Dexterity games have the kind of universal appeal that can garner interest from gamers and non-gamers alike. I’m not just talking about boxed tabletop games like Men at Work here either. I’m including everything from Pool to Air Hockey. The problems with games of that ilk are size and cost. So folks like me look to home alternatives, which tend to fall into two categories: expensive and brilliant, or cheap and a bit crap. Crokinole and Carrom look great, but it’s a lot to fork out for something you’ll likely have never tried before. Meanwhile Push It is okay, but it’s still just a few wooden discs. Klask looks to fill that gap, by offering something affordable, while making it feel like a game you can play forever.
This is my dubious face
I first heard of Klask a few years back. I was scrolling through Facebook, as people of my age tend to do, and I kept seeing advertisements for the game. There were crowds of people whooping and hollering as two chaps played some game. “Denmark’s national sport!” the tagline proclaimed, which just made me think it was probably all just a bit bobbins.
Fast-forward a few years, and I start seeing the game in the wild. By “the wild”, I mean “people I’ve seen on the internet”. Incredibly, they were all singing its praises, which made me realise a) it’s actually a real thing that people can buy, and b) it’s a good game.
Could it be?
The holy grail?
Something that’s a bit like air hockey at home??
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so it was time to see if it’s as delicious as it sounds. (Terrible metaphor, I know, just go with it.)
Get your damn hands off of my biscuits
Let’s cut to the chase. Klask is awesome. Not just I-was-given-this-game-for-free-so-I-better-say-nice-things-about-it good, but actually, properly, fan-flipping-tastic. The small wooden table fits on pretty much any table, and you guide your black, plastic strikers with magnets under the table. The strikers are used to whack the bright yellow ball around the table, trying to land it in your opponent’s recessed goal. That’s a point right there, sportsball fans.
The other ways to score are having your hapless foe land their striker in their own goal, for what the rulebook calls a ‘klask’, or alternatively, through the power of biscuits. The biscuits in this case are not the greatest biscuit on Earth – the custard cream (fight me) – but small white pieces of plastic, with teeny magnets inside. Get two of these miniature bad boys on your opponent’s striker, and it’s a point. Score six points you’re the winner, and nations will bow before you.
It’s ridiculously simple to teach and understand, and unless you have any serious motor impairments, you should find that you can play Klask with ease.
Now, having played on a Crokinole board at a convention, I’m not about to lie to you and tell you that Klask feels as shiny, dense, and substantial as Crokinole, because it doesn’t. In the same breath though, Klask costs less than £50. A decent Crokinole setup would set you back £300+, and it needs a table the size of a Smart Car to play it on. So when you look at the value of these games, Klask is an easy winner.
It makes me enormously happy – smug, almost – to say that Klask isn’t just good in the context of “for a poor man’s crokinole”. It’s just brilliant. There is so, so much emergent gameplay, and no matter how good you might think you are, there are people using tricks you haven’t even thought of, let alone tried. Dribbles, dummies, crazy bank shots, biscuit plays – these are just some of the words you can use during Klask to sound like Joe Sportsguy.
This is where you’d expect to see a review to drop its drawers and reveal its big ‘but’, and list all the negatives about the game. Truthfully though, there aren’t many negatives. You could complain that it’s not hardwood, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a cheap, mass-produced game. It’s worth keeping an eye on the Teflon discs on the bottom of the strikers, as they can scratch the board. Nothing that’s going to affect gameplay though, just aesthetics. You can buy teflon tape online for a couple of quid, as well as spare bits for Klask.
Klask is cheap, it’s fun, it’s competitive, and it’s great.
What, you were expecting more here? There’s nothing else to say. If you want a decent dexterity game you can take anywhere, go and buy Klask.
Full disclosure: I’m a lucky boy and Big Potato Games sent me a copy to review. Thoughts and opinions are still my own.
Designer: Mikkel Bertelsen
Art: Mikkel Bertelsen
Playing time: 10 mins