During the 1960s and into the early 1970, the 3M company (better known today as the makers of "Post-it" notes) produced a series of games aimed at an adult audience. These games were in general very well done with fairly simple rules but complex gameplay and depth and with uniformly high quality components. The games covered a variety of topics, from business and sports simulations to word and abstract strategy games.
Perhaps the best known of the 3M Games was a series known as the "bookshelf" line. These games got their name from their packaging. All of the games were of a uniform size and the box containing the game components was placed inside a slipcase. The slipcases were designed to be stored and displayed on a bookshelf.
A smaller line of mostly card games was known as the "gamette" line. Gamettes were smaller (about 5 x 7 inches) than the bookshelf titles. The boxes were hinged on one side and opened up like a book and the games were intended to be stored on a bookshelf. Several games from the bookshelf line also had gamette versions published.
The 3M sports game line was also unique in many ways. The packaging consisted of a vinyl playing board which wrapped around the box holding the game components. (Because of this design they are often known as "flatbox" games.)
3M also produced a series of "paper" games. These were simple pencil and paper games that consisted of a pad of pre-printed pages.
For all of the 3M games, the components were of generally high quality and the games are still as interesting today as they were 30 years ago. The 3M games are still considered one of the best game lines ever produced. Select any of the titles below to find out more about these fascinating games.
- Acquire - High Adventure in High Finance
- Backgammon - The Game of Kings
- Bazaar - The Trading Game
- Breakthru - Strategic Game of Evasion or Capture
- Challenge Bridge - A New Dimension in Duplicate Bridge
- Challenge Football - Football
- Challenge Golf at Pebble Beach - Par 72, 6815 Yards
- Chess - The Classic Game
- Contigo - Strategic Game of Programmed Moves
- Events - The Game of Historic Happenings
- Executive Decision - The Business Management Game
- Facts in Five - The Game of Knowledge
- Feudal - The Game of Siege and Conquest
- Foil - Challenging Game of Words and Wits
- Go - The Legendary Oriental Game of Skill
- High Bid - Exciting New Auction Game
- Image - The Game of Personality Profiles
- Jati - The Strategic Game of Alignment
- Jumpin - The Absorbing Game of Pawns
- Mr. President - Political Campaign and Election Game
- Oh-Wah-Ree - The World's Newest Oldest Game
- Phlounder - Fun and Action Word Game
- Ploy - Strategic Game of Maneuver and Capture
- Point of Law - An Exciting Involvement Game
- Quinto - Fascinating Game of Fives
- Stocks and Bonds - The Game of Investments
- Twixt - Strategy Game of Barriers
- Evade - Objective: Outwit and Outmaneuver Opponent
- Foil - Stimulating Game of Words 'n Wits for All Ages
- High Bid - Objective: Outbid or Outbluff Your Opponent
- Monad - Strategic Action Game of Buying and Trading
- Octrix - Absorbing and Unusual Game of Eights
- Sleuth - Solve the Mystery of the Missing Gems
- Sum Up - Challenging Game of Creative Equations
- Tryce - An Intriguing Game of Words & Runs & Groups
- Venture - Fascinating Game of Finance and Big Business
- Big League Baseball - Baseball
- Blue Line Hockey - Hockey
- Regatta - Yacht Racing
- Speed Circuit - Auto Racing
- Thinking Man's Football - Football
- Thinking Man's Golf - Golf
- Win, Place and Show - Horse Racing
- 3D Tic-Tac-Toe
- Hedron - A Geometric Capture Game
- Nab - A Calculating Pyramid Game
- Naval Battle - A Tactical Game of Survival
- Plasm - A Spreading, Surrounding, Swallowing Game
- Snare - A Game of Lines and Loops
- Thorns - The Prickly Path Game
37 comments on 3M Games:
I have copy of Acquire posted for sale on Ebay if anyone is interested in purchasing please have a look. Here is the URL to the listing:
I recently acquired a copy of Sleuth (A 3M Gamette) from a friend and am eager to play it, but I am missing the game instructions and record sheets,, anyone who can help with these please could you e-mail them to me. Would greatly appreciate it. E-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
I have 8 Bookshelf games I'm willing to sell, one is on Ebay (Phlounder), the others are yet to be listed. I will be listing them in a week or so. let me know if you'd be interested in purchasing prior to listing to ebay, include offer and questions. (2) Aquire, Twixt, Stocks and Bonds, Facts in Five, Feudal, Image, Point of Law, and Breakthru.
ROBERT BECKER -- a three-minute sand timer is easy to find at any decent cookware shop; just ask for an egg timer. Or any Goodwill. Less than $10 in any case. On eBay there's a five-lot with colored sand for $6.64.
MARK -- probably means the reviewer put up a complete list but doesn't have a copy of that one. There's a great entry for Hex at BGG -- did you know it was invented by Piet Hein (who also invented the Soma cube & Tactix) in 1942?
