Double Dragon: The Board Game
By Dojo Master
The Double Dragon Board Game was released by Tiger Electronics in 1989 and is for 2-4 players (recommended for ages 6-11). The box claims it is "Based on the action and strategy of the smash hit video game" - more specifically, the NES version of Double Dragon that was released a year earlier. The board itself features actual screenshots from the game, and the gang/weapon cards use the artwork that was featured in the game's manual and in the first issue of Nintendo Power.
The basic premise of the game is that you are rolling a die to progress through the four missions of Double Dragon, those being the Slums, the Industrial Area, the Forest Area and the Hide Out of the Boss.
The game's instructions recommend each player rolling the die to see who goes first, which is typical for any board game. Once that's settled, each player gets two random cards, and you start rolling the die to move your piece forward. It's too bad the pieces aren't shaped like any items or characters from Double Dragon. Instead, your generic plastic piece looks like the pieces from the popular board game Sorry!
Once you move your character, you'll start using using the spinners and possibly the cards. If you land on a card space, you'll either draw a card from the deck or take a card from another player, depending on what the space says.
If you land on a blank space, you'll have to use the spinners and the special two-sided Billy and Jimmy cards. You can choose either the Billy or Jimmy card based on what you'd like to achieve. The Billy card gives you a chance to move your piece forward a few additional spaces. The Jimmy card gives you the chance to move someone else's piece backward. So you can choose between extra movements or outright sabotage.
Once you pick the card you'd like to go with, you'll need to spin the corresponding section of the spinner. The spinner will land on a number and an image representing a specific side of the card you picked. The picture tells you which side of the card must face up on the red plastic stand, and the number tells you how many times you must flip the card.
What takes place next is called a "fight." Based on what the spinner told you, you place the Billy or Jimmy card (whichever one you picked) on the stand and hit the edge with your finger so it flips in midair. If the card lands with the "standing" artwork facing up, you move forward an additional space (Billy card) or move your opponent back a space (Jimmy card). If the card lands with the "knocked down" artwork facing up, you move your own character back a space (Billy card) or more your opponent forward a space (Jimmy card). If the spinner landed on a 2 or 3, you'll do this "fight" 2 or 3 times before ending your turn.
This "fight" thing is supposed to be a unique aspect to differentiate Double Dragon from other board games. However, I found it to be unimpressive and not all that much fun. The instructions say that the card must do "one complete flip" before landing on the table. You'll actually need to hit the card pretty hard to pull this off since it tends to only want to do a half flip. Basically, the card only wants to flip enough so that the top side faces down.
If you want to guarantee a win during this "fight" game, you can use a weapon card (if you have one) so that you don't have to flip the card. However, only certain weapon cards card be used in each of the specific areas on the board. For instance, the knife card won't work if your piece is in the Industrial section.
If it's someone else's turn, you can also try to sabotage that person by using a gang card, which causes that person to go back to the starting space of the neighborhood he's in. However, a Billy card can negate this move.
So that's basically it. You roll the die to move your piece forward, then do some additional things with the cards or spinners depending on what space you land on. You can try to sabotage other people's turns and they can sabotage yours. Pretty straightforward.
I grew up with quite a few board games including Monopoly, Sorry!, Clue, Life, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and a ton of other games. Double Dragon doesn't hold a candle to any of these games. It's just too straightforward and dull to keep your attention. Overall, this is really just a collector's item, not something you actually want to play with, even if you're a kid.
EQUIPMENT: 1 Game Board, 1 Combat Platform, 1 Deck of Cards, 1 Double Spinner, 4 Pawns, 1 Die.
THE PATH TO VICTORY: The winner is the first player (up to four can play) to successfully fight his or her way around the game board to Jimmy' Hideout to rescue Marian. You will pass through the Slum Section, the Industrial Section, the Forest Section and the Hideout Section on the rocky road to victory.
PREPARE FOR PLAY:
TO BEGIN TO PLAY: Players take turns rolling the die. (Player rolling highest number goes first.) After rolling the die, move forward the number of spaces indicated. Depending on where your pawn lands, your choices now begin!
LANDING ON A BLANK SPACE: CHOOSE YOUR FIGHT - BILLY OR JIMMY! After landing on a blank space, you must choose your fight. Use the double spinner and choose to spin either the Billy side or the Jimmy side. Choose Billy to advance your own pawn. Choose Jimmy if you want to move an opponent's pawn backwards. The numbers on each spinner indicate how many times you will fight on that turn. There are two position shown on each spinner, the fighter standing or knocked down. This tells you how you must place the Billy or Jimmy card on the Combat Platform.
EXAMPLE 1: You choose the Billy spinner and spin a "3" with the Billy figure in the standing position. This means you will place the two-sided Billy card on the Combat Platform with the standing Billy facing up and then flip the card three times. Here's where skill and nerves come in. To win a fight, you must hit one end of the card with you finger so that it does at least one complete flip on to the table. After each flip, notice the way Billy lands. If Billy's standing side shows after a flip, you advance your pawn forward one additional space. If the Billy Card lands with Billy shown knocked down you must move your pawn backwards one space.
EXAMPLE 2: You choose the Jimmy
spinner and spin a "2", with the Jimmy figure shown in the knocked down
position on the spinner. Flip the Jimmy card twice, each time placing it on
the Combat Platform with the knocked down side facing up. If
the card lands with the Jimmy's standing picture showing after the
flip, you move an opponent's pawn on space backwards. If the card lands
with Jimmy's knocked down picture showing your opponent moves his
pawn ahead one space.
"DRAW CARD FROM THE DECK": When you roll the die and land here, take the top card from the deck and place it in your hand.
"TAKE A CARD FROM ANY OPPONENT": When you roll the die and land here, take a card from an opponent and place it in your hand.
WEAPONS CARDS: ANOTHER WAY TO
FIGHT! When you move on to a blank space, you can fight a
different way! EXAMPLE: Spin a three on the spinner. You still
choose either the Billy Spinner (to move your pawn forward) or the Jimmy
Spinner (to move an opponent backwards). And since you pun a 3, you still
have three fights coming - but you can play weapons cards to insure
victory instead of risking a flip. With your 3, you can choose to play
up to three weapons cards instead of flipping three times. Or use a
combination - two weapons cards and one flip - or two flips and one weapons
card! The choice is your - BUT the strength of weapons cards varies
depending on the neighborhood you're in...
GANG CARDS: These cards are especially powerful. Drop a Gang Card on an opponent before he rolls the die. He must immediately move his pawn back to the starting space of whatever "neighborhood" he is in. Only one Gang Card may be played against the same player on each turn.
BILLY CARDS: Players can use Billy Cards to neutralize Gang Cards. When a player drops a Gang Card on another player, that player does not have to move his pawn back to the starting space of his current "neighborhood" if he plays a Billy Card immediately.
ALL CARDS: Once a Weapon Card, Gang Card, or Billy Card is played it must be returned, face down, to the bottom of the deck.
HIDEOUT SECTION: When a player enters the last (Hideout) side of the board, he can no longer use the die to advance his pawn. Players advance form this point only by spinning the spinner and winning fights. (Sure, life is tougher in this neighborhood.) Remember, you must be first to reach the final space in this section in order to win the game - and save Marian!