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Elk Fest comes in a small square box with an enticing cartoon picture of an exhausted elk splayed on the ground, whilst another elk laughs in the background. That pretty much sums up the game!
The contents are rather unprepossessing, consisting of 6 large grey wooden discs, two chunky elk shape pieces and two amorphous flat pieces of wood representing the banks of a river, plus the rules. The bank pieces have rubber feet to help them stay in place. This doesn't seem very much for £15 or so, though the pieces are good quality and satisfyingly tactile.
The game itself is very basic. Each elk starts on one side of a notional river, created by placing the flat wooden pieces 12-24 inches apart. Players then take it in turns to flick the grey stones (two per turn) in an effort move their elk piece across to the other side, using them as stepping stones. You can flick any stone, they don't belong to any player, so there is some scope for cunning play by making it hard for the other player to have an easy shot. A moose which falls in the 'water' loses the its turn, and any moved stones are returned to the starting positions. The rules are pretty straightforward, even intuitive. Although occasionally a situation may arise which isn't specifically covered, these are easy to resolve by people playing in the right spirit.
The key question is, of course, is it fun? Well, up to a point. The first few times you play, it is entertaining as it is actually quite difficult to flick the stones very precisely, so there are lots of laughs as players make a mess of things. However, this fairly rapidly resolves into frustration, especially for younger players, and on the whole you don't get better quickly enough to overcome this.
It therefore has little long-term replayability, though perhaps an infrequent outing just for a quick laugh is likely. If you want a game of this variety, although this is cheaper than most, something like Carabande/Pitchcar or Crokinole might have greater longevity.
Two elk (Jule and Ole) stare at each other across a river. Longing for the greener grass where the other elk is they set out to beat each other to the opposite bank! In Elk Fest move your elk to the other bank by flicking wooden disks across the table and balancing your elk on them. Can your elk get to the greener grass across the river? Good grazing is just a stone's flick away!