7 Once Fictional Games That You Can Now Play in the Real World
J.K. Rowling never intended for Quidditch, her made-up wizard sport, to be played in the real world, but that didn’t stop committed Harry Potter fans from grabbing broomsticks and DIYing it Muggle-style. Potterheads aren’t the only ones who’ve pulled a game or two from their favorite stories, though. Here are seven more fictional games that made the leap to reality.
1. FIX-IT FELIX JR.
Wreck-It Ralph, Disney’s movie about an arcade villain who wants to be one of the good guys, is a love letter to video games. So it only made sense for Disney to create real-life versions of the games that appear in the film, including Fix-It Felix Jr. If you’ve played Donkey Kong, get ready for some nostalgia, as you guide Felix on a hazardous journey up an apartment building, dodging bricks Ralph throws from the top. As part of its promotional efforts, Disney built a traditional arcade machine to house the game and invited gamers to play it. One of these machines landed on eBay in 2014, but if you don’t have $20,000 to spare, you can play the game in your browser for the low, low price of free.
2. CONES OF DUNSHIRE
During a week of unemployment, Ben Wyatt of Parks and Recreation does what any self-respecting nerd would do: he creates his own board game. Cones of Dunshire is a game for two to 12 players, including a Ledgerman who keeps score wearing a jaunty hat. Players accumulate four cones to win, but need to create civilizations to earn cones. The game was written as a joke, but Mayfair Games—of Settlers of Catan fame—brought the real thing to Gen Con in 2014. Want to play Cones of Dunshire at home? Follow these instructions to build your own.
The 1995 Milton Bradley version of Jumanji is a lot less terrifying than the one in the film (which sucks Robin Williams into a dark, dangerous jungle for 26 years), but follows the same basic rules of rolling dice and moving pieces around a board. You can still find it on eBay, but to get a little closer to the real deal, spring for a replica with moving magnet pieces. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.
4. TRIDIMENSIONAL CHESS
In the Star Trek universe, chess has evolved from one board to many. Tridimensional chess first appears in an early episode of the original series (Kirk checkmates Spock) and the odd-looking game has reappeared throughout the franchise ever since. Naturally, you can buy your own tridimensional chess set at the official Star Trek website, and master the game yourself, if you can make sense of the rules.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, you're probably familiar with the card game Sabacc. It’s thanks to a winning hand that Han Solo comes to own the Millennium Falcon. Sabacc’s rules are similar to our galaxy’s blackjack: To win, players need to get as close as possible to a value of 23 without going over, though the betting system in Sabacc is more similar to poker. Beyond a deck included in a 1990 Star Wars RPG called Crisis in Cloud City, there’s no officially licensed Sabacc deck available. That hasn’t stopped fans, though. They’ve been making their own DIY versions (including one using Tarot cards) for years.
A post-apocalyptic film from the ’80s may not be the most obvious source material for a sport, but enterprising Aussies and Germans have taken the game of jugger from the 1989 movie The Blood of Heroes (alternatively titled The Salute of the Jugger) to the field. Players wield medieval-esque weapons made from foam and score points by sliding a (fake) skull onto the opposing team’s stake. The game is now being played all over the world.
Westeros’s answer to chess, Cyvasse is a strategy game that A Song of Ice and Fire readers first see played by Myrcella Baratheon in A Feast for Crows while she’s in Dorne. George R.R. Martin described the game as a mix of chess, blitzkrieg and Stratego, but besides a few hints in the books (two players, 10 pieces), fans have had to fill in the details themselves. Although it’s maybe not the exact version available in Westeros, one enterprising fan made a 3D-printed Cyvasse board; if you don’t have deep Lannister coffers to buy a 3D printer to make your own board, there’s a free online version, too.