Mourning the death of Boxerjam

strike-a-match

Like many who were early to the Internet, I had for a time an AOL account, and became a big fan of some of the online multiplayer games that existed.  There was Slingo, of course, which has survived well and is around and kicking, but another suite of games that existed was Boxerjam’s games, which included both daily games called “The Puzzle Zone” and an online suite of game shows, which were created by Julann Griffin, wife of “Jeopardy!” creator Merv Griffin.

The Puzzle Zone games were fun, quick puzzles that fell into the vein of the puzzle books that I enjoy so much, but the real stars were the online game shows, which were a cornerstone of early AOL, as well as Sony’s the Station and other sites.  The classic three were Strike a Match, Out of Order and Napoleon.  A couple of additional games, such as Know it All, came later.

out-of-order

Each had its own twist.  In Strike a Match, at top, a series of words or phrases were shown, and you had to find relationships within them, first in pairs, and later in triplets, to make a connecting theme.  The gameshow Only Connect, featured here earlier, has a round which acts something like this. Out of Order scrambled key words and players were supposed to identify them.  Both games were played on a timer against other players; faster answers yielded higher scores. At their heights, a boatload of people would log on at a set time to play the newly released round of each game for the first time, in the hopes of obtaining a high score in a competition. This is quite similar to how You Don’t Know Jack‘s Facebook game releases episodes today (and did in their Netshow hey-day).

But it may be Napoleon that was nearest to my heart, and the game I spent the most time playing.  A tweaked version of French Poker, it was a quick, multi-round game where you drew five cards, discarded what you didn’t want and drew replacements, trying to make standard hands like a pair, two pair, full house, etc. It was a simple game with luck and strategy both coming into play, and I spent countless hours playing it.

boxerjam

Why reminisce? I had rediscovered the site at the end of last year, and played another couple of rounds of Napoleon, a rare treat (the game itself had been hidden from the homepage, but it still existed and worked! Alas, the site itself was taken down by its web host shortly thereafter and, according to its owners, not easily recovered.  So, for now, the classic games are off the web for the first time in nearly 20 years, and screenshots are few and far between. Here’s hoping they can revive the classic games in some form, either in mobile form or in a revived form on the web. They’re really, really good, and deserve to live on.

UPDATE: As noted in the comments, the founders of Boxerjam are back with a new site, Jam and Candy. Learn more about their latest effort in a review I’ve posted of their first round of games.

40 thoughts on “Mourning the death of Boxerjam

  1. Sorry to hear about the demise of our baby “Boxerjam”. We have good news for you. The creators of the games on Boxerjam have started anew and are developing mobile application games for phones and tablets. We have just launched our first offering “Move Your Vowels”. It is available in both iTunes and Google Play. We also have a little game called “Piki Paka” on our website.
    Join Julann Griffin, Maureen Roberts (JAM) and myself Candisse Reynolds (CANDY) on our new adventure. Check us out!

    • I would love it if these games were brought back for tablets. I am also a follower from my original days on AOL. I forgot about Boxerjam for a bit, but would love it as an App.

  2. I checked again recently on the website and it said “site temporarily unavailable”. Does this mean Boxerjam will be back again soon?

    • Hi Joe,

      Back in February they had a message up saying they were unable to revive the previous site, which was 10+ years old. Whether they are rebuilding it is a different question; certain games have resurfaced over the years in new incarnations, including a few of the Puzzle Zone puzzles as apps for iOS, so it’s certainly possible a new iteration could return, but it’d take awhile and I’m sure they’d announce it if it was in the cards.

  3. I played Napelon for at least 15 years, and enjoyed the game and miss it a lot. But, it’s not only the game I miss, but also the many online friendships I made with other players. We supported each other through illnesses, divorces, and celebrated with each other online on many other occasions, too. I remember being online the day of Sept. 11 and being there for each other.
    I hope the game is brought back!

    • I’m with you on that, Jackie – Napoleon was definitely one of my favorite online games, so much so that a friend of mine and I would time our visits when we’d both play to enter the same room. It was always a lot of fun, and the games were short enough to enjoy when only a few minutes were available. I hope they find a way to bring it back!

  4. Do you know how Boxerjam can be contacted? I have been paying for membership for a number of years and the current year is up this month. I do not want to be charged again and would like to put something in writing to suspend the membership. Certainly given the current situation it should be a moot point but don’t want to see the charge show up on my credit card. Thank you.

    • Their previous site said they would be cancelling subscriptions and refunding in certain cases. There was an email address posted but the site’s down now, and archive.org didn’t save a copy of the site down message.

