Origin and history of the Simon® game Official MB
The SIMON ®... A story that lasts! Actually, this famous memory game blew out its 40 candles in 2018!
The very first edition of the game came in the form of an electronic game with a circular design and 4 big bright and colourful buttons: red, green, yellow and blue. It was published by Milton Bradley (MB) company in 1978 under the trade name SIMON ®.
Did you know that the Simon takes its name from a childish game in English-speaking countries which is called the "Simon says".
If you want to learn more about this game, see The "Simon says" game section.
The notes of this game: mi(E), do#(C#), la(A), other mi(a lower one) were not randomly selected but they have been selected for the purpose
of produce an harmonious melody and that, whatever the sequential order of the notes.
The inventors of this game are Ralph H. Baer and Howard J. Morrison.
They are both famous conceptors and are at the origins of several best-sellers in the toy industry.
Howard J. Morrison, and others, if for instance at the origins of: Ants in the Pants ®, Guesstures ®, Brain Warp ®, Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash ® and many more...
Concerning Ralph H. Baer, more specialized in video games, is the father of Magnavox Odyssey ® which is the first home video game console marketed.
Two other versions followed the first Simon ®:
- The Pocket Simon ® of the 80's which had the advantage to be more smaller and so easier to carry.
- The Super Simon ® of the 80's composed of a triangular case with 8 keys (same colours of button: yellow, blue, green, red but in duplicate). With this game, Hasbro introduced for the first time a multi-player functionality.
In 1980, Hasbro purchased the Milton Bradley company and marketed in turn new versions of the Simon. The best known are listed below:
- In 2003, a new Super Simon ® with a yellow case and 6 luminous keys, introducing occasionally 2 brand new colours: pink and purple.
- In 2013, Hasbro innovated with its Simon Swipe ® circular shaped, lokkling like a steering wheel with 8 tactile buttons, therefore player didn't have to press the keyboard keys anymore, he justs touch it.
- In 2016, Simon Air ® is the new born. For this game, Hasbro had the brilliant idea to increase the technology by equiping the game with motion sensors, allowing players to reproduce the light chain using movements with the hands over the buttons without touching them, hence the name!
- In 2017, a very original Simon original appeared: Star Wars Simon calles The game Darth Vader®! The support is none other than a Darth Vader mask with the R2D2 sound, the famous Star Wars droid... May the force be with you :)
- At last, the most recent version created in 2017, the Simon Optix ®. This last born in undoubtedly the most advanced in terms of technology! Indeed, it is a helmet with a motion sensor, like in Simon Air. The players reproduce the sequence by m by moving their hands in the right order. One can either play alone or with friends. For the occasion we can note the logo change for a more modern design.
It is still possible to get the first version. Indeed, some sites offer second-hand vintage games but the prices may be very expensive, around 400 or 500$. Fans of the 80's, you can still purchase the new edition of the first game released by Hasbro under the same name: Simon ®.
As nothing replaces the pleasure of pressing the keys, here is the link to the official Hasbro website. So you can choose your favorite game and find the list of authorized resellers:
Amazon being one of the authorized resellers, you will surely find what you want: https://www.amazon.com
Find below the pictures of the main editions:
Simon Original vintage
First edition 1978 MB®
80s Vintage game MB®
80s Vintage game MB®
Edition 2013 Hasbro®
Edition 2013 Hasbro®
Edition 2016 Hasbro®
Simon Darth Vader
Edition 2003 Hasbro®
Edition 2017 Hasbro®
The rules of the Simon ® game
The principle of the game is simple: the player have to memorize the series of illuminated keys and reproduce it. The purpose of the game is to reproduce the longest series of colors / sounds randomly generated by the Simon.
In each round a new key is added to the series and the game becomes increasingly difficult because the player's memory is more and more solicited.
- 1- At the beginning of the game, one of the 4 keys lights up randomly producing simultaneously a sound associated to the key.
- 2- The player has to press the same key.
- 3- Next, the Simon turns back the same light on and a second one, again randomly.
- 4- The player has to reproduce this chain of light using his memory.
- 5- And so on... In each round a new key is added to the series and the game becomes all the more difficult as the player's memory is put to the test.
- 6- If the player doesn't make any mistake, the game goes on, so it is an endless game!
The "Simon says" game
The "Simon says" game is equivalent to "Jacques à dit" (in francophone countries) or to "Jean dit" (in Québec). It's this childish game who gave its name to the famous Simon® game.
In this game one child issues instructions to other childs, and he's called "the Simon".
For example, the instructions may be:
- "Simon says: Make a funny face!"
- "Simon says: Raise your right arm in the air!"
- "Stamp your feet two times!"
- "Simon says: Blink!"
- "Shout loudly!"
- "Simon says: Touch your nose with your left hand!"
The difficulty in this game is to listen carefully to the instructions. Indeed, Children should do what is asked only if it's preceded by the instruction "Simon says".
The player is eliminated if he executes an instruction although the sentence doesn't begin with "Simon says" and he's also eliminated when he doesn't execute an action although the sentence begin with "Simon says".
It's a very popular game among children.
Article published on 21 march 2020 / Last modified on 23 march 2020