FTW Staff Picks - KLASK
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Designer: Mikkel Bertelsen
Player Size: 2 Players
Game Length: 10 minutes
For fans of: Air Hockey, Bounce Off, Flick 'Em Up!
The Air Hockey experience is very much designed for large, open spaces. There are a few portable ones that try to emulate the experience but it's not the same. It reminds me of the tiny billiards table I had as a kid. It's admirable at best. KLASK aims to bring manic goal-scoring to a more appropriate tabletop world. And while it's not perfect, it does a lot of things right.
In KLASK, two players go head-to-head in a battle of magnetic mayhem. Each player is given a game piece, split into two parts: one that plays above the board, and one that controls below it. Three white magnetic pieces are placed across the centre of the board. The ball is placed in one of the corners of the board and the youngest player kicks it off. There are 4 ways to score in KLASK: the ball ends up in one of the two player's holes, two or more magnetic pieces are stuck to a player's pawn, a player's pawn gets stuck in its own hole or a player loses control of their pawn. Whenever a point is scored, the board resets. The first player to 6 points is declared the winner!
I am thoroughly impressed with how the game comes together. Don't get me wrong, there is a definitely a sense of novelty, but it does actually feel like a game I could play-through several times in a row before losing interest. That's far more than I can say about other similar games. The three white magnetic pieces create a hazardous playing environment that players need to adapt to. And guarding your goal is a dangerous strategy as you can easily end up getting stuck inside it. There's enough layers to make it feel like more than just an Air Hockey clone.
There are many different interpretations of games with physicality. KLASK brings back that old school vibe of being at an arcade with your friends. It has the right level of competitiveness that keeps everyone entertained. It also makes for a great spectator sport, as the games go by quickly and everyone can hop in and out. It's great for tournament-style play. It's a bit on the pricy side, but the components are built to last forever. Or you could always just swing by the cafe and play it here!