Community Wiki
Community Wiki

Pile of Bullets

  Pile of Bullets  
First appearance: "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing"Owned by: Abed NadirUsed by: Abed, Annie, Rachel, Anthony
Purpose: VCR board game— Made by: Unknown   PHOTO ICON

Look what Rachel got me. "Pile of Bullets", an interactive old west themed VCR game from the 90's!
Abed, "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing".

"Pile of Bullets" is an obscure board game from the 1990's which used the passing fad of VCR interactivity. Abed Nadir received the game as a one month anniversary present from his girlfriend Rachel. However, its overly complicated and confusing instructions made it nearly impossible to play. Its first appearance was in the Season Five episode "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing".


In Abed Nadir's fifth year at Greendale, he was dating a fellow student named Rachel. In honor of their one month anniversary, she searched for a gift at a local Goodwill to commemorate the occasion. She considered several items including a Thighmaster and a Dick Tracy Burger King glass before purchasing a board game called "Pile of Bullets". Abed appreciated the kitschy value of the present and proudly showed it off to his friends at a Save Greendale Committee meeting. Later that night, the game would unexpectedly play a large part of Abed and Rachel's evening dinner plans with Annie and her brother Anthony.

5X9 After dinner game
The game begins.
Abed and Annie were struggling to make rent since Troy moved out of the apartment. Aware that they needed a new roommate, Abed suggested Rachel while Annie nominated Anthony. They argued about it during the buttered noodles meal they had with Rachel and Anthony creating an awkward atmosphere. They privately discussed the matter and Abed suggested they play a "Pile of Bullets" in order to determine their new roommate. Annie agreed and the two ended the dinner early to start the competition much to the surprise of their dinner guests. Once they were in the living room, the four started the game by watching the VCR tape.

S05E09-Anthony playing game
What followed was a confusing set of instructions given to them by the games host. The competition dragged on due to the complicated gameplay with the players forced to restart several times after no clear winner emerged. Anthony and Rachel became annoyed that their hosts forced them to continue playing. Eventually Rachel refused to play and Abed let it slip as to what was at stake. She became angry that Abed was being controlling and trying to manipulate her. After telling Abed off and declaring how much she hated the game, Rachel stormed out of the apartment and the evening came to an end ("VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing").

5X8 Promo pic 3.jpg
The hardcore players.

The Game[]


Gunslingers have come to a Wild West town which is filled with outlaws and gold. Players must amass a fortune and deal with various hazards before the modernization of the town.


The host will tell you instructions while also establishing the story behind the game. Additionally, several segments include special challenges. During these challenges bids occur. This is when players bet a certain amount of their fortune on the outcome of the challenge.

List of challenges:

  • Duels: When players hear the word "Draw" or a square appears onscreen with a color matching a players cards, the first player who says "Bang!" wins the challenged players token and their amount of bid in gold.
  • Yeehaw!: Whenever the host says "Yeehaw!", all players must repeat the word or they will forfeit a turn.
  • Tornado: If a picture of a tornado appears, players must stand up and turn clockwise. As they do this they must try to outbid each other.

The final challenge involves all the players rolling die during a ten second countdown. The first player to roll their designated "Bullet number" first is declared the winner.


Each player is given the following at the start of the game:

  • 6 Bullet tokens.
  • 10 "Gold certificates".
  • 1 color coded "Posse token".
  • 2 "Wild West tokens".

As the game progresses, players collect several types of cards each with different properties. These include:

  • "Cactus card": Uses vary.
  • "Snake bite card": Force an opposing player to lose a turn.
  • "Anti-Venom card": Counters a Snake bite card.


Interactive VCR board games[]

During the 1980s and early 90s, the success of the VCR led to a cottage industry hoping to capitalize on the burgeoning platform. One such business was the board game manufacturers who hoped to merge the technology with their own product. These new style of games included a video tape that presented an explanation of the rules and other content to set the mood. A host or guide would also be included on the film who gave further instructions and clues on how to proceed. Depending on the outcome of the gameplay that was happening in real time, the players would be asked to fast forward or rewind the tape to various snippets of video. Additionally, onscreen graphics would prompt players to take certain actions. Most of these VCR games were either upgrades of familiar board games such as the Clue VCR Mystery Game or based on existing properties like DragonStrike which was a part of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. When the VCR was replaced by the DVD as the new standard format in the early 2000's, the board game companies made the switch as well. Although this hybrid genre continues to be published its popularity has waned with the rise of more advanced interactive multimedia fare found in computers and video games.
Clue VCR board game

External links[]