For more than forty years girls have enjoyed playing The Mystery Date Game.
The Original Game of Mystery Date
First introduced by the Milton Bradley Company in 1965, Mystery Date quickly became a favorite board game for many tweens and teens. Whether friends were at a slumber party or passing the time on a Saturday afternoon, there was sure to be plenty of giggles and laughter once a game of Mystery Date began. The game can be played with 2 - 4 players, and this version was recommended for girls ages six to fourteen.
Playing the Game
In the center of the game board is a large plastic white door. Behind the door are five boys waiting for their dates. The spinning of the doorknob determines which date will appear when a player gets a chance to open the door. Four of the boys are dressed for their special date, and one boy is wearing regular clothes. He is the boy to avoid, the "dud." The four boys that are ready for their dates are dressed for the following:
- The beach
- A formal dance
The girls playing the game collect cards corresponding to the four hidden dates. Each card shows part of the outfit the girl is wearing for her date. Once a player has a set of three matching color coded cards and lands on a game board square marked "open door," she gets a chance to open the door to reveal the hidden date. Once the door opens, one of three things happens:
- If the player's cards match the date that is revealed, the player wins and the game is finished.
- If the player's cards do not match the date that is revealed, the player keeps the cards and play moves to the next person.
- If the date revealed is the "dud," the player loses her cards and draws new cards from the card pile. Play moves to the next person.
During the game players accumulate cards by:
- Taking them from another player
- Drawing from the card pile
- Drawing from the discard pile
- Game board
- Five date cards
- Forty-eight cards (twelve cards of each color - pink, yellow, green and blue)
- Four plastic stands with a "girl" playing piece attached each wearing a different colored housecoat
- One die
- Game instructions are located on the inside cover of the top of the box
Mystery Date Reissue 1970
Another version of the game Mystery Date was reissued in 1970. The girls and their dates on the box were updated from the classic look, which is a late 1950s look, of the first edition to the "mod and groovy" retro look of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although the game is played the same, two of the dates were changed. The possible dates of this edition of the game include the following:
- A formal dance
- A picnic
- The beach
- The dud, also known as the pest or the loser
The 1999 Edition of Mystery Date with an Electronic Phone
In 1999 Hasbro released a slightly different version of the game Mystery Date. The game included an electronic phone and had different game play than previous versions. Players receive telephone clues from twenty-four possible mystery prom dates. This is the only version of Mystery Date with an electronic phone.
The Mystery Date Game Reissued 2005 for 40th Anniversary
To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the classic board game Mystery Date, Hasbro reissued an updated version of the original board game. Recommended for ages seven and up, the game play and game pieces are similar to the original 1965 version. Possible dates include the following:
- The prom
- The beach
- A bicycle picnic
- The nerd, formally known as the dud
Additional Versions of Mystery Date
There are several additional versions of the Mystery Date game. They are all based on the game play of the original edition.
- High School Musical Mystery Date
- High School Musical 3 Mystery Date
- Mystery Date - Sparkle and Shine
The Milton Bradley Company and The Hasbro Corporation
In1860 the Milton Bradley Company began producing games in Massachusetts. The company continued to grow to become one of the biggest game companies in the country. In 1984, the Hasbro Corporation took over the company keeping the Milton Bradley brand name.