Before the emergence of Instagram and Snapchat, kids arguably spent less time on their phones. After all, there isn’t much that one can do with a Nokia 3310 now can they?
Call it resourceful but kids in the ’90s would play games involving simple items like stones, marbles and cards. Sometimes, these games would last for hours on end too. Congkak, anyone?
We’ve rounded up a list of games that every ’90s kid must’ve played at some point in their childhood and perhaps, still play it up till this day. Let the nostalgia begin.
Also known as ketinting, we’d often draw our own boxes on the ground, using chalk. As chalkboards were, and still is used, in primary schools, chalks were in abundance and they were accessible to students too. This makes it easy to draw ketinting templates on school grounds and clean it up with a wet cloth after one is done.
2. Snakes & Ladders
Just about every kid back in the 90s owned a Snakes and Ladders board game of some sort. It was a straight forward game involving just a dice and more than 2 players can play during each round. It’s also interesting because no matter how close one is to winning, they might encounter a snake that’ll send them tumbling right back to the start of the game.
3. Connect Four
The aim of Connect Four is to get four similar coloured coins in one straight row. This game requires one to think ahead on what moves they’ll throw out, as well as to be observant of their partner’s game strategy. The Connect Four game comes in a box but kids would sometimes bring this game to school in a plastic bag.
4. Pop Pop
Pop Pop is a messy game that is commonly played during the festive season. It’s loud and mimics the sound of firecrackers. Kids would sometimes use these Pop Pop crackers to scare one another as it makes a loud sound and produces a momentary spark.
These were most kids’ very first gadget and they come in a variety of colours. The animation on the Tamagotchis of the past used to be in black and white but these days, they even come in colours. If you owned a tamagotchi back then, you somehow earned bragging rights too because not everybody had one in their possession.
6. Pepsi Cola
Pepsi Cola is a highly competitive game where a player would aim to kick his or her opponent out and the aim is to remain the last one standing. As a result of this, players would often end up with dirty footprint marks on their white school sneakers.
7. Happy Family
Judging from the outfits the characters in Happy Family wore, this game probably originated back in the 70s or the 80s but it was still popular during the 90s. Perhaps it was because of its simple concept. The aim of the game is to have as many complete sets of families as possible.
8. UNO Cards
UNO cards are versatile because it can include many players at any one time. As they are in the form of a card, they can easily be brought to school as well and it’s commonly played after the exam period.
One of life’s struggles is ending up with missing Mastermind tokens. Being tiny, these colourful beads often go missing and it’s a pain trying to find them back. The aim of the game is to predict the sequence of coloured beads that the opponent has placed and it might sound simple enough through trial and error, but bear in mind that you only have 10 tries to get it right.
Congkak is not a game that many would bring to school but it can still be borrowed from the library and played there. Librarians in particular would know this game well as it is one of the games in the library’s inventory.
11. Pokemon Cards
Way before Pokémon Go grew in popularity back in 2016, it was mostly played through Pokemon trading cards. Kids would bring their own deck of cards to school in attempts of trading for better ones or facing off with other players with hopes of winning their power cards.
12. Lat Tali Lat
“Lat tali lat tali tam plom”. Does that phrase bring back fond memories of your childhood? One of the reasons why this game was so popular was the fact that you don’t need any boards, cards or marbles in order to play it.
13. Batu Seremban
Batu Seremban is a game of juggling 5 triangular-shaped cloth bags, often times filled with sand or uncooked peas. It is commonly played with 2 players or sometimes more.
14. Pick Up Sticks
Pick-up sticks is pretty much like Jenga, but in the form of colourful sticks. It’s also a lot quieter as compared to Jenga. The aim of pick-up sticks is to have as many sticks as possible by the end of the game.
Like having our first phone, the Gameboy was a novelty gadget that many received as a gift upon scoring straight As for our UPSR exams. The best part is, you can always purchase new cartridges (after saving up lots of pocket money) to unlock a whole new world of games.
16. Eraser Game
These days, an eraser is used for the single purpose of erasing a mistake made with pencil. Back in the days though, having an eraser with an attractive pattern made one powerful because it’s the sole aim of the eraser game—to win the coveted eraser. Kids would head to the Koperasi store to purchase 20-cent erasers with patterns like Pokemon or flags of other countries. When one has an eraser, they can then compete with other players in hopes of winning a better, “more superior” eraser.
17. Rock Paper Scissors
Here’s another game which does not require anything. It’s simple enough and is commonly played amongst younger kids to pass the time. Don’t underestimate the intensity of this game though. There’s bound to be one player who’d go, “Scissors can cut through rock what?!”
Scrabble is a game reserved for when you have a bit more time on your hand, making it ideal for the post-UPSR season. It’s also a good game to build one’s vocab and creativity.
19. What Colour Do You Want?
Find out what lies in store for your future with this simple paper game called “What Colour Do You Want?” The player must first choose his or her favourite colour and number before finding out what lies behind their choice. Some variations of this game includes truth or dare outcomes too.
20. Masak Masak
This one’s a classic game, generally played amongst younger kids. Have a few pots and pans with several ingredients like leaves and flowers and you’re set for a good hour or so, mixing and stirring away.
Which game was your favourite? Which did we miss out? Let us know in the Facebook comment section!