The Unofficial "It's a Wonderful Life" Boardgame

I enjoy making board games. It's a dream job of mine that doesn't really add a lot of value to this world. Nevertheless, I do it anyway as a hobby. Since this is Christmas time, what better way to celebrate than to share with you.
The Unofficial
Board Game!
(These rules and game structure are copyright to me, 2003. All characters are property to whoever made them - No, I didn't make any money on this. Don't sue me. All we all okay? Good.)
Relive the joy, trauma and entrapment of George Bailey with family and friends. Do you have the mettle to stand up to what he went through? Guide your token through Bedford Falls and be the one with the most friends to keep Old Man Potter from bringing you down!

2-6 Players
Ages 8 and up

1 Unofficial “It’s a Wonderful Life™” Board Game Instruction Booklet
1 Unofficial Game Board
1 Die
6 Tokens
26 Very Interesting Situation Cards
6 Choice Cards
40 Friend Cards
24 Asset Cards
30 Potter Cards
15 Clarence Cards


Your goal is to try to get George out of Bedford Falls with as many friends as possible.


1. Each player chooses a token and places it on START

George’s Model T
Potter’s Wheelchair
Ernie’s Taxicab
Harry’s Plane
George’s unused suitcase
George’s Hat

2. Shuffle the Friend, Asset and Clarence Cards together
3. Deal out 7 cards to each player.
4. Reshuffle the deck and include the Potter Cards, Situation Cards and Choice Cards.
5. Place the deck on the Draw Pile rectangle
6. Have each player roll the die to see who goes first.

1. To begin a turn, roll the die and move your token that many spaces and draw a card.
2. Follow any instructions that are on the card.

There are 6 different types of cards described briefly here:

Very Interesting Situation Cards
Some are good, some are bad, but are all will be very interesting to deal with. After you experience the situation, place it on the discard pile.

Choice Cards
These cards will give you a golden opportunity that you can take . . . or not. Place it on the discard pile after you make your choice.

Friend & Asset Cards
These cards help you during the Very Interesting Situations you’ll experience throughout your life. They are collected in your hand.

Potter Cards
These cards stay on you and harm you in different ways. Place these cards in front of you. If they are removed (described later), they are placed in the discard pile.

Clarence Cards
Clarence cards are here to help you out of some tight spots. They also are collected in your hand.

3. After completing what the cards say to do; play then goes to next player on the left.

NOTE: There is no limit to the amount of cards you can have in your hand as the game progresses.

When the draw pile is depleted, reshuffle the discard pile and place it on the draw pile rectangle.

The player, who has the most friend cards once everyone is out of Bedford Falls, wins. When a player reaches the end, through a choice card or reaching the last square, that player must discard 3 friend or asset cards (or a mixture) for every Potter card they have. Any unused Clarence cards count as 2 friends. Unused Asset cards count as 1 friend card.



George’s life, while wonderful, is full of interesting situations that are both good and bad. These cards will affect your progress through the board as well as the number of cards in your hand.

The Board votes Potter down
Potter’s greedy hands are slapped back once more!
Advance 2 spaces.

Harry is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor
“I guess they do those things.”
Local morale is up, advance 3 spaces with pride and draw
another card with gusto.

Bailey Park vs. Potter’s field
“Potter’s Field is becoming exactly that!”
You get more people out of Potter’s slums.
Advance 1 space OR draw another card.

Potter offers 50 cents on the dollar
“Better half than nothing!”
This offer is strong in the ears of your customers.
Play an asset card to advance 4 spaces otherwise go back 4 spaces.

Mary is stuck in the hydrangea bushes
“A man doesn't get in a situation like this every day
... Not in Bedford Falls, anyway.”

You decide to sell tickets. Move ahead a space.

Freddie & Mickey plot against you
“Did you know there's a swimming pool under this floor?”
Immediately discard this card . . .
and while you’re at it, discard a friend card too.

The Swimming Pool Opens at the dance
“They’re cheering us! We must be good!”
Roll the die
Even – You stay dry; Stay where you are.
Odd – You fall in; Move forward 2 spaces; draw 2 cards.

There’s a run on the Bank
“If you close your doors before six P.M. you will never reopen.”
The town is uneasy. What are they going to do until
the bank reopens in a couple of days?.
Use 2 asset cards to stay where you are otherwise go back 2 spaces.

The $8000
“One of us is going to jail! Well, it's not going to be me!”
Play 5 asset cards; OR one Sam Wainwright card to stay where you are
OTHERWISE discard all cards and move back 5 spaces.

FOR SALE: 320 Sycamore; Minor Repairs Needed
“Welcome Home, Mr. Bailey.”
If you have Mary’s card, advance 3 spaces.
If you have the Dream Home Asset card, discard it now.

You wish for a million dollars
“Hot Dog!”
Advance 1 space.

Mr. Welch
You get punched at the bar after saying a prayer.
Move back 5 spaces OR play two friend cards to move back only one space OR play Mr. Martini’s card to stay where you are

The Bank Examiner Has Come
You should have called him yesterday; now he’s here.
Move back 1 space

Business Partner - Uncle Billy
Roll the die
1 – He forgets to call the Bank Examiner again, lose a turn.
2, 3 – He does an o.k. job, move ahead one space.
4 – He can’t remember where he left $8000, move back 4 spaces to go help look for it, keep this card & roll the die again for another outcome.
5, 6 – He’s doing a lousy job, keep this card, move back 1 space, discard an asset card and roll the die again for another outcome.

