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Board James

Board James logo

Created by
James Rolfe
Produced by
Cinemassacre Productions
Starring
James Rolfe
Mike Matei
Brendan Castner
Directed by
James Rolfe
No. of seasons
3
No. of episodes
27
Original release
April 14, 2009 - December 4, 2015
Written by
James Rolfe

Board James is a Cinemassacre-produced series written by and starring James Rolfe as the titular character Board James, a typical laid-back nerd who reviews games, similar to the Angry Video Game Nerd.

However, Board James reviews board games and usually has some friends accompanying him, including Motherfucker Mike, a dirty cheater, and Bad Luck Bootsy, an eccentric and extremely accident-prone board gamer.

The first few episodes follow continuity-less board game reviews, but it frequently sinks into a serious horror-movie tone. This is first displayed with the Mr. Bucket episode, and fully embraced with the Dream Phone episode, following a storyline where James supposedly murders Mike and Bootsy in a psychotic fit and spends the rest of the episodes playing alone or trying to resurrect them, and is eventually successful, after descending into the Ouija universe.

Many hints are dropped in the 24th episode of a possible connection between the Nerd and Board James and this is confirmed in the 25th episode with the reveal of Board James and the Nerd inhabiting the same body as split personalities.

The season three finale Nightmare establishes that the Board James universe is Inception-style where each time the characters die, they enter into a new board game world and so on, with whoever enters first being the Game Master and the one in control.

Rolfe has stated many times that he has no plans to continue the series after the Season 3 finale. He stated in a video in 2018 that while he hasn't fully ruled out returning to the series, and has ideas for a potential prequel series focusing on Board James's life before he became the hangman, he sees it as unlikely moving forward due to lack of time and desire to focus on other projects.

Cast[]

Episodes[]

Note: Most episodes debut on the same date on Cinemassacre and YouTube. If the debut dates are different, they will be listed chronologically.

Season 1[]

Episode No. overall Episode No. in season Episode Title Original air date
1 1 Mouse Trap April 14, 2009
When Board James is bored, he plays some board games. In the inaugural episode, James takes a look at a childhood classic – Mouse Trap.
2 2 DragonStrike May 27, 2009
Board James takes a look at DragonStrike, a strange board game, AND… movie? This high-fantasy VHS tape sucks James in, and maybe even the game, too.
3 3 Crossfire July 17, 2009 (YouTube)
July 27, 2009 (Cinemassacre)
Board James takes a look at Crossfire, a game largely remembered more for its hyperactive commercial in the early 90s than for the game itself.
4 4 Weapons and Warriors September 7, 2009
“The game of battle action!” “The realistic battle game of the Medieval Ages.” At least that’s what the box said.
5 5 Fireball Island January 18, 2010 (YouTube)
February 3, 2010 (Cinemassacre)
This is a board game that’s anything but boring!
6 6 Deadly Danger Dungeon March 26, 2010 (Cinemassacre)
April 7, 2010 (YouTube)
This episode features quite a treat, arguably the most brutal and unforgiving board game ever created, brought to us by the childhood mind of Board James himself. Deadly Danger Dungeon!!!
7 7 Hero Quest April 14, 2010 (Cinemassacre)
May 11, 2010 (YouTube)
Restore glory to the kingdom and take power away from the most wicked of evil in this quest fit for a hero! Released by Milton Bradley in 1989, Hero Quest has variety and excitement, but also all the complexity that comes with it. Will James, let alone Mike, be able to comprehend all of it, and will either of them be able to have any fun?
8 8 Mr. Bucket May 11, 2010 (Cinemassacre)
June 3, 2010 (YouTube)
Mr. Bucket is NOT a threat. Mr. Bucket is NOT set to devour anything it sees. Mr. Bucket is NOT a dangerous killer born from that which we choose not to think about made with one sole intention of harming the innocent. Mr. Bucket is a game created by Milton Bradley in 1990, and James and Mike will have lots of regular fun with him.

Season 2[]

