ADVENTURES IN GAME TIME: Klask

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Contrary to what I’ve written about recently, not every game I play is some brain-burning, strategic monster that takes two hours to play. Sometimes it can be just as rewarding to learn four basic rules and get to playing. Such is the case with Klask, an award-winning Danish dexterity game by Mikkel Bertelsen that exists somewhere between foosball and air hockey — but with magnets.

The good people behind Klask were kind enough to send me a review copy, and I’m happy to report that not only did I greatly enjoy the game, but my game-averse boyfriend declared that he “loved” it. This is a major breakthrough.

Some pics and gameplay explanation after the jump…

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Klask comes in packaging so big that one might mistake it for a re-purposed MacBook Pro box. Plus, that strange haiku of a slogan is a bit odd (although, I do enjoy the graphic design). Okay, this has nothing to do with the game.

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Inside the box is the Klask board — or arena, if you will. It’s a sizable contraption with enough room for a human to stick its hand underneath, which is essential. Good Scandinavian construction here (and I love that rich hue of blue on its surface).

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The rules of Klask are simple. Each player controls a black peg, which is connected via a strong magnet to a complementary piece underneath the surface (hence, the need to stick a hand below the board). Players battle to knock a yellow ball around until it lands in the opponent’s goal. First to six points wins. But wait, it’s not quite that simple…

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The little white pegs on the board are actually magnets that roll around and get stuck to your piece. One magnet is fine. Two is a situation. When that happens, the other player gets a point.

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Should your player piece wind up in your own goal, even for just half a second before popping out again, the other player gains a point.

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And should your piece go flying across the board, causing you to lose total control of it, the other player gains a point (a divider beneath the board prevents players from extending past the midway point of the “field”).

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A neat poker chip / slot mechanism serves as a scoreboard for the game.

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Fun times had by all.

Klask takes all of 30 seconds to learn and features all the excitement and thrills of a classic rec-room game. It’s perfect for families but also adults (especially when cocktails are involved). While the game only accommodates two players, matches last no longer than five minutes, which means large numbers of people could easily cycle through, tournament style.

I’m still not sure if Klask qualifies as an activity (à la Corn Hole or Foosball) or a tabletop dexterity game (à la the magnificent Tumblin’ Dice), but honestly, it doesn’t really matter. This is a solid, easygoing game that anyone can pick up and enjoy, whether it be during a BBQ, a game night, or a family vacation.

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