In the early 1980s, TSR Hobbies, Inc., the folks that brought you Dungeons & Dragons, published several "mini-games", dice-driven board games packaged in plastic blister-packs, with gameplay occurring on small paper maps with cardboard tokens.
In Vampyre, Game of the Hunt for Dracula (1980), up to six players, each assuming the role of a character from Bram Stoker's book, race across the Transylvanian countryside, through gloomy forests and craggy mountains, to locate and destroy three of Count Dracula's hidden coffins.
Along the way, they'll encounter swarms of rats, werewolves, murderous gypsies, and even the undead Count himself.
Players can uncover helpful items like a gun, a crucifix or holy water to give them an advantage in combat, which is resolved with dice rolls and charts. (Sometimes the player encounters nothing, so there are "nothing" tokens too).
A player can even be bitten by the Count and transform into a Nosferatu, at which point his goal in the game is no longer to find and destroy Dracula's coffins, but to attack his fellow players.
Once the coffins are found, the hunt for Dracula continues inside his castle (pictured on the reverse side of the map).
At this stage of the game, the passing of time is tracked on this monster-faced clock using the DAY and NIGHT tokens (all supernatural monsters fight at a disadvantage during the day).
Other titles in the TSR mini-games series were They've Invaded Pleasantville (a retro-50s game of alien invasion), Revolt on Antares (sort of a sci-fi version of the classic imperialist wargame Risk) and Saga: Age of Heroes (wargaming and adventuring in classic Rome).
9 months ago