The Saved by the Bell Game from Pressman is a throwback board game for fans of the live-action comedy from the 90s, Saved by the Bell.
The game comes with six character playing pieces featuring the memorable cast of characters: Zack, Kelly, Slater, Screech, Jessie, and Lisa. Place each character in his/her designated location on the game board, as denoted in the rule book. Then, turn over one character card and shuffle the rest of the cards and place them in a separate stack. Shuffle up the Scene Cards and place them at the center of the table. Each player selects a character-playing piece and is dealt one yearbook cardholder. Remove any character pieces that are not being used.
The most recent high school grad goes first. Players take turns spinning the spinner and then following whatever action it lands on. You can spin a number to move or land a "View a Scene" or a "Time Out".
If you spin a number, move your playing piece that number of spaces. Land on a character space and if there's one available at the center of the table, add it to your yearbook. If you already have that Character or don't need it, you can also use the turn to remove that Character Card from your yearbook. Discarded Character Cards can be placed at the center of the game board on its designated space. If you spin "View a Scene" or finish your move in a location space, you must select the top Scene Card for all players and start the timer. When the sand runs out, place the scene card face down on the table and hand each player a question card. Starting from your left, each player reads the question on his/her card and answers the question about the scene you just viewed. After each player answers, review the answers by flipping over the Scene Card. Players who answered correctly get to draw new Character Cards. Spin a "Time Out" and you get to steal a chard from the player of your choice. That player must remove all the cards they have and place them face down for you to select one at random.
How to Win: The goal of the game is to collect one of each Character Card or three Character Cards of the same character to win the game.
There were things we liked about the game but they were mostly outweighed by the issues we had with it. We liked the easy game mechanics and that you don't need to be a huge Saved by the Bell fan to play, although it certainly can help. We also appreciated the artwork, which takes you right back to the decade and the TV show.
There were a few things we had issues with, however. 1) When a Character Card is removed from play, the directions don't explicitly say to replace it with a new card from the deck. We are just assuming that's what's supposed to happen because otherwise it's difficult for play to continue. 2) The Scene Cards and the question cards don't always work together. For example, the randomly drawn question "What character is Zack looking at?" doesn't apply to a Scene Card of Jessie and Slater because Zack isn't even in the scene. This happened a lot. You can, obviously, say that as an answer, and maybe it might even trip up someone who doesn't know the characters well, but otherwise it doesn't work. 3) To win you either need all six characters or three of the same character, which is a bit uneven. We found you can quickly end a game in a few short turns to collect the same character in comparison to a much more in-depth round of play needed to collect all the characters.
The Saved by the Bell game is for 2-6 players, ages 8 and up. This game is 100-percent geared toward fans of Saved by the Bell and because it does have a lot of nostalgia elements to it we think it serves best as that. In terms of the gameplay though, we aren't sure it's worth the money.
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