WeyKick

wooden tabletop soccerWeyKick has been likened to foosball and to tabletop soccer, but, despite all foosball or soccer-like claims and appearances, Weykick is unique, and uniquely fun.

Before we get carried away by the game, let’s get carried away by the quality of this all-wood, beautifully crafted invitation to play. Yes, some assembly is required. And, yes, you will need a Phillips screwdriver. And, further, you’ll have to read the very terse instructions carefully enough to understand that the shorter two of the allen-wrench-driven bolts are used to attach the two legs to the long, padded wooden support. All-in-all, for the careful instruction-follower, we’re talking maybe 15 minutes max. Fully assembled, it’s a big game. Too big for your normal games closet. More like a piece of furniture. It comes in a sturdy box, but that’s like telling you your bicycle comes in a sturdy box. Once you put the game together, unless you have to move, the box is best thought of as a sturdy contribution to your local recycler.

OK. So much for impressive quality and size. Now on to the Major Fun part.

There are four wooden player-pieces, two to a side. Each player stands on a very strong magnet – strong enough to urge the manufacturer to recommend that the pacemaker-enabled should think twice before joining this particular fray. There are two cylinders that you place under the board, under each player. You can tell by the loud clicking sound that these magnets are significantly magnetic and contribute even more significantly to the, if you’ll forgive the expression, “attraction” of this surprisingly attractive game. There’s also a tiny soccer ball. It’s not quite round, which makes it roll a little less enthusiastically, which is precisely what is needed to maintain an illusion of precision control.

Major Fun AwardYou can play with two humans on a side (as a team, each controlling one player), or with one human, with a control cylinder in each hand. Since your hands are underneath the board, once you start playing, the wooden players seem to come alive. The above-mentioned long, padded wooden support prevents players from being able to move pass the center line. The some long, padded wooden support is often the cause for much hilarity when one becomes a tad overzealous in trying to smash the ball into one’s opponent’s territory causing the wooden player to become detached from its controlling magnet and to spin across the field, attaching itself with a resounding click to the side of an opposing piece.

If you’ve ever seen a soccer game, figuring out how to play WeyKick is almost intuitive. And, yes, depending on how competitive you are, or how sneaky your little child is, there are many rules that can be made and/or broken. There are ample opportunities for strategy and skill-development. There’s just enough luck to make you laugh when you need to. You can take it seriously. You can take it to a hospital or school or recreation or senior center. You can take it to your friend’s house and find yourself both appreciated and envied. Parents can play it with their kids. How much more major can you get?

Designed by Ulrich Weyel, available from Mayday games (a German import, currently offered at a considerable discount).

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