Grab your tiny backpack, slip on your Steve Madden slingbacks, and make sure you've got your parent's ATM card handy because the iconic Mall Madness board game is coming back this fall. And from the looks of it, the game is exactly as incredible as you remember it. (I can smell the Auntie Anne's pretzels already.)
If you spent countless hours of your childhood pretending that you were cruising around the actual mall with your friends a la Alicia Silverstone in Clueless while moving your tiny plastic pawns around the make-believe mall in the board game, you're likely freaking out right about now. Mall Madness defined an entire generation's teenage aspirations by letting us pretend to spend our weekly allowance at shops with punny names like "Made In The Shade Sunglasses" and "The Write Stuff Card Shop." It was the stuff that '90s dreams were made of and now you can re-live the entire experience thanks to Hasbro.
The classic board game is slated for release in fall 2020 online and in stores at major retailers. However, you can actually pre-order it right now on Amazon for $25, even though waiting a few more months to play the game seems as obnoxious as landing on a store in the game that isn't having a sale.
Fans of the original game will be happy to hear that the 2020 version is much the same as you may remember from all those years ago. Initially released in 1988, Mall Madness received updates in 1989, 1996, and 2004 respectively. Special edition versions of the game, including Hannah Montana and Littlest Pet Shop, have also been sold throughout the years, but the main premise of the game — to see which player can purchase the six items on their shopping list and make it back to the parking lot first — has remained the same.
In the 2020 version of Mall Madness, there are still 22 shops with quirky names to visit, faux ATM cards and cash, and an electronic unit that directs players where to move on the board, where the sales are, and those iconic sound effects when a purchase is made. (Cha-ching!) The look of the mall has been updated to reflect the types of stores you might encounter in a modern-day mall, so you can expect to visit places like a nail salon, candy store, shoe store, and more in the game as you race to see who can score the latest markdown at "the mall with it all."
One notable change to the new Mall Madness is the addition of characters for the players to choose from in lieu of the colored plastic pawn pieces from the original game. Julien McCluney, Hasbro VP Global Brand Strategy & Marketing, told Bustle that "players will get to choose a personality and play as Gwen, Sage, Avery, or Dax," in the 2020 version of the board game.
The new player personas may be dressed in the latest teenage fashions, but that won't stop middle-aged women who grew up with the game from donning our most comfortable athleisure wear to take a spin around the make-believe mall. The nostalgia is real, and playing Mall Madness is way easier than loading up toddlers in strollers to walk around a real mall and buy things with actual money — you know, the money you now need to pay actual mommy and me music lessons.
Intended for two to four players ages 9 and up (and up, people!), I envision plenty of 30-something moms gathering 'round Mall Madness game boards come fall to enjoy a few glasses of wine and a shopping spree after their kids are fast asleep. Now that we have Mall Madness to play again, the obvious next question is: When is Dream Phone coming back?!