I noticed that in the above list of Paper Games, that the game HEX cannot be clicked on. I was wondering why. Anybody that can help I'd be appreciative.
anyone know where I might find a 3 minute time like the one used with fact in five
I am looking to buy the 3M Gamette -Tryce at a reasonable price. Please contact me at email@example.com
Hi there. My friend "invented" a game that i feel could be a potential product. Would you put me in touch with someone to talk to about it? email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - thanks!
I mentioned that I have many (>100) 3M games, all of the bookshelf games, many sports games. I would like to sell many of them. Any suggestions how to do that, other than eBay? Contact me at email@example.com
I discovered "Snare" and "Hex" in the early 1970s in a clearance sale, and loved them both. I wish they were still available!
Do some one know, why 3M had the idea to start a game series? Was there someone in the management, who loved games?
this game is very nice
Hello, I had many of the games from your list and still today have most of the ones that I have owned overthe years. I turned 50 this year and just can't find players for all these fun games. Even today I play board games, mostly by e-mail now, and it is getting harder to find players than ever before. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org should you know of any one that is looking to play. Thanks James
I have 3, 3M bookshelf games for sale.
1.Challenge Golf at Pebble Beach.
2. Facts in Five.
All in excellent condition.
If interested my email is:
To Mary with the Gamettes, I'm interested and have emailed twice. Please check your junk folder or email me at email@example.com. Thanks!
I am looking for the directions for Sum Up. I am a sixth grade teacher, and I just discovered this game among some old and forgotten math stuff. I am sure the set is incomplete, but if we (my students and I) had the instructions, I'm sure we could improvise. Or, if someone knows where I can get a complete set with instructions at a reasonable price, let me know.
I'AM LOOKING FOR THE BAZAAR GAME AT A REASONABLE PRICE AS A GIFT FOR MY HONEY CAN YOU PLEASE HELP WILL CHECK IN SOON THANK YOU
I have many of these games in great condition.
Please e-mail me if you are interested in any of them.
I am looking for the 3M company brand game called BID AND BLUFF. My brother has the game and I would like to purchase one. firstname.lastname@example.org
Discovering "Stocks and Bonds" after my family moved is what got me into the stock market long ago when I was 16. :)
Many of the 3M games can be found on Amazon.com or Ebay.com
They will price from a few dollars each to as much as $85 depending on which game and comdition. S&H would probably cost an additional $10-20 depending on how many games are wanted.
what year and with what game did 3M start shrink wrapping?
Thanks for doing this website; it has been a great value to my family and me. I especially like the format of your reviews where at the end of each you offer up an objective opinion of each game.
I have really enjoyed collecting them over the years and espectially enjoy the box art. I would love to see you post a commentary from an artist to give an opinion of the art styles of some of the box covers, I find many of them very interesting sort of a sign of the times...possibly inspired by the culture the "space age" that was so prevalent in the 60?s
I have 2 3m bookshelf games that i am looking to sell, how do i find out worth, and go about selling them? they are events and oh-wah-ree. email@example.com
i have quinto - how can I find out the correct number of each tile that should be present?
As a longtime collector of the 3M Games, collecting them makes me feel confident. I was into them since the late '60's. Now I have all the U.S. 3M Bookshelf Games (except Jati), all the 3M Gamettes, all the 3M Sports Games, and two rare "Butterdish" games--Tryce and Venture. I have a website saluting these games: www.geocities.com/brian_skafica. I also run a 3M Games Yahoo! Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/3M_games. I hope you'll like them.
I have the bookshelf games "Feudal", "Twixt", and "Stocks and Bonds", but simply don't have room for them anymore. If anyone is interested in buying them, shoot me an email with an offer. Thanks! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have invented a 4 player chess game that is different and much, much better than all the others out there. I have played it with several chess lovers and they all though it was awesome. I'm looking for a publisher. Please contact me at 716-570-1435 or email@example.com if your interested or want more information on the game.
I managed to find a copy of Sum Up. If you'd like, I can do a write-up for your site.
Anyone looking to find some of these titles, I was given a collection of them that were my parents. All are in near mint to mint quality with full pieces etc. Just don't have room and, though some of them I fondly remember playing, we never use/play them. If interested email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
i am sorry that it does that race team thing all over your site also i am also a race team so my cpu does that automattically
Sincerely Ron Sharpe
Manager And Co- Founder Of Sharpe\'s Auto Race Team
hey i am doing a assignment at school and i was wondering if you knew of a site that had made some board games but they didnt sell enough to make it major production lines..... if you do have any sites can you email me andi will be sure to even pay you thru a cheque or visa... my email is email@example.com.... thanks and have a great day...
Sincerely Ron Sharpe.
Manager And Co- Founder Of Sharpe's Auto Race Team
Thanks, it looks like I broke something with my last update. It should be fixed now.
The Monad link gives this error message:
Unknown column 'item_headline_image_align' in 'field list'
Check the FAQs and Links links in the left sidebar for a list of places where you can find older games on-line.
Tell me where I can buy Facts in Five. Thank You.
I've collected several of these bookshelf games,I love playing them,my oldered sons and grandaughter also play.would like find more games.[firstname.lastname@example.org]
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