Crossfire Board Game (1971 – 2019): Looking back at some of the Coolest Board games of the 90s.

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Do you remember this Crossfire Commercial? Today while making my normal rounds on the web, I bumped into the commercial. It brought all the nostalgia of the good old days when would play crossfire all weekend with my siblings and neighbors.

Even if you did not get a chance to play the game, you probably remember this 30-second commercial. I can hardly get it out of my head.

“.... it’s sometime in the future, the Ultimate Challenge....Crossfire”

So, sometime in the future, there is a bunch of kids in leather jackets playing a game where they shoot metal balls to knock a puck into the opponent’s goal. When they lose, they spin into oblivion. It was alike spinning to hell.

In the early 90s, this commercial was on all the time, it was more than a commercial. It was like a 30-second movie. And every time I saw it I was just as amazed as ever. If you asked anybody whether he knew crossfire back then, it was like “oohhh.... Crossfire! That is my best board game!”. The fact that many people still remember the commercial, shows how the commercial managed to brainwash kids back then. I feel like the commercial is burned in my head for good.

The game did live to the commercial. The game was very stimulating and exciting because you had to keep firing the balls, while at the same time you needed to load the balls into the gun. They got jammed all the time, making your opponent push the pucks close to your side. I remember breaking the guns and the corner leads of the game all the time when trying to set the difficulty levels.

Let us delve into a brief history of the Crossfire board game. A game that has stood the taste of time, and still exists decades later.

A Brief History of the Crossfire Board Game.
Crossfire is a board game developed by the Milton Bradley Company in 1971. The purpose of the game is to score goals by driving one of the two pucks into the opposing player’s net. This is achieved by firing small metal ball bearings at the pucks using the gun attached to the edge of the board.

The earliest version of the game featured a flat board, while the latest version of the board is dome-shaped. This allows the balls bearings to roll into the player’s bins easily but can cause the pucks to permanently rest at the edge of the surface.

Crossfire Boardgame Gameplay

The two pucks are made of plastic and are placed on a central ball. The ball bearings will roll into the plastic mold enabling the puck to move around easily and become responsive to hits. The pucks have different shapes, one is triangular while the other is stellar (star-shaped).

The aim of the game is for you to get both pieces to your opponent’s side. The first to achieve this three times wins the game! It is that simple. The rules of the game have been changing with few additions, but the overall gameplay has remained the same since the 70s.

Crossfire Board Game Promotion
The game was aggressively promoted back then. Especially during the 90s, the company increased the number of advertisements across all the cable and TV networks. The popular 30 seconds Crossfire boardgame commercial became popular in the 90s. It used to show up during prime-time news and prime hours, making it one of the most popular toys adverts at the time.
The US marketing campaign for the Crossfire boardgame in the early 90s remains one of the most popular ads, depicting the game as a post-apocalyptic future, with the game used as “The Ultimate Challenge” for a struggle between young men. A young actor Tim Maynard, who later moved to acting soap opera, played the hero in the exchange on this advert.

Honestly, if you never got a chance to play crossfire, then it is the most epic ‘90s game that you missed. Since there are some units being sold on Amazon and Best Buy, I suggest you get the feel of the nostalgia of the 90s by playing this game. Crossfire remains one of the few games that was introduced in the 70s survived the 80s, 90s, and even made into the 2000s. This simply means that the game really packed a punch.

Crossfire board games will literally connect you to the past and help you re-live the good old days before the smartphones and smart devices that take out time from doing physical exercise or enjoying the games that require some physical movement and jumping here and there. The game was tense and full of adrenaline rush. After a few hours playing this game, you will be tired, likely sweaty having enjoyed the session.

The rise and rise of Crossfire Boardgame.
While Crossfire was popular in the 90s, it was actually introduced almost two decades earlier, in the early 70s. The game changed in design, forms, and even rules. In the 90s, a stable version of the game was released. The Crossfire as we know it today. The 70s version was scarcely designed, yet It still had the signature Crossfire plastic guns and the steel ball bearing.
As flattery is the greatest form of imitation, in 1973 a knock-off version of Crossfire, know as Gunfight at Ok Corral was released and had almost the same setup as Crossfire. But in for this one, instead of shooting a puck, you would shoot your opponent’s cowboy. Astonishingly, Gunfight at the OK Corral got its name from a real shootout that occurred in 1881, where the Earp brothers stood up for possession of Tombstone, Arizona, in Clanton/McLaury families.

Later on, in 1994, Milton Bradley upgraded its version of Crossfire to the one we all know and loved to playback in the 90s through to the early 2000s. While the time and taste of gamers over time has kicked Crossfire out of the market severally, it made several revivals over the years. Around 2006, Gairdner Scott developed a new theme song for Crossfire as a power piano ballad. Crossfire is for sure a blast from the past. It is one of those games that will never be kicked out completely from the shelves. Although the development of new units ceased a while back, we still see some vintage collections of the game all over.

Final Thoughts

Crossfire is a game that many people have fond memories of as kids. If you go online, you will see tons and tons of people saying how much they loved playing crossfire. Now, this is a game that I enjoyed. It is very simple to learn, fast-paced if you love such kind of game. It is a very frantic game, with shooting and collecting the ball bears to get that puck in your opponent’s side.

I love the fact that crossfire was a very simple and cool game. There is an ideal version of Crossfire that comes on a really large table. That is a very cool version, that I never had a chance to play on it. I remember getting blistered fingers after long hours of playing this game.

Recently, Hasbro re-released the Crossfire board game but if found the pucks have issues. They have a little ball bearing in the middle of the pucks. You could spend a long time shooting these kinds of pucks but their movement is very limited because the center pucks don’t move.

If you missed playing the game back in the days, and wish to get a feel of it, it is cheaper to get the Hasbro version of the game but by the normal pucks online, the ones that don’t have a ball bearing at the center.

So, how was your experience with the Crossfire Board game back in the days?