“Hollywood Squares” had a home game. It also inspired a knock-off show from another production company, called “Break the Bank.” Both released home games. “Break the Bank” is the better home game. Slightly.

Milton-Bradley, which was experiencing an unparalleled surplus of perforated card stock in the 1970s, had absolutely no problem loading as much of it as possible into this game. And the weird thing is, they REALLY didn’t have to.


In early episodes of the 1976-77 “Break the Bank,” Tom Kennedy/Jack Barry would display a sample gameboard to explain the rules for how game boards could be arranged. Given a similar sample board in the rulebook, Milton-Bradley could have, theoretically, included one set of squares and let the players figure it out. OR, just included 50 different configurations in the instruction manual.



Instead, Milton Bradley gives you, like, a ream of little squares. Enough for 43 complete games, and absolutely no way to sort them once they’ve been used, hence my use of tiny envelopes for each designated set of game pieces when I’m putting the game away. You also have little perforated A, B, and C strips for marking your territory after a correct answer (instead of the lips & moustache icons of the series, and the game assumes you have three players who are going to take turns hosting).


One the plus side, the cardboard and card stock used for the game is incredibly sturdy and should survive a lifetime of use, and since memorizing 50 game boards would be particularly difficult, you can probably use everything a second time, which you can TOTALLY do because the booklet contains a whopping 478 questions. The questions are well-written, in the style of the questions used on the show, and with a group of people, you can actually have a little fun choosing two other people to act as the celebrities for each question and trying to convincingly bluff the players with the supplied wrong answers.


In case you’re curious, the home game is specifically based on Jack Barry’s nighttime version, with $500 squares on the game board, plus a set of squares for the bonus round, including totally unnecessary “cover squares.”
EQUIPMENT: star
starstar
ACCURACY:starstarstarstarstar

TRANSLATION:starstarstarstar
FUN FACTOR:starstarstarstarstar

REPLAY VALUE:starstarstarstar

DURABILITY: starstarstarstarstar

OVERALL RATING: starstarstarstar

homegames