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(Board James Season 3 theme plays)


Video Games !! - Board James (Episode 25) with AVGN

Board James: Before, there was board games, and then they made video games. And then they made board games OF THE video games. So it went from cardboard and plastic to pixels on a screen, back to cardboard and plastic again. Let's see how well some of these Video Game Board Game games have turned out.


Board James: First up is Pac-Man. If you know how Pac-Man's played, then, there's not much to say. They translated the video game to physical medium in a pure and faithful way. The famous pellets are represented by these balls which go in his mouth. Ehh, it works... okay.

(The blue Pac-Man tries to eat the white balls, but it won't go into the mouth)

Board James: Damn.

Board James: The main difference is that there's multiple Pac-Men for a competitive game play. On each player's turn, they control their Pac-Man and also a ghost to chase after the other Pac-Men. If caught, they go back to the starting point. Imagine what it would be like to be trapped for all eternity with two ghosts.

Board James: The game ends when all the balls are gone. The player to gobble the most balls wins. I do have to say, the Pac-Man pieces are a little strange-looking. Even the instructions say, move your SILLY Pac-Man playing piece. As if they were admitting, it's stupid.

Board James: The game isn't perfect for sure, it's just, kind of, you know, I-I guess you could say it's...

(The Nerd appears on-screen behind the Pac-Man board game)

The Nerd: I think the proper term you're searching for is, IT'S A PIECE OF SHIT! Who would wanna play a board game of Pac-Man when you can play the video game instead?

Board James: You mean like that asinine Atari 2600 version where they couldn't even get Pac-Man into a circle shape? It's not great, but at the time, this was a better way to get Pac-Man into the home than that flickering glitchy mess.

The Nerd: Face it, nobody cares about board games.

Board James: I prefer to have something physical that you can actually get your hands on.

Pac-Man Magnetic Maze[]

Board James: Here's a better example: Pac-Man Magnetic Maze. This version gives you more of that instant gratification, that real-time action you're looking for. It's closer to the video game. You actually use a joystick which wobbles the board around, therefore moving the pieces. The goal is to collect the points which magnetize to Pac-Man's head, and bring them back to the start point, while avoiding the ghosts or... monsters.

Board James: Why do they refer to the ghosts as monsters?

The Nerd: 'Cause it's GARBAGE! What kind of board game uses a joystick anyway?

Super Mario Bros.[]

Board James: Okay, let's try Super Mario Bros.. That's a great action-oriented game with plenty of possibilities. The art style is very much in tune with the video game. But let's see how it plays.

Board James: Each player takes turns controlling Mario. That's odd that you all share the same pawn. If you roll red, you move on to the next red space. If you roll yellow, you move on to the next yellow space.

(Board James rolls the die and moves the cardboard Mario while humming the Super Mario Bros. overworld theme)

The Nerd: Real fun game! Really beats playin' the video game, doesn't it? Don't ya just love rollin' that die? Roll, roll, roll! Roll, roll, roll!

(Board James finishes the Mario theme and we hear a shit sound effect)

Board James: Yeah, it's pretty tedious.

Board James: You're constantly landing on spaces, potentially covering almost the entire board. Having numbered dice would have made the game much quicker paced. Sure, you can choose to take alternate paths, but the choices of where to go are very limited. There's hardly any strategy involved.

Board James: Your turn ends when you roll STOP, then the other players take control of Mario. But whenever you collect four coins, you can trade them in for an extra roll or an 'extra life' as the instruction manual calls it. A mushroom gives you four coins, but since four coins gives ya an extra life, couldn't a mushroom just be an extra life?

The Nerd (in a mushroom head): Yeah, you might have to take some fuckin' mushrooms to understand this game.

Board James: Then there's the hazard cards. Whenever you hit a question mark (? block), you collect another card which you can use on the other player. Basically, what the cards do is spawn enemies for the other players to land on. If they land on an enemy, they lose a life, or in other words, the turn goes back to you. The goal of the game is to be the first player to land on the final space, therefore rescuing the Princess.

Board James: Well... this is kinda stupid!

(The Nerd appears in the board game room on-screen and sits down next to Board James)

The Nerd: NOW you're talkin' some sense! Nothing in the game matters; it's all about who gets that final roll.

The Nerd: What's the point of putting hazards down? Just wait for Mario to get near the end! Then start playing competitively! By putting down hazards, all you're doing is slowing Mario down and prolonging the game!

(The Nerd's left-side face with the Board James face on the right used by a side-by-side comparsion)

The Nerd: It's like tryin' to play a game of chess by yourself. Everything you do on one side, counteracts the other.

Board James: Well this could easily be solved if there were two different playing pieces, like... like, only if th-if there was somebody else besides Mario, like-like who is th-who is that now? Uuhhm, Luigi?!

The Nerd: Nailed it on the head like a Hammer Brother... brother.

Board James: It sucks.

The Nerd: How much does it suck?

Board James: It FUCKIN' sucks!

The Nerd: Say it like it is!


The Nerd: That's a good one.

Super Mario Bros.: The Great Ladder Race Game[]

Board James: Here's one that's okay. It's Super Mario Bros.: The Great Ladder Race Game. Here, two players, Mario and Luigi, race to get up and down the ladder without falling off. Ya have to appreciate the simplicity. I like games that deal with physics.

