Two can play at that game Mr. Chan…and I never lose!

Actually, up to four players for these exciting card and board games—read on!

Single CardBefore the internet, cell phones, X-box, and on-line gaming, people more often gathered at a neighbor’s or relative’s house for a good old-fashioned game night. This might be a card game, such as: Bridge, Pinochle, or Hearts. Or it could entail a board game, such as: Sorry, Life, or the ever-popular Monopoly. And who among us has never played Scrabble or Yahtzee? There were also more active games like Charades and Twister! And for the kids (sent out-of-doors) SPUD and RED ROVER. Some games had strange and wonderful names, too: Yeti in my Spaghetti, Five Nights at Freddy’s, Hot Potato, Toilet Trouble, Ker Plunk, Google Eyes, Feeley Meeley, and Pinky Lee and the Runaway Frankfurters! And if you were a fictional character in the early-to-mid 1900s, a good indication of how popular you’d become was to have a game named in your honor.

So how did Detective Charlie Chan fare in this ego-matching competition for the public eye? Rather well one might surmise securing three games to his name! Take a look, but I recommend you don’t get too attached. You won’t find these games at your local toy or department store; not anymore. You’ll have to search for them on eBay or Amazon—look under collectibles. But be prepared to pay “an arm and a leg” for them. Not a bad price though considering the name of the game is MURDER!

1. The Great Charlie Chan Detective Mystery Game (1938 – Milton Bradley:  2-4 players, approx. 45 minutes).

Charlie Chan Game BoardHere is your opportunity to prove your Charlie Chan ability! Collect all your evidence until you have the arch criminal enmeshed in the evidence chain from which there is no escape. This looks like a fun one and I’ve seen it online on Amazon or eBay a very few times for $$’s.

Contents: Game board, instruction booklet, Crime cards, Evidence cards, Go cards, 4 pawns, 200 markers (50 in each of 4 colors), and 1 six-sided die.

CC Mystery Game (pic 1)   CC Mystery Game (pic 3)

2. Charlie Chan Card Game (1939 – Whitman: 2-4 players, approx. time: varies)

C.C. Card GameA late 1930’s card game featuring the fictional Chinese-American detective.  This game was a predecessor to the ever popular card game, UNO. And UNO was developed in 1971 by Merle Robbins in Reading Ohio, and patented (ironically) shortly after the Charlie Chan Card game patent expired (I’m just saying)!  Also similar to UNO, when a player plays his next to the last card he must call out “Chan,” or be penalized 10 points if he forgets (in UNO one must pick-up another card.)

Contents:  The 35 cards of this game consists of 3 Charlie Chan cards and 8 each of 4 suits; Badge, Gun, Key, and Shackles.  All cards except the Charlie Chan cards (wild cards) are numbered from No.1 to No. 8.

C.C. Card Game (inside)  C.C. Card Game (Cards)

3. The Amazing Chan and The Chan Clan Game (1973 – Whitman: 2-4 players, approx. time varies)

The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan GameTo win, be the first player to bring Charlie the missing clue that correctly matches the clue space on which Charlie is standing (he gets moved often). Players move around the board and pick up clues as they land on suspect spaces. Each clue is placed face down, and other players may trade for it, unseen, and a chance to win! This game is based on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series of same name that aired Saturday mornings for 16 episodes on CBS. (The television cartoon featured veteran Charlie Chan film star Keye Luke as the voice of Charlie Chan, and a young Jodie Foster voicing the part of Anne Chan).

Contents: Game platform, Charlie Chan and 4 Chan Clan playing pieces, 16 clue disks, spinner.

​​The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan - Game boardThe Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan - All pieces and Spinner

So there you have it. Not one, not two, but three exciting games for world class Detective Charlie Chan of the Honolulu Police! So, how does that compare to others? Sorry, but that’s a mystery you’ll have to solve on your own!


3 thoughts on “Two can play at that game Mr. Chan…and I never lose!

  1. Just now got around to reading this blog, which is FASCINATING! I had no idea about Chan and Uno. And I love those jellybean-looking markers. You seem to know an awfully lot about these games, Lou: if you challenge me to a game, I will resist playing against you.

    Liked by 1 person

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