Review: Saved by the Bell
Tagline: Spend an outrageous day with the “Saved By The Bell” gang!
how we met
My copy of Saved by the Bell hails all the way from a thrift shop in Dubuque, Iowa. I normally like to explain a little bit about why I choose to purchase a particular game. But for Saved by the Bell, I don’t think anyone is wondering that. I’m having Hot Loops, Trapper Keeper and Lisa Frank flashbacks just looking at the box, and I hope you are too.
how it plays
Saved by the Bell is a roll and move game where your object is to go out on a series of meet-ups worth various points until you have succeeded in dating both Slater and Zack as well as scoring 30 points. The first player to achieve all three of these objectives is the winner!
Each player starts the game with three NOTES cards. They are cute and are designed to look like notebook paper handwritten by one of the gang asking you to meet them in a given location, which is represented by a space on the board. If you land on that space by exact count, you get to take as long as you need rummaging through the PICTURES deck of cards to choose an image of the person you met in that location. Then place it on the NOTES card to indicate you have completed it, and you now have as many points as are indicated in the corner of the NOTES card.
Each player also begins the game with a DATE card. This is like a NOTES card 2.0. It is always written from both Zack and Slater, always includes lipstick kisses and is always worth 10 points per boy. Unlike the regular NOTES cards that can also come from Zack and Slater, these dates can only be obtained by landing on the single DATE square on the board. Twice. Completing both of these dates is part of your winning condition, so don’t slack.
Apart from the DATE space and a few spaces for the meet-ups, the rest of the board is made up of neon yellow lockers. When you land on a locker space (which is almost all the time), you roll a die to determine what will happen. You may get an additional NOTES card, you may get asked a Bayside trivia question, you may be allowed to move anywhere or you may get to spin a spinner to once again determine what happens.
The game also includes six biographical cards of the actors who play the gang. These are completely superfluous to gameplay.
how it went
This game is easy on the eyes, and I think we are about the perfect age for The Max appreciation (see what I did there?). But this game is blah.
Saved by the Bell requires you to land by exact count in order to get ahead, and that is a problem if you only have one or two places you need to be. Did you miss it? Get ready for one more orbit around the board and hope you can score a GO ANYWHERE roll.
Also the trivia. If you are a die-hard fan then you may love this game and love the trivia questions. If you have not watched Saved by the Bell recently or do not have a perfect memory then the trivia is a bummer. As all trivia is.
The glamour shots are nice. Saved by the Bell has a lot of visual appeal. And the game doesn’t call the NOTES card meet-ups dates, but I feel like they are. Just not good ones since they are often in Driver’s Ed or Math class or something. And I always love a game that causes you to date indiscriminately.
play or pass
Pass. The nostalgia was not enough to save the gameplay. From what I have read this is perhaps the best of the various Saved by the Bell games, so please accept this as a general warning.