Listen, board games were a very important part of our childhood. Dream Phone was played almost every weekend, Fireball Island was played on those days when you had the energy to set it up, but there was one game that trumped them all.
13 Dead End Drive was what happened if you mixed Clue with Mouse Trap, and also added in some good old-fashioned sabotage.
The object of the game was simple: Survive.
The backstory of the game (not that anyone really cared about that) was that a wealthy woman died and now there is a big fight over who will receive her fortune. Your job as a player is to get one of your characters to make it out of the house while their portrait is on the mantle, guaranteeing them the entire estate.
Simple in theory, not so simple in practice. You learn a lot about your friends, family, and even life while you play this game, and not all of it is that nice...
1. Trust No One
Sure, your sister says that you guys should team up against your cousin, but then when it comes time to pull the chandelier who's lying dead underneath? Oh, it's you! Everyone who plays this game is a filthy liar, and there's no reason to believe them.
I know that's the point of the game, but honestly, it's just a good life lesson. Okay, maybe not a good one because trust is sort of important, but be weary. There's always someone who is ready to throw you down a flight of stairs. At least in the game... If that's happening in real life you should probably talk to the cops.
2. Attention to details is annoyingly important
The set up of this game was a deterrent for actually playing it. There were a lot of times where my sister and I would try to play, but then the thought of setting up all the traps made us grab something simpler instead.
The thing was, if you didn't spend the many, many minutes assembling the things properly, you would end up trying to set off a trap and it just wouldn't work. There is honestly nothing less satisfying then trying to send someone flying off of a bookcase ladder only to have lost the piece that flips the ladder.
3. Proper clean up is crucial
I don't know if you had one of those families that let you keep the game set up all the time, but our mom always made us pack it away completely every time we played. One time, we didn't put the piece back in right, and it snapped. Then, for the rest of our lives we've had an unruly chandelier that just falls down whenever it wants.
If you want to take this into your real life, obviously that's an easy comparison, clean up after yourself. But, I think it's just as important to remember that chandeliers are very dangerous.
4. Detectives apparently walk slowly and decide on the will
Hey why doesn't he get there faster? I mean, I get that it's the game mechanic to add stress to the game, but it seems like a really weird one. Shouldn't they have had it be the lawyer getting to the door? A Detective has nothing to do with who gets the inheritance.
If this group of people was roaming around the house committing a bunch of murders, you think they would take some time to look out the window and realize that the cops are coming.
But don't worry, there were a lot more life lessons to learn...
5. Your competitive nature will come out in shocking and disturbing ways
You are going to sit down to play this game and think to yourself "what a silly concept, so fun!" but then twenty minutes later, you will be cackling as the hairdresser flips down the stairs and you get one step closer towards that fictional fortune.
It's never a good feeling to realize how quick your mind will snap and allow you to become a weird and violent person, but it's one we should all just accept.
6. Secret passageways are a requirement
If you ever build your own house and don't install a secret passageway, what are you even doing? Between 13 Dead End Drive and Clue, you know better than to leave your future guests unable to jump from one end of your house to the other without crossing a bunch of dangerous terrain.
It's obviously something that is built with a plan right? It's a smart person who takes the time to think that they may one day want a quick access between all the corners of their home.
7. Sabotage is easier than you thought it'd be
It kind of goes hand in hand with your competitive nature, but your ability to sabotage people will start to become second nature. It's going to get to a point where you just look at the board and you'll have five different options ready to go.
If the boyfriend goes left, you'll take out the chauffeur. If the tennis coach moves forward, sorry gardener you're next. The thrill of the chase is going to fuel you in a way you didn't know was possible. It's going to scare you, I guarantee it.
8. Cats are never innocent
Sure, your cat is great and sweet, and they are so loving and perfect. Okay, but just you wait. The second you die they will become a total monster.
Maybe not all cats are like Poopsie, but what if they are?
9. Lying can save you sometimes
This may not have been the best lesson to learn, but honestly, board games wouldn't be fun if they were practical. Being able to use your own pieces on the traps while you held the cards was a really sneaky move, but if you could pull it off without people knowing you might be able to get them out of the house.
It was always risky, because if you get caught lying, you will absolutely become a huge target, but it has worked before so it's totally worth it.
But of course that's not all...
10. You might be out, but you're not done
Maybe one of the only positive spins you can get out of it, 13 Dead End Drive had a fun option to play a two player round where you don't actually know who is responsible for two of the characters. This means even if all of your known characters are out, you can still have a chance at winning.
Think about it in the broader sense, even when you think you're life is a complete mess, maybe there's a little bit of hope, you just can't see it yet!
But now back to the hard truths.
11. People are selfish
If this game gives me any impression of the world, it's that we are all monsters. Their friend is dead and literally none of them care about anything other than who is going to get the money. Sure, that's probably not how it goes for most people, but there's a chance right?
12. Wills are important
I don't really remember why Aunt Agatha's fortune was in such a crazy Saw-like game where the last person standing would get it all, but that seems really irresponsible.
Listen, we all die. Maybe instead of forcing your friends, family, and cats into a Hunger Games battle, just write up a will and leave it to the cat. You know that's what you want to do anyways.
13. When all else fails, cheat
Listen, sometimes it just doesn't work out the way you want to and you're left with one player on the board and the other person is about to get out of the house. The only thing left to do is cheat.
I know, I know, it's not ethical. But sometimes you really just need that win. Okay, it teaches us nothing but really in life, you're going to have to deal with some people who take the easy route and it's just easier to learn that young, right?