Imagine that you’re having a party or just feel like playing a board game with your family or friends. You reach into the closet and find that old favorite you loved as a kid. You’re excited and when you tell people about the find, they’re ecstatic too. Pulling down the game, you start pulling things out - the board, the pieces, the cards - and right as you get ready to pick your pieces, someone asks how to play.
And then it hits you, while you have a vague memory of playing the game, the general rules are actually escaping you. And lo and behold, you can’t find the instructions. Anywhere. Not in the box, not in the closet, not even in your room. Face it; they’re gone.
Scenes like this play out in homes everywhere - a group gets set to play a game and discovers that the instructions are missing. This is especially true for second hand games that are sold to game shops or trade shops, and then purchased by someone else. While fan favorites may stick with childhood memories, sometimes incidences occur when you need to examine the instructions. What are the points for the double word in Scrabble? How does the get of jail card work again in Monopoly? What color is brown again in the original Trivial Pursuit?
Luckily, there’s hope! As long as you have a computer and an Internet connection, or even a smartphone with mobile access, you can find printable board game instructions for a wide variety of games thanks to a few sites.
How Did I Lose the Instructions?
Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. While video games are the popular medium, every once in a while you get the urge to play a good ole fashioned board game. And sometimes, you might not have all the pieces to that game. What the heck happened?
There are many reasons why a board game might not have the general rules or instructions. If it’s a board game from your childhood, perhaps moving dislodged the box and the instructions have fallen out. Maybe when playing the game at a friend’s house, you left them in the living room, and in the aftermath of a party perhaps they were accidently thrown out.
A common reason for not having a game’s instructions is that someone purchased a used board game. The game may be in great condition, but the instructions could be damaged or missing. Of course, this can be frustrating, especially when playing a new game that you and your friends have never played before.
Technology, however, has made it possible to find these lost instructions. Really, is there anything you can’t find on the Internet these days?
Where to Find Instructions
Now that you’ve lost the instructions, how are you going to find them again? As mentioned, the Internet is a great resource when it comes to finding the printable instructions for board games. Sometimes, the manufacturer of the game will have the instructions available on the game’s product detail page, but often you’ll be able to find the instructions thanks to fans of the game who have put them online or through other websites that offer them. Here are a few sites which have listings.
Game Cabinet - Game Cabinet is a website section brought to you by Central Connector, a game and hobby site that has a plethora of leisurely activities listed. The game cabinet has instructions for several popular board games, such as Boggle, Monopoly, Scattergories and Uno. Clicking on a link will lead to another page in which the instructions, and sometimes images, will appear. There’s no physical print link or button, but by right-clicking on the page or selecting the print option or button in your browser, you can print out the instructions for further review.
Board Game Capital - Similar to that of Game Cabinet, Board Game Capital has a fairly large listing of classic and family board game rules. The site even has listings for those games that have expansions or separate versions, such as the varying editions of Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. As with Game Cabinet, you will have to right click or select print to print out instructions.
Scrabble Pages - Anyone who loves word games will naturally love Scrabble. Scrabble Pages is the official game rules page, featuring not only the rules to Scrabble, but strategies for playing and biographies of former Scrabble champions.
Hasbro - Hasbro is the company that bought Parker Brothers, which is perhaps the most successful and well known manufacturer of board games. Many favorites are Parker Brothers classics, from Monopoly to BattleShip to Clue. While a bit of a hassle to find, Hasbro does have a listing of board game instructions on its website. Instructions are loaded in a PDF file for easy viewing and printing.
Wikipedia - Say what you will about this user updated website, Wikipedia can be a great source of information, and while finding the rules to your favorite games you can actually learn a little bit about their history and background too.
Game Cabinet from Central Connector, https://www.centralconnector.com/GAMES/GameCab.html
Board Game Capital, https://www.boardgamecapital.com/
Official Scrabble Rules from Scrabble Pages, https://www.scrabblepages.com/scrabble/rules/
Hasbro Game Instruction Search, https://www.hasbro.com/customer-service/browse/_/N-1vZgt/Ntt-game%20instructions?Ntk=All&Ntx=mode%20matchallpartial
Image Credit: Hasbro/author