In-Depth: Hasbro Appeals to Millennials With New Board Game Parody Line

Games like "Clue: What Happened Last Night?" and "Botched Operation" have hit Target in time for the holiday season, in a new move by Hasbro to reach the millennial audience. These parody games aren't just re-skins of the old classics: they include different game mechanics that are meant to appeal to those who have already played these games countless times with their family.

Botched Operation Board Game
Botched Operation

Perhaps more interestingly, these games have been almost immediately embraced and are generating a lot of buzz. They don't show up on Hasbro's own site, and -- in fact -- Hasbro hasn't released word of it on its own media. Instead, everything has been shuffled to Target, which has become the de facto location for exclusive board games. 

The Board Games: A Breakdown of Hasbro's Parody Line  

  • Botched Operation. Everyone knows Operation: the tense game in which you use an imprecise pair of tweezers to remove pieces of a person's body from its slot, while trying not to touch the edges. Because doctors notoriously can't touch the edges of the human body. The parody edition of Operation, "Botched Operation," includes challenge cards which make the game harder, such as removing parts "without your thumbs." In the game's world, this is happening because the operating room has filled with laughing gas.
Clue: What Happened Last Night Board Game
Clue: What Happened Last Night

  • Clue: What Happened Last Night. Guess what: it's literally just the plot of Hangover. In Clue: What Happened Last Night, a group of friends wake up in Vegas and Mr. Body -- sorry, Buddy -- is missing. You need to figure out what happened to your Buddy by piecing together what happened the previous night. Unlike traditional clue, you're not looking for murder weapons.Instead, you're looking for the last person who saw him, what they were doing, and where they left him. 
The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis
The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis

  • Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis. You start off with half a million dollars of debt, and your goal is to get rid of it by both saving and spending money. In spirit, this is close to the Landlord Game -- the original Monopoly -- as it's probably meant to both entertain and give everyone a feeling of soul-crushing dread. Of course, it saves itself from terrifying realism by implying that it's actually possible for anyone to pay off half a million dollars of debt in this economy. 
Mystery Date: Catfished
Mystery Date: Catfished

  • Mystery Date: Catfished. In Mystery Date: Catfished, players look through a series of traits and action cards to meet dates, some of which may be catfished -- this game is now essentially Red Flags. Just play Red Flags. There's no word on whether you might be sold for your organs during your play. 
  • Sorry! Not Sorry. This is an adult party game version of Sorry, in which players are aggressively sabotaging each other and encouraging them to reveal their secrets. The perfect game to play with your family, if you never want to be able to look your family members in the eye again. 

So, How About Those Millennials?

According to Hasbro, millennials are currently: in crushing debt, trying desperately to date, high, drunk, and interested in discussing their risque encounters. Probably an accurate assessment of a general age group that currently spans anywhere from 22 to 35. But it's also an interesting overture to the casual gaming crowd.

Sorry! Not Sorry
Sorry! Not Sorry

There's a reason why there are 294829842 versions of Monopoly and Clue: everyone already has the base game. By revamping and restyling these games, they get a lot more mileage out of them -- and Target has become the place to go for casual board gamers. If there's something that isn't a Kickstarter game, it's probably at (or even restricted to) Target.

Christmas Gifts for Casual Board Gamers

A very large marketing department somewhere has already determined that these games are going to make a great gift for any soon-to-be board gamers in your life, and a fun way to spend uncomfortable time with your family. An ideal demographic for these games are those who want to get more into board gaming, but don't want to have to learn a lot of new mechanics fast.

Stay tuned for the parody version of Apples to Apples: literally just Cards Against Humanity.