Episode No. overall Episode No. in season Episode Title Original air date
9 1 Tornado Rex September 15, 2010 (Cinemassacre)
November 16, 2010 (YouTube)
James, Bike, and Bootsy take on Tornado Rex. Unfortunately, James seems to be the only one who wants to play the game rather than just play with it. Will they make it through without losing an eye? Are they ready for this ride?
10 2 TMNT Board Games May 24, 2011 (Cinemassacre)
June 19, 2011 (YouTube)
James gets shell shocked with a blast from the past: board games based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
11 3 Key To The Kingdom June 10, 2011 (Cinemassacre)
September 6, 2011 (YouTube)
James opens up a whole new world with Key to the Kingdom, one of his favorites. Can he make it back with the key, or will his allies become his enemies?
12 4 Donut Disaster August 17, 2011 (Cinemassacre)
September 23, 2011 (YouTube)
James and Mike play this noisy game to bake their donuts – until the aroma of the donuts attracts an unwanted guest. Watch what happens when you mix Bad Luck and Disaster!
13 5 Loopin' Louie (Live at PAX 2011) September 9, 2011 (Cinemassacre)
September 27, 2011 (YouTube)
Board James LIVE! James tries to find if anyone at PAX wants to play Loopin’ Louie, the 1994 Milton Bradley game of high flying thrills, and plastic. Will someone get arrested? Tune in to find out.
14 6 Monster Madness September 23, 2011 (Cinemassacre)
September 29, 2011 (YouTube)
Wait a minute, Monster Madness? This is Madness! No. This is Board James! For Halloween, James takes a look at Monster Madness, a board game he feels a strange connection to. If only he could remember…
15 7 Battle Masters November 24, 2011 (Cinemassacre)
December 12, 2011 (YouTube)
Sometimes, bigger isn’t always better. James Rolfe and Mike Matei look in the board game closet and find one of the largest board games on the market: Battle Masters.
16 8 Splat! December 13, 2011 (Cinemassacre)
November 12, 2014 (YouTube)
Bootsy somehow comes back yet again as the three try not to be splatted, and instead be the splatter in Splat. With the help of some Playdoh, they all learn that truly, splatting the bugs is where it’s at.
17 9 Doggie Doo January 25, 2012 (Cinemassacre)
May 1, 2014 (YouTube)
Yes, it’s a real game. We received it as a donation from Germany. The German title is Kackel Dackel. The US title is Doggie Doo. Both versions seem to be exactly the same.
18 10 Shark Attack November 19, 2012 (Cinemassacre)
February 17, 2015 (YouTube)
James, Mike, and Bootsy try to survive and outrun the neverending clock in Shark Attack!
19 11 Dream Phone April 1, 2013
Board James loves board games enough to try one exclusively for girls: 1991′s “Electronic Dream Phone” by Milton Bradley. Harmless slumber party fun? Or could James and his pals be in for a longer night than they were expecting?

Season 3[]

Episode No. overall Episode No. in season Episode Title Original air date
20 1 Omega Virus April 1, 2015
Board James is back! This time Board James takes a look at a talking electronic board game from 1992 called Omega Virus!
21 2 Lie Detector Game May 3, 2015
James takes a lie detector test with the game Lie Detector. Who is who? Are you you? Is he Board James? Is he still the same?
22 3 Ouija / Domino Rally June 1, 2015
We’re not talkin’ Domino’s pizza delivery. We’re talkin’ Dominos! That’s right, this episode, Board James takes a look at Domino Rally! Oh yeah!! But that’s not all, he also delves into the supernatural world of the Ouija board! What will happen?
23 4 Wacky Blasters July 3, 2015
With Mike and Bootsy back in the picture, Board James introduces a rare game that will BLOW you away!
24 5 Full House & Urkel Games August 4, 2015
Full House & Urkel board games existed!? Have Mercy! A full house of pain! You’d rather deal with family matters!
25 6 Video Games (with AVGN) September 5, 2015
In this episode, Board James plays Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Street Fighter 2 and Tetris!!
26 7 13 Dead End Drive November 1, 2015
Angry Video Game Nerd delivered the Halloween episode, now it’s time for Board James to ease your post-Halloween sadness. Board James 13 Dead End Drive!
27 8 Nightmare (and Beyond) December 4, 2015
This time, we look at Nightmare, a VHS board game from the 90′s. It was part of the Atmosfear series, and was a very fun game to play with a group. It has always been the biggest request for Board James. But we go beyond Nightmare, into other games, and deeper into the Board James mythos.

Trivia[]

  • Due to the reveal of Board James and the Nerd being the same person, many fans have speculated that the Board James series is either a prequel to AVGN or a sequel. However, James Rolfe has revealed that The Nerd is Board James's split personality, although Rolfe has also said that he sees the two entities as separate ones, hinting that Board James may be imagining that part as well, or there may exist an alternate universe, where they are two identities in the same person.
  • As explained in the Board James Mythology Explained video, the release dates of each Board James episode has a secret message when taking the date numbers.

    April 1 = 1
    May 3 = 3
    June 1 = 1
    July 3 = 3
    August 4 = 4
    September 5 = 5
    November 1 = 1
    December 4 = 4


    If you take the last four numbers and convert them into words, the message reveals itself as "1313 DEAD".
  • Also explained in the Board James Mythology Explained video, the hats that board james wears: Apple, Frankinstein, Top Gun, Empire Strikes Back, RCA and the Skull that means death. If you take the first letters of each of the first 6, A-F-T-E-R Death = After Death.
  • In the 3rd season, you can see that Board James's T-Shirts get increasingly darker by episode: White, Orange, Light Grey, Blue, Navy then Black.
  • It is implied in the Nightmare episode that their deaths in the last board game they played will be the way they die in their next life. As Bootsy, Mike and James all die the same way they did in the 13 Dead End Drive episode.
  • It has been thought that the Mr. Bucket episode was focused moreso on comedy, but later was displayed as serious following the Dream Phone.
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