“A thrilling Gaelic board game”

As we all know, gaelic football and hockey crossed with murder hurling are exciting sports which are enjoyed by very many people in Ireland. So how better to convey the speed and the thrills of our native sports than to er….replicate it as a board game?

pairc board-001
The game board

Páirc (pronounced as “pawrk”) was a board game which came out in 1985. The mutant offspring of Subbuteo (figurines!) and Monopoly (dice, cards!), the lid of the box proclaimed that it was “A thrilling Gaelic board game”. So needless to say, a game which promised so much was bound to be delivered by Santa Claus that Christmas 😈

What’s in the box? 

  • A board
  • A green dice
  • A white dice
  • A dice holder
  • 2 teams of 15 hurlers
  • 2 teams of 15 footballers
  • 32 “Referee cards”
  • 32 “Break of the ball” cards
  • A set of score sheets
  • A small ball for hurling
  • A large ball for football
  • 30 player bases
  • A set of rules
  • 2 sets of goal posts

Most of these survived in our game, apart from the dice holder, the small ball for hurling and the goalposts. So for the photos, I embraced my inner 10-year-old and improvised using a skewer, glue and some blu-tack 😉

attack on goal
Getting exciting now

After the excitement of opening the box, things inevitably started to ground to a halt 😦 For it turned out that Páirc was long on rules and short on action. Let’s face it, it’s going to get slow when you open the box and are faced with two stacks of cards (the Referee Cards and the Break of the Ball ones serve the same purpose as the Chance? and Community Chest ones in Monopoly), dice and instructions that run to 6 pages… It’s all too boring to describe really – if you’re a glutton for punishment you can have a look at the rules here  (7mb pdf file)

Break of the Ball cards

It also was a game that took forever to set up. Instead of having little players ready to go out of the box like you would with Subbuteo, the players in this game came in the form of cardboard cut-outs which sat into plastic bases. And as we all know, cardboard isn’t a medium that stands up well to repeated poking and prodding. So it’s no great surprise that even though we didn’t really play the game that often, many of the game figures are grubby and the worse for wear.

pairc footballers
It’s Ulster vs Connaught in the football

Also in the box was a scoresheet from when we played the game. They’re very low-scoring games and perhaps that’s the most criminal thing of all. One of the unique selling points of Gaelic games is the scores. Not something that was ever going to happen in Páirc unless you’re the sort of person who enjoys jogging through treacle.

Click on an image below to launch the gallery

The Sims 1 in Windows 10


The Sims
The Sims

This is the most popular post here so I thought I would update it (March 2020). I presume you’re here because you would like to run your original version of The Sims on a Windows 10 computer and have run into problems. And so, I shall cut to the chase and detail how I get around it. But not before I make a couple of points.

  • I can’t remember how or why I came by this workaround but it still seems to be working. I have played this game on computers running the 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 10.  I’m not a computer programmer so I haven’t got the foggiest idea how/why this new exe file works. It just does.
  • Download the new version of sims.exe at your own risk.
  • For this, I am using a legal copy of the game, which I purchased 20 years ago. I’m sure this is exactly what you’re using too….
  • Yes, Maxis/EA should make the game available legally so people can play it without having to use work-arounds like this.

  • Install The Sims. If you can, install it as an Administrator
  • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to either of the following locations. It will depend on what version of Windows 10 you are running.
    For 32 bit, it’s C:Program Files\Maxis\The Sims
    For 64 bit, it’s C:Program Files (x86)\Maxis\The Sims Most Windows 10 machines are 64 bit 
  • Rename the original Sims.exe file to Sims (Old) or something else. It doesn’t really matter.
  • Download this file and unzip it. There should be a file called Sims.exe in there. It is a reworked version of Sims.exe which you have just renamed.
  • Copy this new version of Sims.exe into either C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims or C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\The Sims folder
  • Right click on Sims.exe and select Send To from the menu. Then choose Desktop (Create Shortcut)
  • Fullscreen capture 08032020 115745
  • On the desktop, right-click on the Sims shortcut you’ve just created and select Properties from the menumaxis2
  • Go to the Compatibility tab and choose  Windows XP (Service Pack 2). And there you have it.

I have no idea if other compatibility modes are better or worse than this one. I chose Windows XP Service Pack 2 because it was the last operating system I played the original game on. Overall the game works pretty well, with the odd glitch. The most obvious one for me was the game apparently not saving the new family I created. They didn’t show up in the menu of Sims to play with, but when I clicked on their house the game continued as normal.

sims bar

If you played the original game, you may have used programs such as Sims Art Studio and Sims Homecrafter. None of these are working for me and I’m not going to chase those up to see if they can be made work again. The good news is that there are still lots and lots of custom made Sims goodies (floors, walls, skins, objects) freely available online.

If the advice here doesn’t work, try the advice given on this site

The Sims
Flashback time!