The Nerd: Yeah, but what does it have to do with Mario? Isn't this exactly what ya want with a Mario game? Hangin' on fuckin' ladders?!

Board James: Well, come to think of it, it should've been based on the ladder finale from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World. But anyway, I think this is pretty good because, instead of tryin' to force the video game into a board game, here, they just... made somethin' new.

(The Nerd shakes his head)

Board James: I'm just tryin' to look on the positive side.

The Nerd: There is no positive side. It's like tryin' to describe a dog turd that's sittin' on a sidewalk. Which side is better? The side that's facin' up, dryin' up in the hot afternoon sun? Or the side that's stickin' to the cement, stayin' moist and shitty?

The Legend of Zelda[]

Board James: Alright, let's try [The] Legend of Zelda. The art design looks promising enough. The board is colorful, appealing, and represents the labyrinth style of gameplay that we know and love. Well, just like in the Mario game, all the players share Link. They each take turns moving him around. Each room has its own set of colored tiles. When ya land on a yellow square, you uncover a tile. If it's a monster, you fight it by rolling the "Battle" dice. If the number of swords rolled is equal or higher than a number on the monster, you win. If the monster has a heart, ya get a heart, but if ya lose, ya lose one of your hearts. If anyone loses all their hearts, the game ends. When you uncover the special item, you can move to the next room. In the very last room lies the Triforce. When somebody gets the Triforce, the game ends, but they don't necessarily win. The winner is the person to have the most hearts when the game is over.

Board James: Well, makes more sense than the Mario game, but it's definitely no HeroQuest or DragonStrike.

The Nerd: Because those games were MEANT to be board games. This was meant to be a VIDEO game!

Board James: Yeah, I wish I was playin' the real Zelda instead.

The Nerd: Damn straight. Now you're startin' to see the light, Board James. Or should I call you... Video James.

Street Fighter II[]

Board James: Here's Street Fighter II, the board game. I guess there was no Street Fighter I game. (The board game opens the box and we see city streets in the game board) Oh no, they did it, they took Street Fighter literally. It's just a bunch of fuckin' streets! Get it?! Street Fighter?! They fight on the streets! ON THE STREETS!

The Nerd: You're right, it's ass! I'm gonna go play the video game.

(The Nerd leaves on-screen)

Board James: Fine.

Board James: This is a pretty big board anyway. For a video game that's just two people fighting, all it really needed was dice and cards.

Board James: When ya roll the die, you don't count spaces, you count directions on the street. So every time you turn a corner, that's one number on the die. When players meet, they fight. By doing what? You guessed it, rolling Battle dice.

Board James: The winner gains a point on their power meter. The higher your meter gets, the more dice ya get to roll in battle. First player to get their power meter to the top wins, but then there's M. Bison, who has a countdown meter. If his countdown meter makes it to the end, that means everybody loses. The players can also try fighting M. Bison, if they're powerful enough. If someone beats him, that person wins the game.

Board James: Wow! Just as much fun as playin' the video game.

(Footage from Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition on the Sega Genesis is featured while Board James is rolling the die, moving the characters on a cardboard figurine and the countdown meter at random times. Board James is nearly frustrated with the board game.)

Board James: This is a mess. This WHOLE thing is a mess! What do I need this for? Did I put this together right?

Board James: Remove the pawn stands, building stands, clips and pegs from underneath the cardboard platform. Separate the clips and twist the pegs off their runner. Discard waste.

Board James: Hmm... Discard waste.

(The Street Fighter board game gets disassembled into the box, then Board James throws it away in a trash can)


Board James: Tetris? Aw no, you gotta be kidding me! (The Tetris board game box opens and we see a cardboard of Tetris blocks) Who makes a board game of Tetris?! HOW do you make a board game of Tetris?! That isn't even POSSIBLE!

Board James: Wha-What am I supposed to do here, play fuckin' Tetris on cardboard?

(Board James sings the Tetris A theme while he moves the Tetris blocks down by hand)

Board James: FUCK this! Players all simultaneously and randomly pick block shapes out of a box. They place them on the board and arrange them just like you would if you were playin' Tetris. If ya get a block ya don't want, you pass it to the next player. When somebody reaches the top, the game ends. Whoever has the least amount of open spaces wins. So basically you're tryin' to cover as many spaces as possible in the quickest amount of time.

Board James: What's the point? I guess it's good for people who don't have electricity but still wanna play video games. You could play it on Game Boy with AA batteries! Who needs this shit?! Who makes video games into board games?! It's all a bunch of circle-jerk marketing bullshit! I've played some board games out of boredom, but THIS SHIT, you gotta be REALLY bored! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!

(Board James now gets less frustrated and leaves from the chair, throwing the Tetris block in the box. He walks up to the mirror and looks in to see the Nerd, as the techno-beat AVGN theme starts playing)

The Nerd: You know who ya are. You're a nerd. You'll always be a nerd. A Video Game nerd.

(Board James gets his glasses on and takes his cap off, then leaves the board game room with the Nerd shirt on as he walks into the game room. The episode ends with the Nerd sitting on the couch playing with the NES controller)