RETRO: The Duran Duran Board Game Has An Absurd Amount of Gameplay
At least more than the Backstreet Boys board game or the New Kids On The Block board game ever did. Which isn’t saying much.
For all you kids out there, back in the 80’s there was this band called Duran Duran. You’ve probably heard their biggest hit, Hungry Like The Wolf, which is about Darwinist natural selection in nature.
If you know what I mean….
They were even more popular than Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X combined! ….But with about just as many singles. And since Twitter and Instagram didn’t exist back then, the only way celebrities had to communicate with us lesser folk was through licensed board games by Milton Bradley.
With Hungry Like the Wolf and Rio both still topping the charts, our best buddy Milt set out in 1985 to give Duran Duran a real audience; one of kids ages 7+.
Duran Duran: Into The Arena is a competitive dice rolling and set collecting game. The goal of all players is to have the most points when the end game trigger occurs. Points are gained through collecting singles, video cards and band members. The game ends once a player has collected all of the band members.
The game consists of 2 phases. In the first phase, players are rolling dice and moving around the outer ring of the board, collecting singles.
Landing on a + allows you to pick up a singles disc, which hopefully matches one of the singles in your hand. If it does, you collect the music video card! Once you collect 5 music video cards you gain access to the inner circle where you’ll collect, choose and play band members to maximize your point total! Baffled yet?! You should be!
Let’s try this again. During setup, each player gets 5 singles tokens of the 12 available. Didn’t realize Duran Duran had 12 singles, but that’s neither here nor there. If a player lands on the + in front of a single that matches one in their hand, they may collect it and the accompanying music video card. Once a player turns all 5 of their singles into music videos, they may move to the inner circle by landing on a Wild space, which allows you to move anywhere on the board.
In the inner circle, gameplay is mostly the same but with a different goal. Players are trying to collect band members, finding the ones with the highest points values and play them to gain those points.
Similarly, landing on a ┬ space allows a player to draw that band member. If they like the point value for that member, they’ll aim to land on Play, which allows them to play that band member and gain the listed number of points. Once a player plays all 5 band members, the game ends. Whichever player has the most points wins! Doesn’t actually matter who ended the game.
This is just so many steps! For what should be a simple, licensed roll-to-move from MB really turned into kind of a slog. Plus the board is littered with special spaces which allow you to move again, steal from your opponent and cause you to drop your Singles.
Overall, it’s a fine game for an 80’s kid but considering it’s listed for ages 7 and up, I think it might be too clunky.
If you’re a fan of Duran Duran, this could be a great addition if only as a novelty.
Thanks for reading!
Remember: There are only fans of Duran Duran and liars.