I have long rated crokinole my favourite game of all I have played, and while most finger-flickers don’t achieve such lofty heights, as a mechanic it is much desired. The reason is simply that it makes skill the key to winning, and you can improve a skill if you want to put in some effort.
As for hockey, well I am a Canadian boy born and raised, so I am not sure I need to say more.
So we come to Pichenotte Hockey from designer Victor Rodrigue and publisher Reverso Games.
This is not the first attempt to marry the ideas of finger flicking and hockey together. The simplest form being penny hockey which many crafters may have made as board designs are all over the Internet.
Finger hockey from John Taylor came out in 1979 and did a pretty fair job of combining the two.
But Pichenotte Hockey does it better.
The game is rather simple in terms of play. The players share a group of red checkers. You can play with two per player, three, or four. The more checkers on the board, the more interference in terms of shooting lanes to the goal. So four checkers each will mean a generally longer game with a bit more skill to make key shots.
The red pieces are used to flick toward the blue puck with the ultimate goal of getting the puck in the opponent’s goal.
The first player to score three goals wins!
“The idea of Pichenotte Hockey was to make a simple, unifying and accessible game for all. Pichenotte Hockey is a unique product with a sleek design, designed and manufactured in Quebec,” details the website at www.reversogames.com
The game is available in three rink formats 1/100, 1/150 and 1/200, scale, although I am not sure why you would opt for a smaller format. The boards are laser cut and engraving offers a nice finish to the curves of the wooden board, so the puck never seems trapped in a location you can’t effectively move it.
The rules are simple, you must shoot the puck with a player that is behind it on your side of the puck position. If at any time the puck is behind all playing pieces, the attacking players can simply shoot the puck directly. This rule creates some strategy to keep a player deep in the opponent’s end, as a direct shot using the puck is the most dangerous.
Players alternate shooting turns.
So this one is a lot of fun to play, to the point I’d sit down for a game anytime, but I do love finger flicking games.
In terms of the genre, this one impressed. It’s not crokinole, nor its cousin carrom, but it does rocket to number three among finger flicking games I have played.
Thanks to fellow gamer Adam Daniels for his help in running through this game for review.