Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Reliving the One-on-One Hockey Challenge Card Game

by Jes

Over a decade ago, 1995 to be exact, Magic: The Gathering, was an uber-popular CCG (Collectable Card Game) among my teenage schoolmates and I. Just like nowadays with Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, kids spent most of their pocket money on these addicting games. Other companies tried to cash in this bonanza, only to end up deep in the red.

One such company was PLAYOFF, which produced the One On One Hockey Challenge card game. This game involved cards (like Arturs Irbe, pictured) that had statistics and actions, and rolling special dice (With pucks, logos, and whistles). Using a 50-card deck, and 3-6 dice, you and one opponent could have a nice little game of card shinny on any flat surface. It's a very simple game that takes about 40-45 minutes to play.

Unfortunately, this game never caught on anywhere, despite an expansion set the following year, and fell into the graveyard where unplayed card games go to die. Most people who play CCG's aren't into sports, and vice versa. Not even Wikipedia has an entry for this card game, which shows you that nobody cares enough to even make an entry.

My friend recently found some very cheap packs of cards ($.20 each or less!) on Ebay and we recently resurrected this little game. To think I spent like $3 a pack back in my kiddie years on this game, and now I can buy a crate of these cards for the same price as a Starbucks venti latte *hmph*.

Ahh, the memories. The most powerful cards? Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Paul Coffey, Dominik Hasek, Kevin Stevens, Jari Kurri, Alex Mogilny, Bernie Nicholls, and Brett Hull. Oh, the pain when I turn up a Bob Corkum rare or have to make a line change with Ken Baumgartner as my LW (2 card line changes are mandatory at each 'whistle').

Now that the cards are so cheap, it's very easy to build an uber-powerful deck (Phil Housley auto-goal, ftw). If you are ever looking for a cheap hockey-related diversion, go hunt on EBay and you could score some sweet deals.

If anyone in the Vancouver area wants to challenge the champ, you know where to go ;)

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The champ? I gotta dethrone you one of these days. Just wait until you get stuck with Phil Housley on the ice instead of in your hand!

*grumbles about cheating auto-goals*
Those cards were worth picking up just for the dice! There's something about seeing that blurry Whalers logo that brings a tear to the eye.

That said, I never actually bothered to actually learn the rules to this game....
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