“ Brand: Mölkky USA / Type: Finnish throwing game, somewhat of a cross between bowling and bocce „
As summer is on the way - it is honestly - I thought I would tell you about the game that my sister has got for us all to play with. Yes, I know I am 56 but this is a game that almost any age can play! The game is an outdoor game, hence the comment about summer, and it is called Molkky. What on earth is that I hear you cry! What is Molkky? Well the best description I have heard is that it is a cross between skittles and bowling. It originated in Finland and is now being launched in the UK by Tactic Games and it is fast becoming a big hit. Basically the game consists of twelve numbered wooden skittles and a wooden throwing pin called a Molkky. The skittles are initially arranged in a tight group and the Molkky is thrown underarm to know them down. Each skittle knocked down is scored and then stood up again where it fell ready for the next thrower. The idea is to score exactly fifty to win the game. Who can play? That is the great thing about this game - almost anyone can play. Young children can play at a basic level working up to older children and adults who can play very seriously! It would be a great way to teach young children their numbers and then teach them how to add up. It will also help with their hand / eye co-ordination. The game can be played by individuals or teams whichever suits your circumstances. It would be ideal to play in the garden, the park or on the beach so it will get plenty of use. So how much is it and what do you get for your money? Well, as I said earlier, my sister got ours and I have no idea how much she paid so I took a look on Google. I found a set on Amazon for £35.65 which sounds a lot but these really are excellent quality and are built to last. For your money you get a beautifully made wooden crate with rope handles which houses the twelve skittles and the throwing pin. You also get a score card and a set of instructions too - so not too much in the way of packing then. The crate is a brilliant idea as we found it was ideal to be able to pack the game away safely so that none of the skittles would get lost. All the wood used is solid natural Finnish pinewood from replenishable forests which makes the game very eco-friendly and the playing pieces really are very well made. What are the rules for serious play? Well, as I have already said, this can be played with young children and you wouldn't want it to be too serious so you would adjust the game to suit the age of the children. If you are going to play to the rules this is what you have to do: Firstly you need to stand the skittles in a specific way. They need to be arranged in a similar way to skittles but the numbers need to be as follows: numbers one and two at the front, numbers 3, 10 and 4 behind them, numbers 5, 11, 12 and 6 behind them and numbers 7, 9 and 8 at the back. These need to be set up in a tightly arranged group. The first player then throws the Molkky at the skittles from a distance of about ten feet. If you knock over just one skittle you score the amount written on that skittle but if you knock over two or more skittles you score the number of skittles that you knock over. For example if you knock over just the skittle with number 8 written on it then your score is 8. If you knock over four skittles then your score is 4 no matter what they have written on them. For the skittles to score they have to be flat on the ground. If a skittle is leaning on the Molkky or another skittle it does not count. After each throw the skittles are lifted up again in exactly the place where they fell. This then spreads the skittles out over a wider area as the game continues. Players take it in turns to throw and the first player to reach exactly 50 points wins. If your score goes over 50 you are penalised by having your score put back to 25 and if you miss the skittles three times in a row you are out of the game. As I said these are the official rules but, as with a lot of games, you can adjust them to suit yourselves. So what did we think? Living as we do in Llandudno we took the Molkky game down to the beach to play. I had taken a look at it and read the rules and my initial thought was that, although it was clearly a high quality game, it would be a bit boring because it would be so easy to play and win and the games would be over very quickly. How wrong can you be? It was easy enough to hit the skittles when they were all together but once they were spaced out I found it difficult to hit individual skittles. Mind you co-ordination has never been my strong point! I'm not good at ten pin bowling either! The Molkky was comfortable to hold and easy to throw - if my aim had been good I would have been brilliant at the game! It was such good fun that it didn't really matter that I wasn't very good at it as we were all laughing at one another's efforts! We all enjoyed the game and it was great to be out in the fresh air and away from the television, computers or game consoles. If you are interested in actually watching a short video of people actually playing the game (not us by the way!) you could take a look at http://insidethewendyhouse.blogspot.com/2011/03 /molkkyoutdoor-fun-for-whole-family.html. I have put a space in this web address in order to get it accepted as part of my review so you need to stick it back together to use it! In Conclusion I really enjoyed the game and I would definitely recommend it for all the family. It wouldn't really be worth buying a game myself as there's only me and Dave so we wouldn't get the use out of it but I shall remind my sister to bring it with her next time she comes to stay! The more players you have the more fun it is. You can even get an iPhone app for scoring Molkky!