Nostalgic Evocations: Stay Alive

Stay Alive , “the ultimate survival game”, was a game by Milton Bradley first released in 1971.  It was a strategy based game for two to four players, in which players tried to keep their marbles from falling through the holes in the board while attempting to cause the opponent’s marbles to fall through.

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Each player starts the game with a number of marbles in their own color. Players adjust the slides on the board randomly to create a starting board. Starting with a randomly chosen player, players take turns placing their marbles onto the board until all marbles are placed. The start player then chooses a slider and moves it one click either towards or away from the board. Each slider has holes in different locations in it and, as each is moved, the holes can align and allow marbles to fall through. The next player then chooses a slide and moves it, with the one rule that he or she cannot choose the same slide as the player before him or her did. If a player’s last marble falls, they are out of the game. The last player with a marble on the board is the winner.

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Milton Bradley over-saturated the television market with commercials for this game.  This game was everywhere, but sadly, I didn’t know anyone who actually liked playing it.  It just wasn’t much fun.  Everyone had one of these, gathering dust with other games.  On rainy days, this just wasn’t a go to game for us (Risk, Stratego, Clue…even Monopoly came before this.

The game went through several variations and improvements, but it never really improved.  It was discontinued at some point and is no longer on the market.

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