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Flash Match   —   Kid Stuff

When I was a kid my cousins used to spend most of their summer vacation at my house. They were boys so the amenities at the Corp house were more appealing than anything that could be offered at their own. At my house we had the woods and the lake and the basketball hoop. At my house, we had the Nintendo. Much of our activities in the summer were things like playing Zelda, fishing, exploring the woods, and trying to gross each other out, mostly in the form of chasing me with snakes. But once in a great while I lobbied, for whatever reason, that we spend the weekend at their house, and there we played one of the greatest games of my adolescence, Flash Match. Here was a game that with its vivid photos and strange music, influenced the way I perceived my childhood for years to come.

Flash Match was a memory game that you played by using the VCR (advanced technology!). I never really knew the name of this game, I was a kid and didn't care about such details, if memory serves (ha, get it?) I used to request the game by simply (begging/demanding)asking to play that cool video tape game. My cousins and I were terrible at this game, it was a game geared toward adults so our small kid brains practically burst from the seizure-inducing flashing photos that seemed to be in the millions and going a hundred miles an hour. But I didn't care, I just wanted to see those captivating pictures and hear that strange music. And as with most things in a child's life, things that once meant the world to me slowly disappeared from my life the older I became, especially when they belonged to someone else.

As an adult I've maintained my love of board games. The more we play the more I seek out new and interesting games, dipping into unplayed vintage games and exploring newer concepts as well. About ten years ago my brain hiccuped and I suddenly remembered that I used to play a VCR memory game with amazing imagery. Of course I had no clue what the name of the game was and so started my nearly ten year search which included intensive googling and contacting relatives, neither of which provided me with any answers. Since the internet keeps growing in sheer volume of information it was only a matter of time until one of my google searches paid off, and that time came last year. I found mention of the game on a website devoted to board games old and new and after reading the game description I felt sure I had found my match (ha, get it?). I found Flash Match on Ebay for purchase and a week later I was holding its colorful box in my hands, my eyes wide with expectation and excitement.

The game is every bit as glorious as I hoped it would be, but not for all the reasons I'd anticipated. Now there is a kitsch factor, the music seems less magical and more comical, the images while still vibrant and captivating are a bit dated in style, and the "host" Wil Shriner sporting a rather offensive yellow sweater is an absolute dweeb. And best of all Flash Match is fun as hell. Nat and I play it occasionally after we've been drinking and it's a riot to desperately dig in your brain trying to decipher which images they "flashed" you and which you just remember from previous rounds.

Flash Match
How good is your memory? Good enough to remember 20 pictures if they flash briefly on the screen? What about 34 pictures? Or 41? What if they flash at a rate of 10 per second? Could you pick them out of a crowd? And could you make your opponents think they saw pictures that never really appeared? You'll need all of these skills to play Flash Match, the VCR game that tests your ability to concentrate, remember and bluff.

Match cards from your hand to pictures that flash on the screen to win more cards. Be the player with the most cards when the deck runs out to win the game!

Posted 4.15.2009 8:54:45 PM

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