Okay, show of hands: who remembers the NES game Anticipation from 1988?
According to its box art (which features a stock photography caliber gathering of clean-cut, fine-feathered white people sporting their late ’80s finest) Anticipation was “Nintendo’s first video board game.”
I don’t know if that part is true, but I do know Anticipation used to be one of my go-to rentals from the Village Video, a local mom & pop video rental store whose dust-gathering selection of Nintendo games left a lot to be desired. (It’s also a place I’m both delighted and amazed is still in business.)
Anticipation wasn’t necessarily a great game–I’m not even sure it qualifies as a good game–but I have fond memories of its Pictionary-style gameplay, which can be pretty entertaining and cutthroat with the right crowd. Of course, I was also six or seven at the time… It was one of the only games my Dad and I could play together without him getting frustrated because I beat him at almost everything else. The only problem with having rented it so many times was that I quickly burned through all of the game’s drawings, to the point where I had them memorized and the challenge was gone.
Just in case you have no freaking idea what I’m talking about, here’s some gameplay footage I found on YouTube:
Worthy of a Remake?
Today we have plenty of drawing-based games–iSketch and Draw Something come to mind–which lend themselves especially well to social environments. But I don’t think there currently exists a game quite like Anticipation, where the computer does all the work and the players merely guess. That’s the kind of drawing game I’d like to see updated for today’s social and mobile platforms, because I’m lazy and don’t always feel like drawing, which sucks to do on most touch screens anyway. Sometimes it’s more fun to sit around and bark out answers, and who doesn’t love the thrill of buzzing in?
Out of sheer curiosity (as well as an excuse to use that glorious Rocky Horror GIF you see over there on the right), I Googled “Anticipation remake” just to see what turned up.
I came across this lonely thread started by user ILuvcknfdstk (which evidently means “I Love Chicken Fried Steak”, an admirable and mutual sentiment that I was able to work out from the signature) who felt strongly enough in his or her belief that there should be an Anticipation remake to post about it on GameFAQs.
While I seriously doubt forgotten relics like Anticipation will ever get a remake, I don’t mind admitting that I’m probably the only other person on the Internet who likes this game and would welcome the possibility.