Monday, October 3, 2016

Collecting Twin Peaks: The Japanese Card Game

Many Twin Peaks fans might be familiar with the two Twin Peaks board games that were produced in the years following the series: The Twin Peaks Murder Mystery Game from the UK, and the Game of Twin Peaks from Japan. But there is a third game: The Twin Peaks Original Card Game, manufactured by WIZ CO., Ltd., in Japan in 1992. 

The Instruction Booklet
This game resembles the popular UNO card game; the deck contains SKIP and REVERSE cards as well as numbered cards of different colors. But, unlike UNO, there are also HOLD, LOCK, and ALL CHANGE cards. There is also a set of BOB cards with different values of 20, 30, 40 and 50 points. Oddly, the cards are printed in English while the rules are printed in Japanese. (Just who was the intended audience for this game, anyway?)

The Backs of the BOB and Play Cards
The card set comes with a small illustrated instruction pamphlet that provides detailed rules of play. There also appears to be a summary card that provides a quick overview of the game on one side and what is probably a character-relationship chart on the other.

The Twin Peaks Original Card Game is a handsomely produced game. The 60 cards comprising the game are all printed in full color and measure 2" by  3".  The summary card measures 3.25” by 6.25”.  The cards and instructions are packaged in a black plastic videocassette case where all pieces are housed in a plastic insert tray. 

Inside the "cassette case" packaging
The Front Side of the Summary Card
Back Side of the Summary Card (relationship chart)
Interior Pages (and Back and Front Pages) of Instruction Booklet
Playing Cards (including HOLD, LOCK, REVERSE, & ALL CHANGE)
Playing Cards (including SKIP and BOB)
After we featured this game in Wrapped in Plastic 66 (August, 2003), readers, Noriko Hara and Phil Eskew, translated the instructions for us. We featured the full translation in WIP 67(October, 2003). What follows is a portion of that translation.

Back of Game Case

The back of the game translated:

Do you know Twin Peaks?

Twin Peaks is a small, rural town located in the Northwest of the United States near the Canadian border.  On the morning of February 24, 1990, Laura Palmer’s dead body was found on the riverbank wrapped in plastic.  FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper has been assigned to solve the murder.  The deeper he digs, the weirder things become.

Twin Peaks, a unique suspense-drama, is the product of the creative genius of David Lynch.

Now Twin Peaks is a card game!

“Diane, it appears that Twin Peaks has become a card game.  It is a damn fine card game that involves people from the town.  I am going enjoy it with cherry pie and donuts.  One thing is worrying me.  What happened to Bob?”

Interior Pages (1-4) of the Instruction Booklet
Page One of the instruction booklet translated: 

The Twin Peaks card game is a game in which players attempt to avoid becoming possessed by Bob who appears in Twin Peaks. 

1) Each player has four “Play” cards and the rest of the “Play” cards and “Bob” cards are stacked separately.  A player picks one of the “Bob” cards and turns it over so the number is showing.

2) Then each player goes through steps A and B in order.
            A) The player picks up one of the “Play” cards [they now have 5 cards]
            B) The player picks one of his [5] cards and places it on the table so the others can see it.  Each player does so in order.  The players add the numbers on the cards as they go around the table.

3) The goal is to avoid being the player whose card causes the total number to exceed the number on the “Bob” card.  The person whose card causes the number to exceed the number on the “Bob” card, takes the “Bob” card. 

Repeat 1) – 3) and at the end of the game the player with the least amount of “Bob” card points wins.

This game is certainly a rare piece of Twin Peaks merchandise and a valuable addition to any Twin Peaks collection. (If anyone would like a translation of the complete instructions, please let me know!)


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