I Had That! #5: Pay Day


Photo by Andre Gunnoe

I play a lot of boardgames now, but what about when I was a kid? Sure, there was the hated Monopoly, but there were some others that definitely bring back memories. I’ve talked on my blog before about Voice of the Mummy, and I also remember some kind of Haunted Mansion game (this one, I’m pretty sure.) I had Happy Days and of course Star Wars and my friend Chris had the Fat Albert game, which we played a lot of. But one that I remember us really going for was Pay Day.

Like most boardgames for American families, it’s a pretty simple roll-and-move affair. Get money, spend money, not a ton of decisions to make. You get mail in the game, cards which can be bills or junk mail, including postcards. One postcard talks about the Loch Ness monster and it was always a grand day when that showed up in the mail.

The thing about Pay Day is that it can go on forever. The game is played on a calendar depicting one month, and when you get to the end, you start over because every month has 31 days. You play for a certain number of months and then see who has the most money at the end. But why stop there? You can just keep on going, and that’s just what we did one summer. We kept the board set up and played on it from time to time. I don’t remember how many months we held out, but we had massive bank accounts and of course eventually nothing was any kind of threat to anyone. The game wasn’t meant to be played that way.

The fact that all I remember about the game was the Loch Ness monster card and the time we broke it suggests that Pay Day wasn’t too beloved, not as much as others I’ll be talking about here. It’s apparently still being published, and I’m surprised it’s not one of those games that’s been developed for all kinds of licensed properties. I’m imagining a Simpsons version with a “Dental plan/Lisa needs braces” card.

When did I get it? It came out in 1975. We were probably playing it around 1978 or so, but I’m not really sure.

Do I still have it? No, it’s no longer on the game shelf. No idea what happened to it.

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