      Boxerjam was acquired by Media General, but that’s a big company, so other than trying their website I’m not sure if there’s any other places you can try to connect. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  5. aw, say it ain’t so. strike a match was one of my favs (with out of order a close second) for years, years ago. learned it from a good woman and we played it religiously (instead of going to church probably). i’ve been too busy in the last couple of years to be a regular again but have never forgotten it. some of the players’ banter was quite literate and engaging. i hope it can be revived in some form or fashion someday, sooner rather than later. i guess until then, it warrants a heartfelt RIP, Boxerjam.

  6. Can’t thank you enough for your post about Boxerjam! I had read about the games not being able to be retrieved from the server and was crushed that it was no longer in existence. I google it every so often to see if anything new has happened and that’s how I came across your post. I would never have known about Jam & Candy without reading it here. You have made my day! I checked out your blog and I think maybe I will stick around. 🙂

  7. Thank you for the excellent information that you have provided regarding BoxerJam and it’s games!
    Many years ago when I first cut my teeth on ‘Social Media’, the internet and AOL, I met some fine people within Boxerjam. They gave me my very first ‘online job.’ I worked for many years as BJGHostCis, and did so with pride. The game first started out with in the game area of AOL. NeverWinter Nights was a part of that area. They created a chat room with hosts for people to come in and chat about the latest game. And to often play games within the chat room that us hosts created.
    I have gone on to work for other online companies over the years, but I have yet to work with a finer group of people.
    I’m am sad to see their fine games gone, but I remain hopeful that they will be restored online soon.
    Thanks again for the excellent blog!

    • Hi, Joni! I don’t know if you remember me, but I was BJGHostLaf back in the day. I was just telling one of my co-workers about what it was like hosting in the chat room for these games, and then I decided to see what had become of them. I was surprised to see your comment on here. It’s been a long time since I’d thought about those days, but yours was one of the first (screen) names I thought of when I was reminiscing. :o) I hope you’re doing well!

  8. Oh how I miss the early Boxerjam chatroom nights…Those were such fun times on the internet. Sending a shout out to my old pals there; what a lovely camaraderie we had.

  9. I miss Strike a Match so much. Will there every be another Strike a Match? Our of Order was fun and a few other games, but nothing beat the matching game. Waaahhhh :'(

  10. This can’t be true… it can’t be gone. I met the love of my life playing SAM. And we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning in his office (in our first house) playing OOO. :’-(

  11. My mom introduced my sister and I to OOO when it first came out. When she passed away in 2001, we continued to play in memory of her. When it disappeared we didn’t know what to do. Now we’ve been reduced to playing stupid word games and trivia games just to come close to what OOO offered. If you have the know-how and means, please bring OOO back!!!!!!

  12. I LOVED THE BOXERMATCH GAMES!!!! WHY IS ALL I ASK WAS IS SHUT DOWN?????????

    I LOVED THE BOXER GAMES!!! WHY ON EARTH WAS IT CLOSED DOWN????????

  13. I agree, Linda !!!! I miss playing OOO so much. I played it probably a thousand times. Then all of a sudden, poof, it was gone! You would think that in this day and age and the computer whizzes out there, they could figure out how to bring OOO back.

  14. Hi all, another boxerjam fan still in mourning over its loss too. I was a regular Strike a Match player, and Know it all ( found out i didn’t know much, lol) when SAM was down. I too miss the camaraderie with the players . I am excited and hopeful for this new JamandCandy.com creating a new version of Strike a Match!
    Lets all pray together that this comes together. Hello back to Petesdaughter and all the rest of the gang I used to play with! I miss you all! Tlwlady aka occasionally TheWoman1

  15. I too miss Boxerjams OOO. Used to stay up til the early hours of the morning playing all the time with my 2 little sisters! I was always in charge of the keyboard as i was oh about 13yrs old and easily the fastest typer in my family. I even miss the little jingle that would play and how you had until the two birds coming from opposing sides met in the middle to type and unscramble as fast as you were able to!! Makes me so sad knowing that OOO is sadly no longer around!! ? but since it is now June of 2016 when i am writing this.. Does ANYONE know if they have recreated OOO as this question is coming 2 yrs after the original blogger posted this blog? Sincerely, a guy who out of the blue and out of nowhere just remembered his favorite AOL game of all time and decided to google it and see if it was still around these days.. And sadly came across this blog. So please if ANYONE knows if they have somehow recreated OOO on the play store for Android.. I have bookmarked this page and hope someone can shed some light on this for me!! It would be much appreciated! My Boxerjam screen name was Wearegood32. I miss you all! Goodnight peoples!

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