Antique 1902 Parker Brothers Game of King’s Castle
The old game of King’s Castle, published by Parker Brothers in 1902, could be mistaken for one of the beautiful and highly collectible board games made by Mcloughlin Bros. Both companies, along with many other companies of the time, produced enchanting game boxes and included game pieces and boards of equal attraction inside. Because of this charm, it is always a real joy for me to add a game to my collection from the 1800’s to early 1900’s, and share it here.
The cover for the game of King’s Castle shows adults and children gathering around a table and amusing themselves by playing a game together. The players, who are sitting on a patio with a pastoral landscape behind them, are dressed in elegant attire. This central image, along with the royal shields on each side, makes the box a wonderful piece of art. I love it!
Lifting off the box cover, one sees the colorful board resting inside the wooden framed box bottom. Numerous games produced at this time attached the ‘paper board’ to the box itself. The pieces would then be found within a small box or merely placed inside.
The pieces for playing King’s Castle are wooden pawns and a spinner. Players begin on the ‘Start Here’ space and race around the board to the ‘Finish Here’ space. Both start and finish spaces are red and located in the center of the board on opposite sides. The winner is the first person to ‘Finish’.
Images of arrows are noticed across the various pathways players travel upon. Players spin the spinner, move accordingly to the spin’s number; but if landing on the feather end of the arrow, they immediately move to the arrow’s tip. Some of these moves are beneficial to a player. Others take them further away from the inner ring and the finish space.
The arrows remind me of the ‘Chutes (or snakes) and Ladders’ in the children’s game called Chutes and Ladders. Landing on the different ends in this game indicated a player’s additional moves as well. Although just as simple to play as the game of complete chance of Chutes and Ladders, King’s Castle remains interesting to play, today.
The game takes you to a time when players took pleasure in spending time playing a leisurely game. They were happy to relax and chat with each other, and let the spins of the game determine the winner.
Times have changed. Now, most family board games are much more competitive and strategic to play than they were in the past. And even though I love these games, it is always nice to pull down one the antique games, relish the history being depicted in the game, and cheerfully allow chance to decide who makes it to finish first.
Enjoy a game today!