Canadians have some weird taste in television. There’s this one show called Trailer Park Boys, about a bunch of guys who live in a trailer park, and it’s filmed like a fake reality show, but with bad acting. In fact, that’s the feature that stands out to me the most – the acting is so bad that it ruins any ability to suspend disbelief.
And yet, despite Trailer Park Boys being severely stupid television (there’s a guy who never wears a shirt, and these are people who live in Canada, which in case you need a geographical reminder, is an entire nation that is north of Minnesota and thus prone to the kind of weather that necessitates warm clothing), it’s also enormously popular. At least, that’s what the guy who sent me this game said. It might be a total dud that this one guy likes, and he convinced me it was a big deal so I would write about his game. But I doubt that, because there are two or three movies and they are filming season eight right now. Season EIGHT. Breaking Bad didn’t get eight seasons.
At any rate, I am now the proud owner of the Trailer Park Boys Board Game. It comes with a huge pile of prepainted miniatures. How could I resist that? Oh, yeah, you could tell me they are prepainted miniatures of trailer park losers. Probably should have paid attention to that detail.
And if I had played the game before I agreed to accept a review copy, I definitely would have passed. I’m not saying this is a horrible game; I am merely saying that I can’t imagine a reason I would personally ever play it again. Unless I decide to become either an alcoholic or a drug addict, this is not the kind of game I want to play on a regular basis. It’s like a cross between Monopoly and Talisman, but with petty crime.
Actually, when I say it like that, now I kind of want to play it again, and I already know I don’t like it. Allow me to explain using examples. You can go to community college to get your Grade 10 and that will give you an edge when you’re persuading the despotic park manager to let you get past his office. Or you can work out in jail (which you will visit regularly) and get good at wrestling, which is great when you are stealing things from the other players, like girlfriends and bags of weed. If that doesn’t sound like a game you want to try at least once, then I wonder if you have ever had fun in your whole life.
Sadly, however, you probably don’t actually want to try it. Sure, you can do petty thievery and then get busted by the cops and then talk your way out of it, and that is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, it all comes down to rolling the dice. And that makes a game with all the intellectual superpower of Chutes and Ladders. Only Chutes and Ladders eventually ends, and the Trailer Park Boys Board Game could go on for a few hours. Mostly because you need $50,000 (which is like fifteen bucks in the US) and it takes forever to raise money, because some reprobate is always stealing your weed before you can get to the high school and sell it.
There are actually some cool elements built into the design. The plastic painted minis are a huge draw, even if you don’t like the show. The board has fake Chee-to dust and sandwich crumbs, because trailer park boys don’t wash their hands when they game. The idea of adventuring as a modern-day crime spree appeals to me; escaping the skeletal horde becomes evading the police, recovering the stolen jewels is now stealing a trailer to grow weed, and winning the affections of the princess is replaced with getting to third base with the park tramp.
Unfortunately, the game fails, not in the theme or production, but in the actual game itself. Plastic miniatures and an edgy idea are nothing without a solid game to back them up. I don’t care how often you can perform a stick-up and steal a bag of dope, if all you’re doing is rolling and moving, you don’t get a sense of adventure. You get a sense of randomness and having very little control over the game. I hate games that don’t give me something meaningful to do, and the Trailer Park Boys Board Game just leaves me wishing there were some tough decisions to make. It also leaves me with a miniatures representing washouts and grifters (though that part is actually a positive).
I sure did want to love Trailer Park Boys, both the TV show and the game. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy either one. The pieces of something fun are there, but they’re just not put together into something great.
Neat painted figurines of trailer park trash
Based on a popular TV show
Classic adventuring replaced by modern-day petty crime
Random roll-and-move banality saps all the fun right out of it
Not enough interesting things to do
The figures in Trailer Park Boys really are pretty cool, and the idea is awesome, even if the execution is weak. If you want to check it out, you can see it here: