Interplanetary

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Interplanetary, a board game invented by Art Widner, was shown for the first time to The Stranger Club in late 1942 and first played at Boskone III. It included elements of Auto Race and Monopoly and added complications such as planets moving in their orbits. The game took an enormous amount of time to play: 8 or 12 hours or even more.

According to Widner:

The reason it took so long is that it was a combination of a standard ‘race’ game and Monopoly. One had to get to a planet and bring back a cargo in order to finance a trip to the next distant planet where a still more valuable cargo would be obtained, etc., out to Pluto, which harbored ‘Immortality Dust,’ the game winner. The novel aspect was that the planets moved, making it difficult to land on one, plus such hazards as the ‘negasphere’ (from E. E. Smith epics -- now known as a black hole) and pirates, to say nothing of falling into the sun, getting hit with space junk, etc. 

Years later, Bill Evans, Bob Pavlat, C. Stewart Metchette, and Ted White changed the rules enough to make it possible to play the game in an evening.

It still didn't catch on.

Photo of fans playing Interplanetary at Chicon III, 1962.



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