Review: 10-Four, Good Buddy
Publisher: Parker Brothers
Year: 1976
Tagline: CB Radio Game

70s cartoons of caricature like police and truckers driving down the road

how we met

This one has been on the shelves for awhile and the story of finding it has already been told back with Barnabas Collins Dark Shadows Game. Like many of the games I got that day, the box looks like it has been dug out of the ground, but the inside is in great shape. It is only missing the Bear in the Air, which we replaced with a handy pom pom.

“Why did Keri have a pom pom laying around?” you may be wondering. She was the architect of our beautiful Casino Yahtzee crown, signed and dated and worn each time someone wins Casino Yahtzee. I’ll share a photo of the crown once we get it filled out a little bit more.

how it plays

10-Four, Good Buddy is a spin and move game where your object is to be the first truck to make your way around the entire board and back to your starting space.

On their turn, players will draw and read a MIKE CARD out loud. The card will inform them what they are allowed to do on their turn and which spinner they can spin to move, hi band (2 to 12) or low band (1 to 6).

The radio is orange plastic with two spinners (hi band and low band) and a spot for the cards
The top MIKE CARD is upside down but this is otherwise a decent photo of the “CB Rig”

Many of the MIKE CARDs allow a player to move either “Smokey or Bear In The Air” after they move their pawn. This refers to either of the two police vehicles, SMOKEY, or the helicopter, the BEAR IN THE AIR. And this is where the Take That mechanic comes into play in 10-Four, Good Buddy.

The BEAR IN THE AIR has four possible locations where it is surveilling a stretch of road based on its color. If a pawn starts their turn on the color where the BEAR IN THE AIR is and the player’s total movement including their spin plus anything from the MIKE CARD exceeds 7 then they have been caught speeding and may not move that turn.

An overview of the board showing a winding road split into four different colors
The long and winding road

The SMOKEY police cars have two different types of movement. At the beginning of the game, a player that is allowed to move a SMOKEY can move one behind any billboard on the board. The billboards are BEAR TRAPs and have 3 corresponding spaces on the road. If a truck lands on one of these spaces while a SMOKEY is behind the billboard, they are caught speeding!

Once SMOKEY police cars have been moved out of their initial starting spaces, they have a new type of movement. They move ten spaces around the board. They may only move less than ten spaces if they are pulling into a BEAR TRAP. If a SMOKEY ends its movement directly on, directly in front of, or directly behind a pawn then that truck has been caught speeding!

A truck whose movement lands them directly on, directly in front of, or directly behind a SMOKEY is also caught speeding!

When a truck is caught speeding by a SMOKEY, the truck is moved to the side of the road and the player loses their next turn.

The pawns include four trucks of different color and two police cars and one puffball acting as helicopter
The trucks and police on top of the slang cheat sheet. Each truck has a different sticker with a different name

There are two sections of the road that are tight corners called HAMMER UP. If a truck begins their turn on a space that says HAMMER UP then they do not draw a MIKE CARD and instead spin the lo band for movement.

The first truck to get back to their start space wins!

how it went

I have inflicted a number of educational board games on the group, and I am going to go ahead and qualify 10-Four, Good Buddy as educational even though BGG has not. I am not sure we have learned more while playing a game. We continue to use much of the slang from our play.

You see, 10-Four, Good Buddy comes with an insert that is crammed full of CB radio slang to help you decipher the cards if you choose to (and we did). Here is a short sampling of this slang:

  • Piggy Bank: toll booth
  • Tijuana Taxi: police car with lights turned on
  • Smokey grazing in the grass: police parked on the median divider
  • One hundred mile coffee: very strong coffee
  • Double nickeling: going 55 mph
  • Honey all over the pavement: lots of police on the road

I think Bill did the best job at reading the cards in a funny voice. But the slang definitely made reading the cards a lot of fun. We did not make it through all of the MIKE CARDs but we very nearly did.

Example cards include "Mercy, good Buddy, kick it down. We've got weekend warriors on this green stamp. Use lo-band"
A mere sampling of the WTF you are in store for

The trip around the board looks quite long initially, but play goes pretty quickly even when you get caught speeding a lot. The spins often get bonuses from the MIKE CARDs adding a few movement onto whatever you spin. This is tricky if you are being watched by a BEAR IN THE AIR (or, as I kept forgetfully calling it, the eye in the sky), but some turns you can really make a run for it.

A close up of the Green Ghost pawn during play
I was the Green Ghost. Pretty right?

Keri was the first to pull her truck into home and won 10-Four, Good Buddy!

All in all, as a race around the board this is an okay game. The Take That is not too strong but is still there and sometimes threatening. The components are adorable and on theme. The funny slang makes the movement more fun and interesting, and educational, than it otherwise would be. But I don’t see much of any replayability here.

play or pass

Pass. It is fun for a one and done, and we did learn a lot of slang that we continue to use, but there are not enough cards to make me a believer in the replayability. It’s just a spin and move race with a new vocabulary. So that’s a pass. 10-10 til we do it again.

If you would like to listen to an audio review of 10-Four, Good Buddy check out the Flip the Table episode.