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Vintage shopping board game

Pretty much any French household that I’ve been to have a stash of board games somewhere, along with stacks of cards and perhaps even a set of tarot, collectively known as jeux de société. Game night in France doesn’t necessarily means a bunch of people meeting for online RPG and the likes, but rather lovers of a variety of (commonly) multi-player board and card games gathering together and indulged in some fun and games. There are gaming clubs that one can find nationwide!

While going through my folders of photos this evening, I came across a few photos which I took a few months ago but have completely forgotten. They are photos of a set of vintage shopping-themed board game which my friends and I played when we were away on a countryside weekend break. It is called – wait for it – Gay-Play! Imagine the name being used today; I’m sure there would be uproars along the way. The game was also alternatively known as Pik-Paks and Shopping familial. (Really? Who was the marketing manager??)






The “exciting” (that’s what passionnant means) game in a nutshell: To play this game, each player is assigned a character and then given a shopping list. To win the game, one must be the first to finish his/her shopping based on the list and passed through all the shops, without falling into traps designed to hold the person, errrm, hostage, in the shop/park (or horror, having to go home to get money!) while others continue on with their quest.

I liked how the objects of purchase are based on mini-format of advertisement posters, and certain objects are curiousity to me while being familiar brand name for French households. I remember having to figure out whether some of those corresponded to items of my shopping list and it was not always obvious! Nonetheless, it was great post-dinner entertainment for all of us.

I’ve forgotten what luxury it is nowadays to be disconnected from the laptop, the smartphones and whats not. I loved recent holidays in the countryside where I had little internet connection (even to the phone) and instead, my friends and I passed the days by going to the markets and prepare our meals together, built a barbeque, had a walk around the woods, read and napped under a big shady tree, group games every evening. Little pleasures.

The more I think of it, the more I am in favour of tech-disconnected breaks. We should all have holidays like this more often, don’t you think? It doesn’t have to be long, even 2-3 days every few months would do quite nicely.

Category: France

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8 scribbles & notes

  1. Sarah says:

    When I visit Paul’s family, we often play Scrabble (great for improving your French, particularly conjugation of verbs!), and card games. Milles Bornes is another vintage game we play. It’s great when you don’t feel like vegetating in front of the telly!

    • Lil says:

      I must admit I haven’t dare to play Scrabble in French yet!

      It is through game nights that I’ve been introduced to Loups-Garous, Tabou, Dobble, Time’s Up and Tarot. Plenty of fun times! :D

    • Sarah says:

      Oh well of course I should say that I am allowed to consult the dictionary! ;)

      Jungle speed is great too, if you like something fast, fun and competitive!

    • Lil says:

      Ah that’s handy ;)

      I don’t know Jungle Speed so need to check that out.

  2. Chloé says:

    Actually, just last week, my sis took our “junior Trivial Pursuit” (edition 1985 or 1986 I forgot) out of its dusty closet. Now that was fun, especially with questions like “who is the last person to have done so-and-so… in 1986?” or “who hosted such-and-such TV show… in 1986?” ><) Definitely spices up the challenge! :)
    And my brother, when asked "what would you like for your birthday" replied "a board game is always nice". Well, that's easy :) (though he already said the same thing at Christmas etc. Oops! But it's a different game I get him every time of course, ahem…)
    Also, this reminds me, the last game night is far away, must do something as soon as I get back! Sure miss the Baraka in Montpellier, sigh…

    • Lil says:

      Hehehe, I’m sure I would fail those spectacularly!

      I can’t remember when was the last time I got a board game even. The last set of “game” I got was loup-garou and that was aaaages ago!

  3. MANON says:


    I just read your article and I wanted to know if you own that game.

    I am looking for that board game from ages! I just bought it a few days ago but there is some cards missing. If it’s yours, do you think you could send me a picture with the shopping lists and articles cards?

    I can send you my email adress =)

    It would be very nice to you.

    Speak soon

    Manon from France

    • Lil says:

      Hi Manon – unfortunately the game is not mine and I do not have access to it. I am not sure if my friend will be going there anytime soon either… sorry!

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