Designers: Sam Mitschke, Randy Scheunemann
Publisher: Steve Jackson Games
Play Time: 25–50 Min
Rules Available Online: No
BGG: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Boardgame
Strange things are afoot at the Circle K…
Bill & Ted need to collect famous people throughout time to pass their history test, form their band, Wyld Stallyns, and make sure the future is totally non-heinous. There’s a problem, though. With every historical figure they pick up their time-travelling phone booth takes some bogus turns.
Always remember to be excellent to each other . . . and PARTY ON, DUDES!
The goal of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Boardgame is to gather more historical figures than any other player before time, the deck of cards, runs out. There’s also baddies on the board that can knock your collected figures out of your phone booth!
At that start of the game, each pile of historical figure piles will be placed randomly at certain locations on the board with the princesses in the middle. Both the knight and cowboy are placed in their respective places on board. Depending on the number of players, the phone booths are placed with their arrows facing the center of the board. Facing is important in the game, so always make sure your arrow is pointed in the right direction! After the initial hand of cards is drawn for each player the game begins.
Each round players will be playing two cards, each having movement directions for both the player’s phone booth and baddies. The player who played a card with the lowest number goes first, followed by the other players in initiative order. Note that only the lowest number of the two cards counts when determining initiative. The players then move their pieces and the bad guys in the order their cards were played. If a player lands on a historic figure they take the top tile off the stack and place it face down to the left of other tiles they’ve collected. If they land on a baddie, or a baddie lands on them, they lose their leftmost historical figure on the space they currently reside in.
Once everyone has taken their turn new cards are drawn to the players’ hands and any historical figure tiles are flipped face up. Here’s where things get wonky. Every figure has a direction icon when flipped. These directions must be placed in order before the directions on the cards are played. This makes planning out your moves a bit more difficult the more figures you have.
Play continues until the deck of cards runs out. The player with the most historical figures at the end of the game wins.
Everything, with the exception of the cards, in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Boardgame is made from sturdy cardboard. There are plastic stands to make the bad guys and phone booths stand up, and they’re pretty standard fare. What really brings the game up a notch is the artwork by Len Peralta which manages to capture the Bill & Ted feel with a humorous comic look. All of your favorite Bill & Ted characters are brought to life in a familiar way without having to resort to cheesy movie stills.
I got a bit more than I was expecting from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Boardgame. Under the guise of a classic 80’s comedy with cartoony art is a competent movement programming game. Players constantly have to gauge the board, their historical figure tiles, and their hand of cards to optimize their movement. Of course, it can all go out the window if they don’t snag initiative.
So was I expecting this much thought to be put into playing a game about two righteous dudes out to start a band, get the princesses, and save the universe?
I’m glad my expectations were blown out of the water.
The best part? The game is presented in a way where I had no trouble getting my kids to learn and enjoy it.
I guess it’s time they saw the movie!
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Boardgame was provided free for review by Steve Jackson Games.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.