Bladder satisfies all the criteria for board game longevity. Simple rules and simple construction, but with the capacity for contests to fit into two distinct categories. Either the mad, hell-for-leather, kamikaze five-minute thrash where the winner is determined as much by luck as by judgement, or the deep thinking, long-into-the-night tactical battle where a bottle of decent Scotch can vanish in the wake of a titanic meeting of minds.
We've had plenty of both since the little gargoyles in the Bladder box took up residence on the boardroom table. The object of the game is simple - score a goal, which occurs when a man of your colour enters the opponent's goal with the bladder on his head. Gameplay itself involves tackling, defending and the splendidly named laming which, although it's really just taking an opposing player off the park, is much more satisfying when you know you're laming him.
And for added value, the makers have devised an amusing competition where you have to come up with ten modern day footballers and rugby players who look like the peasants playing 'footballe' on the box lid. We've got ten, but seven of them are Peter Beardsley.
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