Previous Article - X-Entertainment - Next Article --- By Matt - 7/12/'02
I'm sure some of you are wondering why I'd undertake an article like this - it's not really along the lines of X-E's usual crap. Look no further, Pop-O-Matic Yipes! is the real reason we're all here today. I picked up this gem just a few days ago from a thrift shop, thinking it was worth a lot more than it's dollar price tag. Turns out I was wrong, but it's hard to feel gypped buying a board game whose box cover art features assholes in monster costumes playing the poor man's version of Trouble. I'm amazed that I never heard of this thing before seeing it in the shop - it seems like something that was destined to garner cult status with geeks, gamers, and Satanists alike. Made by Ideal in 1983, it was essentially the same idea as the aforementioned Trouble game, albeit with slight twists that spooked it up and made it far more interesting.
Your goal was simple - pop the magic bubble and get your game piece (a vibrantly colored fat boy with bear paws) to a certain spot on the board. If you're the first player to do this, you're allowed to switch your little stupid boy game piece in for a big, glorious black monster figure - after that, you get to chase around the other player pieces and eat any you can catch! Somehow, this hand-me-down game was in perfect shape when I got my hands on it. I would've thought no kid who got to play as the hungry monster could resist chewing on the little boy pieces to add a touch of visual comedy during the game. Yet, there's not one chew mark. Well, not one chew mark yet - I haven't actually played the game myself yet, and I don't know if I'd be able to resist the temptation. Here's a look at each of the game's main elements....
Box Monsters: The box art was great because it gave us a window into the normal lives of the monsters we've known and loved for years. I'm sure everyone thinks the Mummy and Dracula spend all their time raping and pillaging, but it's just not the case. Like everyone else, monsters enjoy their family board game nights. Also like everyone else, their family board game nights usually end up in an argument over who's cheating and, nine times out of ten, somebody gets punched or pie-faced. Usually the Wolfman because he's an easier target than the rest of the undead.
Scary Bubble Popper: Bubble poppers are important in games played by monsters, because monsters typically have really disfigured and/or oversized hands and it's pretty difficult for them to roll dice. Aside from that, they really enjoy the sound bubble poppers make. Who doesn't? This thing is better than a sheet of bubble wrap.
Little Boy Game Pieces: It really was a brilliant move on Ideal's part to make the game-starting pieces so crappy looking - it added a whole lot of incentive to get to the finish line and turn into a monster. Would you want to portray a tiny fat kid with blue or orange skin? Of course not. What's worse - when you've got game pieces this bad looking, it makes the color choice all that more important. I can imagine many fights to the death over who got to use the red or the blue ones.
Monster Game Pieces: Looks sort of like Frankenstein if Frankenstein was crossbred with a poodle. Looks like I have to take back my earlier claim about the game's condition - this guy's fingers have been almost completely chewed off. I guess the level of nervousness and anticipation in Pop-O-Matic Yipes! was too much for it's previous owner to take. Either that or the moron just really enjoyed his chewing plastic. Interestingly enough, the monster figure appears to be wearing a pair of Doc Martins. Considering the knee-rips in his jeans, I can only guess he was a wannabe punk rawker.
Captain Planet is down 3-0 so far, so no matter what, he's a big loser. Can he at least save some face in this, our last contest of the evening? Honestly, I doubt it. Captain Planet sucks. If you really want the truth, and I know you do, I purposely set up these battles to make him look stupid. Does that make me a super-villain? I really hope it does, since then I'd finally have a reason to pound the fuck out of old ladies. Whenever I do that now, all I can say is that it's a side-effect of lithium. I'd much rather blame it on my chosen employment.
This time around, we're comparing which toy has the best obsessive/compulsive qualities. We're trying to figure out which one can drive a person to madness the quickest. Captain Planet's obsessive/compulsive feature is the pull-string on his back. Once you start pulling on that thing, there's no turning back - you're gonna do it eight hundred times and by the time you're done, BAM arthritis. Cap's opponent isn't without it's own OCD springboard - the bubble popper is more addictive than nicotine and it won't even eventually kill you so you could very well get stuck popping this thing for 50-60 years. The string on Captain Planet's back will surely break after enough pulls, so the winner here is obvious.
Well folks, the monsters kicked Captain Planet's ass in every competition, so if we've established nothing else with this feature: the power to make people piss themselves is far greater than the combined powers of fire, Earth, wind, and whatever that kid with the monkey claimed to do.
Instant Messager: xecharchar
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