Parcheesi – The Royal Game of India (and my childhood)

Posted 11 years ago by Games


Photo by Great Beyond

Growing up, I was never able to play board games as much as I wanted, party because my siblings were all 10+ years older than me and out of the house by the time I was six. Most of my games were strictly for kids, and that meant I only got to play them when someone came over. As soon as a friend or cousin would step foot in my room, I’d be busting out The Grape Escape or Bonkers like they were going out of style.

On the other hand, one game I did get to play a lot growing up was Parcheesi. This was a game my Mom would play with me. This was the Royal Game of India, and has always had an important place in my nostalgia.


This is the part where I paraphrase from Wikipedia and make myself sound smart. Parcheesi, also known as Pachisi, was created in India around 500 BC. It was ported into an American board game somewhere around 1867 and named Patcheesi, changed hands a lot, and now Hasbro owns the rights to the game in North America.


You play Parcheesi with two dice, and if you have the “Royal” edition pictured above, you get to shake ’em around in a fancy cup. Thats the version I had when I was younger. Recently, I wondered why Parcheesi wasn’t in my life anymore, and my wife and I bought a copy at our local Toys R Us. We didn’t get the royal edition, but opted for the “Classic” edition, which means our board looks a little more Indian, and instead of Sorry pieces we have fancy Elephants, Tigers, Camels, and Oxes.


Photo by Jek in the Box

Basically, you have to get your four pieces from your start to home, by traversing around the board and up your home path. It’s not as quick or easy as it sounds, especially if you play with four people. It starts getting crazy when you get captured (sent back to start) and when bonus moves up to 40 spaces are being had. All in all, it’s a fun game, and a good way to spice up your routine of watching TV/movies, knitting sweaters, or whatever else you people do in the evenings.

You can imagine how excited I was to play this game after so many years, especially because Riley had never played it before. We sat down one evening, read the rules, and an hour or so later we had three games under our belt. Did I win any of those games? Nope, but it was still fun.

I have this vision of having a crazy huge collection of board games someday, so I’m going to be digging around on ebay and at garage sales to find all of the games from my childhood. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

What games did you play the most as a child?

  • My grandmother taught me how to play Parcheesi and I was the only kid out of all my friends who even had this game! lol…it was fun though. I played so many games as a kid but I would say Scrabble, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit were the ones I played most. I enjoyed CLUE on a rainy day as well.