Review: Guinness game of world records
Publisher: Parker Brothers
Year: 1975
Players: 2 to 6
Tagline: Set your own Home Records in the fun-packed HOTTEST MOSTEST GREATEST LONGEST STRONGEST EVENTS

how we met

I have often seen this one in the wild, in all sorts of wilds really. I have seen it for high prices at flea markets, for astronomical prices at antique stores, and for more reasonable prices at thrift. Finally one day I found it for just $1 and decided to pull the trigger.

When I was in elementary school I would occasionally check out the The Guinness Book of World Records books from the library and flip through them admiring the tallest, shortest, heaviest, thinnest, longest neck, fastest, and whatnot people in the whole world. The books felt like such a strange celebration and I enjoyed taking part in it. So I think I was always going to buy the game to check it out. I was just waiting for the right copy.

how it plays

Players gain points by participating in events, breaking records, answering trivia, etc. The first player to participate in all five events and earn 100 points wins Guinness game of world records!

The board has the same visual charm as the cover

Guinness game of world records is a roll and move game where player pawns start in the starting space. Roll the die and move clockwise to determine which event you will participate in. There are several different possibilities. The first is just trivia.

  • Guinness Question: the player to your left chooses a question (hopefully randomly and not spitefully, the rules don’t say) from the booklet and reads it aloud to you. If you answer correctly, you get 10 points! If you are incorrect, a chip is placed on the space awarding 5 additional points to the next person to land in that space and answer another question correctly.
A few examples of the trivia questions. All answers are at the back of the book.

There are multiple events that you can land on, and each has a Challenge #1 and Challenge #2 that are slightly different. The instructions recommend that the group chooses #1 or #2 and everyone sticks to those challenges throughout the game. I suppose this is meant to make the game feel fresh and new if you play again.

Here is a quick look at the different competitions:

  • Longest 1: See how many consecutive times you can roll two dice without rolling doubles and take 1 point for each successful round.
  • Longest 2: Before you roll a die call out odd or even and continue to do so until you are wrong. Take 1 point for each successful round.
  • Strongest 1: Touching only the two on the end, lift 5 weights to shoulder height and down to the table again without any dropping. If you are successful add one weight to each end. Take 1 point for each weight you are able to lift without dropping in your final successful round.
  • Strongest 2: Stack weights on top of each other until they fall. Take 1 point for each stacked weight prior to the one that made them fall.
  • Mostest 1: Bounce a ball into a cup. You get 5 balls so 5 tries but can continue if your last ball goes in until you fail. Take 1 point for your longest run of successful balls in the cup.
  • Mostest 2: Use a large disk to push a smaller disk into the hole. You can try this 5 times but can continue if your 5th is successful until you fail. Take 2 points for each disk consecutively shot into the hole.
  • Greatest 1: Tiddlywinks! See how many disks you can land in the cup. Similar to other events you have 5 tries but can continue if the 5th is successful. Take 1 point for your longest run of consecutive disks landing in the cup.
  • Greatest 2: Drop disks from waist level into the cup on the floor. Again, 5 tries and take 1 point for your longest run of consecutive disks landing in the cup.
  • Hottest 1: Flip a ball in the air using the Distance Card, flipping the card fully over each time you flip the ball. Score 1 point for each successful flip-and-land combo.
  • Hottest 2: Place the ball in the cup and flip it onto the table and catch it in the cup again. Then repeat until you do not catch the ball. Take 1 point for each successful catch.
Here are the components plopped into the cup

Other spaces on the board let you challenge players or try to set records. The book includes a place to enter highest records.

The first player to 100 points wins Guinness game of world records!

how it went

Bill and I tackled Guinness game of world records last summer on some random evening.

I think one could argue that a lot of the trivia is probably outdated by now, and it maybe is. Maybe lobsters are bigger these days. But every single trivia question is multiple choice, so I don’t think this is the drawback that it could otherwise be.

Guinness game of world records does a neat job of making a variety of challenges using a minimal amount of pieces. The Distance Card, for example, is used in different, clever ways. However I think it’s a mistake to focus on either doing the #1 challenges or the #2 challenges in a single game. The road to 100 points is long, and I didn’t feel like we had enough variety. We were getting sick of the same challenges over and over. But, you know, a simple house rule solves that.

This card has instructions for various challenges on both sides of it. According to BGG comments some players perfect the ball bouncing challenge and can win the game in one turn!

I was rubbish at bouncing a ball into a cup. I was terrible at flipping a ball into the air and bouncing it on cardboard. I liked the dice challenge best (for us this was rolling until you roll doubles) because it is simple and because Lady Luck has always been kind to me. The weight challenge was okay and generally good for 7 points when you can do it. And this was my first introduction to tiddlywinks. I was not very good at landing my disk into the pot this way either, but it was very fun to try.

This is what the “weights” look like for the Strongest #1 challenge, where you must lift these to shoulder height and safely back down again only touching the weights on each end. Five weights is the minimum and you can attempt to go up to 20. Our best was 9.

I was consistently behind in these challenges and Bill won Guinness game of world records!

This was an action shot where the disk ended up flying distantly past the cup. Pro tip: set up a barrier for this and the small balls

I mentioned that one of the reasons I was intrigued by this game was growing up looking through versions of The Guinness Book of World Records. I remember the records as so extreme. This would be a tough note to achieve with a thematic board game, and I really don’t think Guinness game of world records pulled off its theme. The trivia touches on a variety of records, but the mini games are just mixtures of luck and dexterity.

I can think of multiple other ideas for events that would not require more pieces or minimal pieces and would tap into different types of talent. Balance on one foot, say the alphabet backwards within a time limit, juggle kleenex, who can get their disk the furthest distance, who can hold their breath the longest, etc. I know less is more and the designers likely don’t want to junk up the game with too many events. But they did need more variety.

play or pass

Neat, novel idea but pass. Thematically this game felt more like a decathlon than a Guinness game of world records; it really leaves behind the strange and bizarre records that haunt so many pages of The Guinness Book of World Records. Dice chucking and tiddlywinks can be fun, but even my favorite mini games did not feel HOTTEST, MOSTEST, GREATEST, LONGEST or STRONGEST. This was a mediocre attempt and we had an okay time.