Jul 20, 2022

Retro Gaming - Flipsiders by Milton Bradley

 The title is a little misleading. Usually when you hear retro gaming, people are talking about video games but today I'm talking about a series of pocket sized board games from the 80s called Flipsiders released by good ol' Milton Bradley.

Image from Ebay

The reason I picked this particular thing to talk about is that I found one of my games recently while digging through some boxes of stuff. Flipsiders was a series of games that came in a cassette style housing. Everything you needed to play (except the instructions) was inside the cassette: a spinner, four tiny player movers cleverly stored in a small compartment, and a 3 panel game board.

The game I have is Dragon Master where two players race to be the first to fight their way through three dungeon levels and defeat the dragon.

To play, you slide the spinner thingy (trigger?) to the right and that spins both number wheels. The left one is how far you move. You'll land on a letter and reference the little monster chart to see what you're up against. There's a success number under each monster for each level of the dungeon. Naturally, the monsters get tougher as you advance through the levels.

To battle, you spin and add both numbers to your current experience (below the monster chart). If you win, you move your experience marker up one. If you lose, you lose an experience. You can also choose not to fight the monster and that ends your turn. Once you hit 4 experience on a level, you move on to the next level and reset your experience to zero. Rinse and repeat for a few levels and then you take on the dragon by moving your experience marker to +5. That's added to your combined spin and compared against the dragon's number for the space you're currently occupying.

A great thing with these is that you could play them solo or against yourself. They're so small that if someone caught you playing it avoids that embarrassment of having a full board game setup and being the only one playing it. Not that I ever did that.

Please accept my apologies if the theme gets stuck in your head!
There were several of these games made, all with the same basic parts but each one had its own theme and game play. Maybe most notable is one called Mall Madness where you have to be the first to spend all your cash at the mall. This mini-game led to the full blown Mall Madness board game.

While I was doing research on these games, I also discovered other series called Feber Juegos and Cassette Juegos. There's a cool write up on Feber Juegos here with nice pics. What makes these non-US games really cool is that they came in a standard plastic cassette case. They even have a "track listing" showing the names of the other games.

Feber Juegos even had some licensed properties including Barbie, Inspector Gadget, Marvel Super Heroes, Indiana Jones,  and Star Wars! The artwork on these is not the greatest and I expect game play was on par with your average Flipsider, which is to say not very engaging for today's gamer. But they're definitely worth mentioning as I'd never come across the Star Wars one in my years of collecting.


  1. I had this one and Chopper Chase. I loved compact games like this as a kid, though I rarely had anyone to play them with. These are in that same cool toy niche as the Tyco Pocket Power sets and the Tyco Notebook Games.

    1. There was another line that I had a couple of called Triple Flips which had 3 different games in each one. They weren't cassette shaped though.

  2. Neat. Never knew about these.

  3. I had this Dungeon Master game when I was a kid. Had no idea how to play it, but damn did I love it!!!