Download & Play The Shining Board Game

Shining game 1

Stephen King’s 1977 psy­cho­log­i­cal hor­ror nov­el The Shin­ing has inspired sev­er­al oth­er works, most notably Stan­ley Kubrick­’s 1980 film adap­ta­tion, a movie wide­ly con­sid­ered to have ele­vat­ed King’s sto­ry of the pos­sessed Over­look Hotel and its luck­less win­ter care­tak­ers, the Tor­rance fam­i­ly, to a high­er artis­tic plane. But King him­self nev­er real­ly approved of Kubrick­’s inter­pre­ta­tion: “Parts of the film are chill­ing, charged with a relent­less­ly claus­tro­pho­bic ter­ror,” he said, “but oth­ers fall flat. A vis­cer­al skep­tic such as Kubrick just could­n’t grasp the sheer inhu­man evil of the Over­look Hotel.”

Shining game 2

Pre­sum­ably King had a bet­ter time play­ing the board game of The Shin­ing, which won the first Microgame Design Con­test in 1998, and about which you can read more at Board Game Geek. It has been said that King him­self helped with the game’s devel­op­ment and offered his ser­vices as an ear­ly play-tester, though some will con­test that. (See the claims in the com­ments sec­tion below.)

You can tell that the game’s faith lies with King’s nov­el rather than Kubrick­’s film by its use of things that nev­er made it from page to screen as game­play ele­ments, such as the hotel grounds’ hedge-sculp­ture ani­mals that come to vicious life.

Shining game 3

You can play The Shin­ing board game as the Tor­rance fam­i­ly, in which case you’ll have to fight those hedge ani­mals. Or you can play it as the Over­look Hotel itself, in which case you’ll con­trol them. Each play­er has a host of imple­ments at their dis­pos­al — ghosts, decoys, the famous axe and snow­mo­bile — all meant to help them accom­plish the task of dri­ving the oth­er side away. Think of it as a sim­pli­fied wargame set in a haunt­ed hotel.

If you’d like to see how you fare, whether in the shoes of the Tor­rances or the Indi­an-bur­ial-ground foun­da­tion of the Over­look, you’ll find all the game’s mate­ri­als freely avail­able on the Micro­grame Design Con­test’s site. Print them out, set them up, and pre­pare to feel some sheer inhu­man evil for your­self.

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via Dan­ger­ous Minds

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Stan­ley Kubrick’s Anno­tat­ed Copy of Stephen King’s The Shin­ing

7 Free Stephen King Sto­ries: Pre­sent­ed in Text, Audio, Web Com­ic & a Graph­ic Nov­el Video

Stephen King Reveals in His First TV Inter­view Whether He Sleeps With the Lights On (1982)

Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writ­ers

Stephen King Cre­ates a List of 96 Books for Aspir­ing Writ­ers to Read

Col­in Mar­shall writes on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (3)
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  • David says:

    Come Dan­ny, come play with us… for­ev­er… and ever…and ever… :-)

  • ClubStephenKing says:

    This was first shared back in 2013, but King did­n’t helped the devel­opp­ment of it.
    At the time, Rocky Wood (researcher about King and friend of the author) asked him it he did con­tribute, and the answer was “it’s total bull­shit!”

    Here is Rocky Wood’s mes­sage that can be found in the com­ment of Lil­ja’s Library arti­cle about it in 2013 :
    “On one site the devel­op­ers claim King approved the devel­op­ment of the game and was a test play­er. I asked Steve and he said I could quote him: “it’s total bull­shit!”. These claims by nobod­ies that famous peo­ple did things is exe­crable, they’re def­i­nite­ly Flagg fol­low­ers, lol.”

    Club Stephen King.

  • SKingFan says:

    So…some ran­dom dude on the inter­net says King said he did play the game and some oth­er ran­dom dude says he did­n’t? *grabs a bowl of pop­corn*

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.