Review: The Mask 3-D Board Game
Publisher: Parker Brothers
Year: 1994
Tagline: Based on the movie

The board game cover showing picture of Jim Carrey as The Mask

how we met

This is actually kind of a funny story. I met a fun group of gamers out of the Milwaukee area through Facebook. They have a fondness for vintage, cheesy board games (although they have more discerning taste than yours truly) so we got along great. 

At some point this group invited me to their Facebook chat group called Thrifting Minions. This let us pick up games for each other and brag about awesome finds in our area. One day, Thrifting Minion Josh posted a photo holding The Mask 3-D Board Game.

Josh holding the game saying "If it wasn't $10 and didn't look terrible..."
You can see that Josh just wasn’t that into The Mask

Fast forward about two or three days and Bill had gone thrifting on a Friday. When he thrifts without me he sends me photos of his finds, which I eat up throughout my day. And on this particular day.. I bet you’ll never guess what I saw in a photo of his trunk on this day. 

Bill's trunk has The Mask, 1313 Dead End Drive, Talking Battleship and a Nancy Sinatra record
It’s difficult to see. Can you see it?


The Mask 3-D Board Game is a set collection game where the first Stanley to return their Money to the bank plus collect their color Pajamas, Clock and Dog is the winner!

The board showing 3-d buildings and Stanley pawns, one wearing a mask
I want to show you this beautiful board immediately. Here it is getting ready for set up.

Each player is Stanley represented by a color. The needed chips (Money, Pajamas, Clock and Dog) are all mixed together face down. Then chips are placed throughout the board face down, the more difficult for you to hunt down your color of each. 

Example chips showing dog, clock, shirt and bag of money
The chips

On a player’s turn they roll the die and move that number of spaces in any direction. If they roll the crossroads-arrow-looking-thing then they may move to any space they like! When you land on a space with a chip you turn it over so everyone can see it. If it matches your Stanley color then you can keep it and place it on either the bank (if it’s Money) or the apartment of your color. If it does not match your color then you turn it back over for others to remember. 

There are a few special spaces on the board. The first two have arrows on them, and if you land there you have a choice whether to stay on that space OR hop up onto the roof of Coco Bongo. 

The other special space has a MASK on it. If a Stanley lands on this space, they take the MASK and place it over their Stanley’s head. Like a mask, duh! This gives their Stanley magical powers:

A Stanley wearing the MASK
Here is a Stanley wearing the MASK. Looks good, right?
  • If you start your turn wearing the MASK then do not roll the die, go ahead and just move to any space you want. Any space at all (well, not occupied by another Stanley)! 
  • If you land on a space with a chip and it is not your color, leave it face up – either where you found it or on any space you want. Any space at all (well, without a chip or Stanley on it already). So go ahead and move it across the board from your enemy. 
  • If you move to another player’s start space you can remove one of their chips from either the bank or their apartment and place it face up on the board on any empty space. Any empty space at all! 

If another player lands on the MASK space then they immediately take the MASK. It can be difficult to hold onto for long. 

If you are able to collect all four of your chips, you are the winner! Your reward for winning is to take the MASK and dump it into the river slot to formally end the game. 

how it went

I am such a sucker for a beautiful game, and this one is beautiful. 

I definitely saw The Mask movie when it came out back in 1994, but I had almost no memory of it (surprise, surprise). So of course Bill and I spent a regrettable evening re-watching the movie. I did that for you guys. I actually didn’t hate the first 30 or 45 minutes or so, but the humor got old, I got bored and I hadn’t even gotten to the “Cuban Pete” scene yet! 

It’s funny how we remembered different things from our original viewing of The Mask. Bill described thinking in 1994 that the special effects were so good that they looked like cartoons come to life. In 2018, they still look like cartoons come to life. But that’s not a good thing anymore, spoiled as we are with today’s special effects. And the 1990’s were plagued with 1940’s nostalgia (swing dancing, The Mask, The Marrying Man, Dick Tracy, etc). The torch singer and the cartoon gangster were well-worn tropes by the 1990’s, and that much more forgettable.

It is worth noting that The Mask had way more musical numbers than either of us remembered. We both blocked that out. 

Rewatching the movie probably did help me enjoy bits of the game slightly more, like the Coco Bongo, the river slot, the chips and such. The absurdity of its existence. Etc. 

A shot of our play showing the yellow Stanley (me) on top of the Coco Bongo building
I spent a lot of time on the roof of the Coco Bongo to try and understand why that space exists. Sure you can throw a chip up there, but you can choose to go there or not from the space below, so…?

During our play, John spent much of the game wearing the MASK. He became close to winning several times, but whenever any of us became close to winning there were three players ready to smack down the fourth. Which is fine, but it gets to be a grind. 

My shitty memory popped up during the game, which wasn’t a huge deal. I was in last place the whole time and I was so excited when I strode my Stanley confidently to what I knew was my 3rd chip, except it was not my 3rd chip. Womp, womp.

The pawns are Stanleys in blue, red, yellow and green
So very many Stanleys!

Near the end of our play, my Stanley was wearing the MASK and I was faced with the decision to obtain one of my chips (my actual 3rd chip) or block John by moving to his final chip and moving it as far away from him as possible. I am a gambler, as you know, and I decided to go for my own chip (3 out of 4 mind you, not my winning chip) despite table protestations. John would have to roll a 3 in order to get his winning chip, and he’s not always a great roller. You’ve read this blog, you know. 

But lo and behold, that fucker rolled a 3. And John won The Mask 3-D Board Game!

John's hand dropping the MASK into the river
This one’s on me

play or pass

Pass. The game was simple but lended itself to the grind. The tagline really says it all: “Based on the movie.” Because that’s why you buy this. Not for the gameplay.