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Updated with a review from fan club rep Davy

50th anniversary board game

From University Games "Richard O'Brien Presents - Rocky Horror Show" the board game. This is an officially licenced product as part of the 50th anniversary for the stage show.

"Let's Do the Time Warp Again!" Relive that first Rocky Horror Show moment or play this game and create that moment. Sing the songs, finish the callouts, play a character. Be the first player to build Rocky in the Lab and then escape the Castle to win. It all starts with a jump to the left and a step to the right.

The objective of the game is to collect Lips and the first player to escape the Castle with at least five of them wins. You get to play certain characters depending on how many (2-6) are playing.

The game is supplied in a nice 270mm x 270mm x 50mm box. Cardboard playing pieces, Lips and Rocky body parts are pop out from cards inside, but one you have done this there is a nice central storage compartment in the box to keep them safe.

The game is rated Ages 14 and Up. I've no idea why though, there is no offensive language. Maybe it's an American thing? It says 12+ on the UK Amazon site.

We bought our copy from Amazon in the USA, as it was cheaper at the time to buy it and pay the customs/shipping than it was to order from the UK site. We paid around £25 a copy, at time of writing there was a copy from an external supplier on Amazon UK asking for £85 a copy! So do shop around. Release dates were November 2023 in the USA and the UK release date is meant to be January 2024 now.

50th anniversary board game

Davy's Review

Rocky Horror Show Boardgame - Davy Orr

Davy's images of the game

As a family though probably more my two sons and myself are very keen on different board games, from the traditional family games to the newer strategy games. We've even crowd funded a couple on Kickstarter!

So when we heard of a new Rocky Horror boardgame appearing to mark the 50th anniversary we were very interested and hopeful about what we might be getting when released. Obviously there was also the element of being Regular Frankie Fan's and therefore adding to the collection.

It was a little surprising to discover that the USA were getting theirs released first, especially as it was supposed to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rocky Horror Show and not RHPS. With no confirmed date for the UK releases date I went ahead and sourced our copy from the USA.

The packaging is inviting enough, the usual dripping blood writing “Rocky Horror Show” with a logo marking 50 years live on stage. The message along the bottom declaring “The game you've been waiting for with antici…pation!” Well… yes we were…

It says for 2 to 6 players aged 14 and up.

The playing board is a very, very simplistic design which divides the whole gameplay into three distinct sections referred to in stage parlance as; Act I - enter the castle; Act II - enter the lab; Act III - escape from the castle.

A quick read of the rules, and it was quick , very quick, as they really didn't tell you very much other than referring you to a play card for each of the three play zones which really included what you needed to know for each those phases of the game.

Each player is one of six Rocky Characters (Brad, Janet, Magenta, Riff Raff, Dr Scott and Frank). Once you chose which character you want to play you take their character card. It is really important to read their own character card and importantly comply with it. There is restriction in the game for example, if there are only three people playing then one must be Riff whilst the other two will be Brad and Janet. We had three playing, so the only option open to us was with of us would be one of these three characters.

You win the game by escaping the castle with at least 5 Lips which you can collect along the way. You are given one Lips at the very start, but you can lose them as well.

When you are in the lab you are involved in 'building' Rocky.

Along the way there are opportunities for audience participation. A couple of these you have to do, such as shoutouts to actually aid you in winning Lips which will help win the game. The instruction to get up and Timewarp was unanimously ignored by us, with a simple "whoo!" sufficing from us.

It's definitely different! With three of us playing it really didn't take very long.

The artwork has a definite stage show feel to it which is refreshing and very welcome instead of being film orientated. However if I'm totally honest it felt like someone was given a brief to design a boardgame for the Rocky Horror Show, perhaps had seen the show or had been given a brief summary and knocked together the concept in the lunch break between other jobs. What a missed opportunity given other games out there which could have had the players exploring the different rooms of the castle in a random order with a card based system which could also have randomised encounters or events in the castle making each game different and unique. Even an old fashioned Rocky Horror Murder mystery game would have been an improvement over this.

The sub-title on the front of the box said “The game you've been waiting for with antici…pation!” Yes I was. Unfortunately it turned out to be like Janet, b bit wet!!

We will play it again probably with a full six to see what it's like.... though honestly I'm not sure I'll be able to cope with the excitement and tension. It won't be the first game or event the fifth game I'll consider when I look in the cupboard for a game to play again. Definitely worth having in the collection. Not likely to win any games awards. ??

A quick breakdown of what you get in the box.

Game boardGame Board gloss coated card, around 250mm x 250mm folded. The board is 760mm unfolded and divided into three sections
   Act I - Enter the Castle
Game board
   Act II - Enter the Lab
Game board
   Act III - Escape from the Castle
Game board

Game pieces6 Character Pieces double side printed cards various sizes from 85mm to 100mm high, each with a plastic base to make then stand. Brad, Janet, Dr. Scott, Frank, Riff and Magenta. The graphics are very similar to the current UK stage show looks.

Character CardsCharacter Cards One for each character. A quick description of the character, a Phrase they say, who they Pair With, an Action to do, a Special Skill and what their objective is.

LipsLips 30 card printed lips 25mm x 40mm.

Rocky Horror Show CardsRocky Horror Show Cards 50 playing card style coated cards with a Rocky Horror Show logo 85mm x 60mm. Each card has a line/lyric from the show to read aloud and an instruction to follow to either gain or lose LIPS.

Lab CardsLab Cards 30 playing card style coated cards with an image of Columbia and Eddie 85mm x 60mm. Six of each card with numbers 1 to 6 and a part of Rocky, Head, Left Arm, Right Arm, Torso, Left Leg and Right Leg.

Time Warp CardsTime Warp Cards 6 playing card style coated cards with the lyrics for the Time Warp 120mm x 80mm. You all have to stand and sing along before starting Act III of the game.

Game Cards for Acts I, II and IIIGame Cards for Acts I, II and III 3 playing card style coated cards with instructions on how to play each Act of the game. 120mm x 80mm.

6 Piece Rocky Puzzle6 Piece Rocky Puzzle Card printed parts of Rocky. Two arms, two legs, a torso and the head. What more could you ask for?

Game Die A plastic 15mm cube in black with red letters.

InstructionsInstructions 140mm x 220mm fold out sheet with how to play guide.

    First unboxing of the game before pushing out the characters and unwrapping the cards.

University Games 09172

All images taken by us for the purpose of this review only.

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