Such was certainly the case when I heard about the 2014 release of Klask.
While Klask is subtitled ‘The Magnetic Game of Skill’ it still has obvious hockey flavour.
Most directly the game is going to remind people of air hockey, something most of us have played at some point.
More directly to another tabletop game would be the 2005 release WeyKick On Ice.
The biggest difference between the two games will be the price point, Klask being the lower cost game of the two, yet still providing a tonne of gameplay fun.
It is interesting to read a bit about the game’s development from the website at www.klaskgame.com
“Late December 2013, after long days and nights spent in his workshop, Danish carpenter Mikkel Bertelsen had something truly unique in his hands – a wooden board game with magnets which one steers under the board,” detailed the site.
“Mikkel has always had plenty of ideas for innovations of all sorts, but there was something different about Klask.
“Just in time for the holidays, he made a few copies of the game for Christmas presents to some of his friends. Soon after, the word spread through the country and orders from individuals, as well as cafés, bars, and even work offices started to pour in.
“The following year Mikkel built more than 3000 copies of the game in his garage. It was featured on national TV, winner of Danish Game of the Year.”
The Klask board, made of wood which is to start aesthetically pleasing, looks a lot like a sheet of natural ice in the sense of the blue play surface.
The board has a hole at each end which functions as the goal one is trying to score a marble into.
The use of a marble is a tad of an issue as it requires a very level table to set the game on, or it will roll to the low side. A puck akin to those in the familiar rod hockey games would likely have been a better choice.
In the middle of the field, three white magnetic pieces serve as ‘obstacles”’. If the player piece you control from under the board via a magnet you control attracts two of the pieces the opponent is awarded a point.
Since a partition under the board prevents you from crossing the center line with your piece, the obstacles seem a rather ‘pasted on’ feature that I feel adds very little to the game beyond annoyance.
The general thrust of the game is to push the small, red ball around on the field with your magnet/gaming piece, shoot the ball past the obstacles and your opponent and into the goal (the hole). Think a compact air hockey games sans the air blower.
You also give your opponent a point if your player piece drops into your own goal.
I like the three avenues to earn points in general, but still am not enamoured with the obstacle mechanic.
The two small things I do not like, marble and obstacles, can be home ruled out of Klask, although with organized tournaments already taking place in Europe one might want to play the game as designed should such events spread to Canada.
As it is, the portability of the game, it comes in a great travel box, makes it ideal as a pub game, and it’s obvious hockey ‘feel’ make it a pure winner to check out.