Potter issues a warrant for your arrest
“Go on home! They’re waiting for you!”
Discard all Friend cards, if you have no friend cards – you lose 2 turns to take time to straighten everything out with the Sheriff.

The Battle of Bedford Falls continues
The War is on! You keep your head while everyone squabbles over necessities. Advance 1 space & discard a friend card. If you have no friend cards, you’re disgruntled, move back 2 spaces.

The Second World War
You can’t even get out of Bedford Falls to risk your life in battle! You get involved in different roles in town.
Move back 3 spaces and draw a card.

CHOICE cards
Choice cards allow you to get out of the game early to avoid any more perils or pitfalls; of course you could get more friends and assets too if you stay in the game. If you accept a choice that leads you away from running the Bailey Building & Loan, calculate your number of friend cards as you would if you have reached the end of the board. You then sit out with your total and wait for the other players to reach the end.

Harry offers to take over the business
“You’ve been holding the bag here for years, George.”
If you have Harry’s card, advance 3 spaces
before you make your decision.
If you stay, move back 1 space.

The Board wants you to continue the business
“They voted Potter down! They want to keep it going!
But there’s one condition . . .”
If don’t have Uncle Billy’s card, discard 2 asset cards
before making your decision.
If you stay, move back 2 spaces.

Potter offers you a job in his company
“Oh, confound it, man, are you afraid of success?!”
If you have Mary’s card, move back 5 spaces before
you make your decision.
If you stay, token does not move.

ASSET cards
Assets are all that you have (or have the potential to have), besides your friends. These cards can only be used when a situation occurs. Manage them wisely.

Travel Money

College Money

Honeymoon Money

Insurance Policy

Dream Home

New Car

Ground Floor Investment in Plastics

Zuzu’s Petals

FRIEND cards
The more friends you have, the less of a failure you will be – at least in this game. Some friends have special capabilities while other friends are just there in your hand, hoping to help out someday. These cards can only be used when a situation occurs. Play these cards carefully.

Bert & Ernie
Counts as two friend cards

Mr. Martini

When you use this card, advance 2 spaces plus the number
of Potter cards against you.

Uncle Billy
Move back 1 space
whenever this card is used
Mr. Gower


If you have Zuzu’s petals, her card counts as two friend cards

If you use this card while you have any Potter cards
Move back 1 space.

Sam “Heehaw” Wainwright

Random Friends
Value equals 1 plus the amount of Potter cards you have against you




Mrs. Davis
She only wants $17.50!
This card can be used either as a friend card OR as an asset card.

Cousin Tilly

Cousin Eustace

Mr. Partridge

Peter Bailey
This card counts as 1 friend card AND 1 asset card together.

Mrs. Bailey

POTTER cards

Old Man Potter is at it again! The richest and meanest man in town! He stays on your back without a moments rest. When you draw one of his cards, place it in front of you. The effect of his cards stays until they are removed by Clarence’s cards OR by sacrificing 3 friend cards and 1 asset card for every Potter card you have.

Potter Speaks
He tells you really depressing stuff and you believe it.
As long as this card is in play, the farthest you can move is three spaces per turn.

Potter Deals
He makes you question your own motives and calling.
Whenever Friend cards are played on your turn; you must play an additional one. If you do not have the needed amount of Friend cards, go back 1 space.

Potter Plots
He has all the time and money in the world to plan your demise.
Whenever Asset cards are played on your turn; you must play an additional one.
If you do not have the needed amount of Asset cards, go back 1 space.

Potter Buys
Potter starts buying every business in town to apply more pressure on the Building and Loan. Discard down to 4 cards. You can only carry up to 4 cards as long as this card is in effect. At the end of every turn be sure to discard down to 4 cards.

It is possible to have more than one of the same Potter card affect you. Place each one in front of you. Only “Potter Deals” and “Potter Speaks” create extra problems by having you cast off even more friends and assets.

Clarence Odbody AS2 is here to help you. Keep his cards handy. A Clarence card can be played at anytime during your turn. Because George is a little slow to catch on to what is happening, only one Clarence card can be played during your turn.

“You see, George, you really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?”
Removes one Potter card and advances you two spaces

“Mulled wine, heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves.
Off with you, me lad, and be lively!”
Removes one Potter Card

“Now look, you mustn't talk like that.
I won't get my wings with that attitude.”
Ignores effects of the last card you drew
Whether a situation, choice or Potter card – place it on
the discard pile.

The Great Gift
“You've got your wish. You've never been born.”
For two turns, the effects of your Potter cards are cancelled

“No man is a failure who has friends.”
Removes all your Potter cards
And there ya go. A great Christmas to all and to all a good Christmas.


Kepi said...

Sweetie... Sometimes I forget how creative you are. When I catch my breath from giggling, I might be able to comment more :D

Ron said...

I love it! Where can I find the game? Do you have a board design?

Eric said...

The game, unfortunately, is not completely ready yet.

The board design is there, but not finalized. The board "trail" will be fairly simple - possibly a hiccup now and then, but the design will be captured screen shots from the movie itself reflecting the different locations and differences between Bedford Falls and Potterville.

It's hard work, but it's fun.

Thanks again,

Eric of Sillybear