PASSWORD
(Milton Bradley 1962)
CONTENTS:
    36 perforated Password Cards, each with a total of twenty passwords (720 total passwords)
(The first edition only came with 24 cards, for a total of 480 passwords)
    Two Leatherette Card Holders
    Scoring Dial
    Score Pad

GAME PLAY:
        Partners sit across from each other, and each shares one leatherette card holder with an opponent.  Players take turns offering one word clues to their partners trying to get them to guess the password.  A correct guess on the first clue is worth ten points, the value decreases one point for each additional clue.

DIFFERENCES TO TV SHOW:
        Unlike the 25-point games played on TV, the home games are not played to a set score.  Ten password make a complete game, and the high score after ten words wins. The score for each partner's last word is doubled.  For most of the editions, there is no lightning round.
FINE EDITION:
        For their nicer edition (which cost a then-whopping six dollars) MB created a much better looking game with added features.  The card holders and scoring dial had a wood grain appearance (although one set we've seen had gold metallic card holders).  There were twice as many cards as in a regular edition, and a new deck of 60 cards (with ten words each) and a sixty second sand timer (with metallic trim) were included for a Lightning Round game.  In the home game's Lightning Round, you score points for as many passwords as you can guess in sixty seconds, but you can't pass.  Those points are added to your total score, which continues to accumulate as you play more games.  The Password home games were always played for points, and never for Milton Bradley Bucks.

COLLECTOR'S EDITION:
        The Collector's Edition has the identical materials as the Fine Edition, but instead of being packaged in a normal cardboard box, it comes in a nicer leatherette case which buttons shut on the front apron.

EDUCATIONAL EDITION:
        In 1962, Milton Bradley released an Educational Edition of their popular word game which was designed for classroom use. It featured 150 passwords which appeared on five large cardboard "word discs".  These word discs were inserted into the "decoder", a cardboard game board with a red window and other openings, which was designed to look like a computer.  In this version, clue words for each password were already printed on the word disc.  The teacher could read those clues to each player (or team) or, as the players' vocabulary skills grew, the clue words could be ignored and the kids could play the game normally.  Passwords were, of course, much easier in this version.
         Milton Bradley released the Educational version several times, each time with identical content.  The box design was all that changed, but was always characterized by a flatter, larger box than the traditional Password games.  The original 1962 release featured cover art similar to the adult versions.  The '62 version had at least two printings, one in a slightly larger box than the other and with nicer inserts.  The fanciful 1963 cover is pictured at left, and appears to be the most common.  The game was released again in 1978.  [Thanks to Jake Tanner for keeping us straight on the Educational editions.]

CHANGES IN LATER REGULAR EDITIONS:
        Milton Bradley released new regular editions roughly every year, and aside from different cover designs (see below) the game remained unchanged throughout most of the run.  Starting with the 22nd edition, MB re-introduced the Lightning Round game they had first included in the Fine Edition.  These last four editions were in slightly larger boxes and included a deck of 48 Lightning Round cards (each with eight passwords) and a sixty second sand timer.

COMMENTS:
        The perfect home adaptation, simple and attractive, and an enormous hit for Milton Bradley.  For years, magazine articles and other publicity about the TV show would mention the home versions, and no less an authority than Betty White made a reference to the home game's popularity in her TV memoir Here we Go Again.  Playing by the TV rules would seem to make more sense than the arbitrary changes MB created, but that's a matter of personal taste.

PASSWORD
(Endless Games 1997)
More than a decade after the last Milton Bradley edition, a new company called Endless Games released a Password home game which was very similar to the MB version.  The cards looked identical (however, they were pre-cut, not perforated), the blue leatherettes and scorepad were similar, and the system of scoring was exactly the same as the MB versions (i.e., different from any version of the TV show).  The only important difference was the absence of a scoring dial.  Instead, the numbers 1-10 were printed along two sides of the inner box, and a plastic scoring clip was used to mark each word's value.

CHANGES IN LATER EDITIONS:
        For the Second Edition of the Endless Games version, released in late 1999, Endless included a 60-second sand timer and a pack of lightning round cards similar to the last four Milton Bradley editions.
        The Third Edition (2001) increased the total number of regular cards from 36 (720 total words) to 50 (1000 total words) and eliminated the lightning round cards and timer.  The third edition was also the first one by Endless to include the scoring dial that was such a memorable part of the classic Milton Bradley editions.
        The Fourth Edition (2003) contained material identical to the third (with new words, of course) packaged in a longer, flatter box.

JUNIOR EDITION:
        In 2003, Endless released Password Junior, packaged in the same sized box as their Fourth Edition (which was released at the same time).  It looked like a standard Password edition, but contained some dramatically different rules for scoring and play, most notably the surprising departure that clues could be entire sentences instead of a single word!  The Junior version contained 25 cards for a total of 500 words, half that of the adult editions.

AND NOW, FOR THE TRULY OBSESSIVE:
Now, as a service to collectors, EXACTLY what you should find in each edition.
(Don't forget to check out some special information at the bottom of the chart.)
Original Edition (1962)
Cards 1-12
Brown Leatherettes
2nd Edition (1962)
Cards 1-18
Blue Leatherettes
3rd Edition (1963)
Cards 19-36
Red Leatherettes
4th Edition (1964)
Cards 1-18
Blue Leatherettes
5th Edition (1964)
Cards 21-38
Blue Leatherettes
6th Edition (1966)
Cards 41-58
Blue Leatherettes
7th Edition (1966)
Cards 60-77
Brown Leatherettes
8th Edition (1966)
Cards 78-95
Yellow Leatherettes
9th Edition (1966)
Cards 1-18
Blue Leatherettes
10th Edition (1970)
Cards 19-36
Blue Leatherettes
11th Edition (1970)
Cards 37-54
Light Blue Leatherettes
12th Edition (1970)
Cards 55-72
Red Leatherettes
14th Edition (1973)
Cards 73-90
Red Leatherettes
15th Edition (1970)
Cards 1-18
Red Leatherettes
16th Edition (1970)
Cards 19-36
Red Leatherettes
17th Edition (1977)
Cards 1-18
Red Leatherettes
18th Edition (1978)
Cards 1-18
Red Leatherettes
19th Edition (1978)
Cards 19-36
Red Leatherettes
20th Edition (1978)
Cards 37-54
Red Leatherettes
21st Edition (1978)
Cards 1-18
Red Leatherettes
22nd Edition (1982)
Cards 19-36
Red Leatherettes
23rd Edition (1983)
Cards 37-54
Red Leatherettes
24th Edition (1984)
Cards 55-72
Red Leatherettes
25th Edition (1986)
Cards 73-90
Red or Black Leatherettes
        >The copyright is what appears on the box, and does not necessarily represent the year the edition was released. (It's unlikely, for example, that four editions came out in 1966, or that the 14th edition came out three years AFTER the 15th edition!)  Editions were released annually starting in 1962, so if you want to know when yours came out, just count up from that first year.
        >There is no 13th edition (superstition and all that).
        >Starting around the 18th edition, the red "PASSWORD" lettering that masks the blue clue words is in all capital letters.  In editions earlier than that, the red "Password" lettering is in lower case.

This information is based on our own collection and the games of a few others (including many duplicate editions).  The game you bought from a thrift store or garage sale may be made up of cards and leatherettes from several editions.  Still, discrepancies can pop up, and if you have something you want to bring to our attention, by all means contact us.