Meanwhile, in Great Britain...
"Blockbusters" was a great game that had a perfectly mediocre home adaptation in the US. When "Blockbusters" went on the air in Great Britain and proceeded to stay on the air for roughly a million years, British game maker Waddingtons finally produced an adaptation worthy of a great concept. The first home game was simply called "Blockbusters" and included material only for the main game. The Gold Run was released as a separate card game. In 1989, Waddingtons released Super Blockbusters, which included the Gold Run card game with the Blockbusters game so you had a full-blown Blockbusters home game.
For starters, the main game console is a VAST improvement over the American version. Waddingtons designed an incredibly sturdy plastic grid with solid hexagon pieces that slip in easily, slip out easily, yet absolutely do not budge in the course of the game. For the letters, the game gives you five strips with four letters on each one, and you slide them into the board however you like. The American version gives you six cards with 20 letters pre-arranged. Honestly, that part's a push. The strips would be definitively better if you were given more of them, but...you don't. So not as much variety to the board as you'd like. Life goes on.
For the actual game, you get a huge pile of questions, 120 questions for each of 20 different letters (2400 questions total). For Americans like me, you'll be surprised and impressed by how many questions are completely usable. The questions are heavily academic and only occasionally get cultural.
Oh, yeah, you also get a die. That's to determine which side picks the first letter, and I guess you can use it as a tiebreaker if the MC can't decide which team rang in first.
Speaking of ringing in...there's one part where the rules and I absolutely do not see eye-to-eye. The home game recommends a player staying in control until they give a wrong answer. I recommend just slapping the table like the American version suggests.
You get 100 Gold Runs, played somewhat differently. The player doesn't see initials at any point. The emcee has a card with ten questions. The player simply points to the hexagon s/he wants to play for, and the MC reads the initials AND the question. For Americans like me, this is the part of the game where you'll feel hopelessly lost. Gold Run is HEAVY on British pop culture. Be forewarned.
In nearly every respect, this is a game that absolutely blows the American version right out of the water. The game is built to last for 100 years, you can easily add new material to it if desired, and it just plays incredibly well. Highly recommended.
OVERALL RATING: (5/5)