Stay Alive

Stay Alive

Synopsis of Toy

“The ultimate survival game.”

Who knew you could have so much love for one little marble? It seems silly to the outsider, but when that one marble is the last thing you’ve got going on the Stay Alive board, you’ll try anything to keep it there—coax it, beg it, promise it you’ll bring back all its marble friends for another game, then beg for forgiveness should you accidentally pull the wrong slide. In a way, the pressure was even worse than Ker Plunk. True, in that game one wrong pull could launch a marble avalanche, but at least you could see what you were pulling. Stay Alive was a game of blind pulls, trusting the marble gods to keep your little marble force alive and well.

But first things first: Each game of Stay Alive began with placement, as each player laid down 5 color-coded marbles on the 7x7 grid of holes. Once the marbles were set, the sweating began. Each player then took turns pulling one of the fourteen slides surrounding the board, shifting it to one of its three positions. As the slides moved, holes opened and closed on the gameboard, and helpless marbles fell to their doom. On the slides slid, down the marbles dropped, until only one player’s marbles remained.

It may have been a bit fatalistic, declaring winners by default after everyone else’s marbles had died, but nobody said Stay Alive was pretty. It got cutthroat, yes, but it was never anything less than thrilling. If you were one of those kids who measured a game’s playability by how many nerves got wracked, then Stay Alive was probably a favorite of your 1970’s game closet.

The 1971 game was repackaged in 1978, and though the new design didn’t even hint at Saturday Night Fever or the Bee Gees, it was still hard to get through an entire game without at least once breaking into “Ah-ah-ah-ah stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive!” Unfortunately, this “ultimate survival game” went the way of disco after the 1970’s, failing to stay alive past its first decade.

Release History of Toy

1971 - Stay Alive

Sub Categories of Toys

board games

Toy and Game Manufacturer

Milton Bradley

Other Toy Links