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Game Review

The Video Board Game

Ages 13 and up
game in play

2-6 Players 60 minutes


Players move their pieces around the board -- they are stopped at intervals by the character on the video tape who requires players to perform special actions. For this game, the theme is loosely based on "Horror Movie monsters." The character on the video is "The Gatekeeper."


Once the board and cards are set up, each player chooses a playing piece (and a monster role -- mummy, witch, zombie, vampire, werewolf or ghost.) Players draw a number and attach it to their playing piece. Each player then writes "their greatest fear" on a fear card -- the cards are shuffled, then placed face down on the center of the board.

Dim the lights, press play on the VCR -- the video begins to play, and the Gatekeeper explains his rules. The simplest two rules are to stop moving pieces as soon as he appears on the screen, and when you are called you must answer "Yes, My Gatekeeper."

When the Gatekeeper is not present, players roll the 6 sided dice and move their piece around the board. If a player lands on a space labeled "Black Hole," their peice cannot move until the Gatekeeper or another player releases them (with a card, key or landing on a special spot on the board.) When players land on spaces labeled "Time," "Fate" or "Chance" players draw the appropriate card from the table.

Time cards tell the player to do something at a specific time in the game. Fate cards will let a player take items or cards from opponents, and Chance cards will ask you to flip a coin when certain conditions occur and then the player gets the result after the coin toss.

The real object of the game is to collect 6 keys. Once a player collects all 6 keys, they may enter the center of the board.

The game ends when one player reaches the center of the board by exact dice roll -- rolls a 6 -- and turns over a fear card that is NOT his/her fear. If the card listed his/her fear, then the player is OUT of the game.

The Gatekeeper

Click here for a MPEG clip of the Gatekeeper in action! (136kb)

game board closeup

Winning Conditions:

  • Before the 60 minute timer expires, any player who collects 6 keys, reaches the center of the board and draws a card that did NOT list his/her fear wins.

  • or
  • If the 60 minute timer expires, the Gatekeeper wins.

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Up!For this game the Zombies made a difficult decision to say "Thumbs Up"...The game was definitely fun, but not very replayable. The Baroness and I have owned this game for many years, and playing with the same group more than once is just not as fun as the first time you play. Introducing new players to the game, however, is a lot of fun.

There isn't much strategy in this game, except to play faster when you don't want to be caught by the Gatekeeper. For most of the game, the playing pieces just go around the board -- if not for the video, the game would be quite dull.

There was a large concern about this game from the parents in our group: Any child below 13 shouldn't play this... not because it's scary, but because the Gatekeeper is quite abusive to the players. He continually calls the players "Maggots" and "Scum." Above the age of 13, it'd be a good party game... for kids below that age, the parents didn't want to expose their kids to the insulting nature of the game.

This game is out of print and hard to find now, but it is a great Halloween party or costume party game. Don't pay too much for it, because you won't play it very often.

Where to buy:

Special order from a game store or a game auction. Our copy was from a Target and cost about $25.

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