and the active player secretly assembles a number of them (agreed upon before the round starts). This 3-D creation is then placed onto the turntable, whose switch is pulled. This causes the turntable to begin to slowly rotate, giving everyone a full view of what was assembled.
All other players race to copy the structure by putting together an exact replica using their pieces. When each one is complete, they are handed to the active player who lines them up in a row in the order in which they were finished. (If no one completes one by the time the turntable stops, none are submitted.)
All of the submissions are examined for accuracy and the correct one that was submitted the soonest receives one point. If none of them are correct, or if the turntable stopped, then the active player receives one point. Play then passes to the next person on the left who begins creating their own plastic masterpiece. The first player to score a total of five points wins Instant Replay!
We can understand why the game was only issued once. The concept is cool and challenges our spatial recognition, but the game play needs a lot of work. There is no reward for being correct (but slow), and zero player interaction. That still doesn’t excuse the original owners from at least trying it out once!
Lots of copies can still be found on eBay for a wide range of prices. Best to wait and pick this one up at a yard sale or local thrift store. But at least we got to open up a 30+ year old package – that’s not something we get to do every day!
What’s your favorite 80’s-era board game?