Some of you may have played the game “Mille Bornes” when you were growing up. The game was created in 1954 by Edmond Dujardin, and was quite similar to the earlier American automotive card game Touring. Parker Brothers acquired the American license in 1965, was eventually acquired by Hasbro. It was one of the most popular games in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and is still sold today.
In Mille Bornes, you are in a road race based on playing the cards in your hand. The first player to complete 700 miles wins. There are hazard, remedy, safety, and distance cards. Each hazard is corrected by a corresponding remedy, and is actually prevented from happening in the first place by a corresponding safety. The 700 miles is reached by playing distance cards.
I received many requests to create a Blindfold variant of this game, and published Blindfold Road Trip about 18 months ago. You can play against one to three computer opponents, and as you play each card, you hear sound effects for that card: the “200 mile” card sounds like a car speeding by, the “flat tire” card sounds like a tire leaking air, the “go” card sounds like an engine starting and the “repair” card is reminiscent of an automobile body shop.
Blindfold Road Trip was hit, and people asked for more variants of the game, using airplanes, space ships or boats. The trick to building other versions of the game was to not break the overall game logic, and still allow the computer opponents to play intelligently. And I needed to do this without rewriting the game for each type of transportation.
First, I renamed the game to Blindfold Travel Cards.
The basic automobile game has 7 distance cards: 25, 50, 75, 100 and 200 miles. Looking at this another way, if the slowest distance card is the value “X”, the distance cards have values: X, 2X, 3X, 4X and 8X. Then there are 4 hazards, 4 repairs for those hazards, and 4 super cards to protect you from the hazards.
I modified the automobile game to create a sailing game using the above principles. The slowest sailing speed is 2 knots. Hence, the distance cards are: 2, 4, 6, 8 and 16 knots. I created 4 hazards, such as a ripped sail or broken rudder, repairs for each, and super cards. I bought some cool sound effects, and launched the game: you can play it with either an automobile or a sailboat.
Next, I created the train game. The slowest train speed is 10 kilometers per hour, so the distance cards are 10, 20, 30, 40 and 80 kilometers. The hazards include broken air brakes and out of coal, with repairs and super cards for each. Mix-in some sound effects, create an instruction guide, and the train game was ready.
You can download Blindfold Travel Cards here: