For those of us who have hurled board games into the air after a humiliating, teeth-clenching defeat, it’s doubly embarrassing when Sorry! is the reason. It’s such a simple game, really such a harmless-looking game, how come it always gets the better of us?
Sorry! is a close relative of Parcheesi, and it first hit tabletops (or the wall, if somebody’s loss was bad enough) in England. In 1934, Parker Brothers acquired the rights to make the game in the US, and today, toy king Hasbro (Parker Brothers’ new owner) controls this most apologetic of board diversions.
Up to four people play, and each player gets four same-coloured ‘pawns’. Players take turns drawing from the deck of Sorry! cards, which dictate forward and backward movement around the board. The first player to move all four pawns from Start to Home wins. Easy, right?
Easy, except that opponents can send you right back to your starting point, and they can do it right when you’re on the precipice of your warm, cosy primary-coloured Home. The $£%$*% will call out “Sorry!” as they send their competition back, and though it’s one little word, its pronouncement is known to stir up distinctly unsportsmanlike conduct.
Maybe it’s the exclamation mark that does it!