Review: NSYNC Backstage Pass Game
Publisher: Patch Products
Year: 2000
Tagline: LOADED with JUICY personal facts you won’t find anywhere else!

cover shows the boys

how we met

The sun was shining the day I found NSYNC Backstage Pass Game. It was shining over the whole flea market, and shining over me as I handed over $5 and walked away.

how it plays

NSYNC Backstage Pass Game is a spin and move game where the object is twofold. First, you must collect each of the five boys by visiting their fan club areas and successfully answering a trivia question about them. Then you must make your way to the stage and get past a bodyguard. The first player to do this wins!

Players start the game with a pawn of their choice and a white bar that holds the boys as you collect them. Players also each get a secret chip with a password on it. The bodyguards have matching passwords at the base of them that is covered by the mover. Place the bodyguards in their movers and mix them up so you don’t know which bodyguard is which. Then place the bodyguards in their areas near the stage.

The pawns are young girls on cardboard

A sampling of pawns

On their turn, a player spins the spinner and moves that number of spaces. You do not need to land in the fan club areas (or the bodyguards) by exact count, but other than this circumstance you must always move and complete your full movement.

Colorful spinner with small pics of the boy faces

If you land on the star you get to jump around the board to star spaces!

When you reach a boy’s fan club area, another player draws a card and asks you a multiple choice question corresponding to that boy. If you get the answer right, you get to review all the remaining boy pawns for that character, choose your favorite and place it in your white bar. You only collect one of each character, no matter how much you like Justin.

Overview of the board where the tracks make a stadium shape

The stadium

The poster has all five boys on it

This is the other side of the board. It really is.

The first player to get all five boys places their white bar in the stage area to start the concert. This doesn’t mean anything. They don’t get anything special, and other players can still catch up and win. But it’s a micro-win and those are always fun, especially if your band has a goth look like mine did.

Four boys collected

My boys mid-play showing Justin looking positively vampiric

Players with all their boys then approach a bodyguard and look at its base without revealing it to other players. If the bodyguard’s password matches the player’s password, that player gets the backstage pass and wins!

Bodyguard and chip showing saying

If you look closely you can see this bodyguard has a matching “I want you back” at his base which would be hidden

how it went

We played this game in public at the local Meadery on their first ever Game Night. They were probably hoping to see a variety of games, not necessarily Scrabble or Monopoly, and I think we delivered.

Five boys in the stage area foreground

Those are my boys on stage!

I don’t like trivia games, as you know, and that extends to trivia about boy bands from the turn of the millennium. I was a little nervous about playing this game for that reason, but it worked out really well. Keri read most of our questions and it turns out she has this weird tick that causes one of her eyes to wink when she reads a right answer. We capitalized on this strange quirk and probably shaved half an hour off our game play.

Example trivia card

Justin’s favorite game at this time was TriBond

We were generally able to collect the band members quickly, and the biggest variable was how well we spun. Once we approached the stage it was all luck. Bill was the first one tapping the shoulders of the bodyguards, but he visited two that did not match. I was able to get lucky by choosing the right bodyguard right away!

So I actually won this game, and John pointed out that it’s the best kind of win because we will never play again. And I think that did make me appreciate my win a bit more. And I recorded my win on the lanyard dutifully, albeit with some shame since I did not quite use my actual name.

Front and back of lanyard with two names listed

The two sides of the lanyard. Jamie had not recorded the year so not sure how old that win is

play or pass

Pass. If you are an NSYNC superfan then this might be very enjoyable. If this same game was reskinned for ABBA I would keep it forever and never let it go, and eat up the trivia. Can you imagine the outfits? But alas I never caught onto NSYNC. So I was left with spin and move trivia with a touch of luck at the end. Meh.

This is not the worst boy band game I have ever played. But I’m going to keep buying them, because I feel like there’s gotta be a better boy band game out there. We just haven’t met yet.