Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Jaw Breaker Game (Aurora, 1976)

Everybody remembers Ideal's awesome JAWS game from 1975, but does anyone remember Aurora's equally amazing attempt to cash in on the then Great White terror phenomenon with Jaw Breaker from 1976? I sure as heck didn't, but I'm glad I found it while junkin' the other day, because not only does it look super fun-- from the hilariously great box design, right down to the vinyl game board and grimacing game pieces-- but it's seriously one of the most oddball concepts ever for a 70's jump scare game. As you've probably already noticed, I took a TON of photos of this thing because every aspect of it is downright radical. As you scroll down we'll first look at the box art / photography detail, then on to the colorful oceanic play field illustrations, and finally the shark itself and the individual game pieces. The game play is simple enough: "With the roll of a die, shipwrecked castaways in tiny colored rafts make their way through a number of obstacles from shipwreck to shore. Lurking nearby is a giant shark with a balloon in its mouth, its jaws manually moved towards a closed position by rotating the dorsal fin when a player lands on a red game board space, thus being penalized if the balloon bursts." POP! If you've already looked at the very last photo you'll notice the sword of Damocles hanging inside the shark's mouth. That's not really what it is, but it assists in the popping of the balloon as the shark's teeth aren't really sharp enough to perform said task on their own. Oh, I'm unfortunately missing the game instruction sheet, so if anyone has this game and could scan it in for me and email it to my Karswell at hotmail dotcom address I'd be very happy, and would likely mail you something neato in return.


Craftypants Carol said...

OMG!!!! That vinyl game board is THE BEST THING EVER!!!! Seriously that's freaking amazing. I would cut that thing up and make a castaway-themed tote bag out of it immediately. fo reals.

And yeah, I have no recollection of this game either. I feel like I would have remembered the balloon aspect - cause it's prob the kookiest part

Mr. Cavin said...

This is so neat. It has a kinda Jonah-and-the-whale type of ambience. In a way it's too bad they couldn't figure a way around centralizing giant, plastic shark, because otherwise the game play here wouldn't remind me of the Jaws game at all. Not that I would want to give that part up, of course. It's just that the idea and mechanism here is so great that it's a shame it has to, on some level, be considered a knock off--even though it's the fresher of the two ideas.

My favorite thing about the art: The finish line as a couple of tropical barns.

My favorite thing about the photography: What the hell is on that boy's t-shirt?

Brian Barnes said...

I am very entertained by the mid 70s gender roles on the kids: the girl is obviously horrified that the balloon might pop and the boy is doing is best to make that happen as fast as possible!

While the castaways are very cool, my favorite piece of art is the alligator, just chilling out, just knowing that whatever scraps are left over from the vicious shark attack are going to float his way!

Guy Callaway said...

Awesome(as the kids say)!
My first thought: 'Jabberjaw'. Yes, a nutty, animated Saturday-morning talking shark.
Not quite up there with 'Viva Knievel!', but darn close.