A couple of days ago we finally wrapped up all our Holiday Gift Guides and offered up over 200 amazing suggestions for anyone you need to buy a gift for. A good percentage of the items made our list because we featured them in the previous calendar year and still felt they would be awesome gift choices. Others were so new that we haven’t had the opportunity to put pencil to paper and tell the world how incredible they are. We still included them in our guides because we didn’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to purchase them before the big day hits (or supplies run out).
When we were putting together our ideas for games to include in our Holiday Gift Guide – Family Games, we noticed something lacking – dexterity games. Our entire family enjoys them, from stacking games like Rhino Hero Super Battle or Suspend to flicking games like Dino Dunk and Kung Fu Zoo. We needed to make sure we included this favorite category in our suggestions, and we found at least one to make the list. Now that the guides have been made public, we can get back to what we like doing most – playing games and telling you about them!
This new dexterity game we’d like to tell you more about is Tabletop Golf: Mars Open by Bellwether Games. We know what you’re thinking – there have been a number of tabletop golf games over the years and none of them have been great. Hold your proverbial horses and keep reading, your mind will change.
First, Tabletop Golf: Mars Open is set on, you guessed it, Mars. Secondly, you don’t have to worry about a golf ball rolling around your game room. On Mars, spherical objects just won’t do. These golf balls are specially folded squares, which makes for easy flicking. Third, because of the movable 3-D obstacles and goals you have a virtually unlimited number of holes to play!
Tabletop Golf: Mars Open is played as most any round of golf. You are trying to have the lowest overall score after a predetermined number of holes. The rulebook features different setups for 54 holes, including suggested arrangements for your first game. Included in the box are standees of varying heights, a special golf tee, a jetpack golfer, a sand trap and of course the crater hole with a flagpole.
Up to eight players can play Tabletop Golf: Mars Open at a time, each with a different colored ball. Starting at the tee area you will flick your ball towards the crater hole. Remember, you are on Mars and must avoid all the objects. In order to get it in the crater you will have to enter it from the top. This is not like a round on Earth where you roll the ball towards the hole.
Flicking the ball upwards and on one side should cause the ball to bend to the opposite side. Flick it straight and downwards to smack a powerful low drive. If you need to take a short chip shot, special rules allow for two-finger use while the side of your hand remains on the table at all times.
Before shooting you may rotate your ball into any position. If next to an obstacle, you are allowed to move it one ball-width away without receiving any penalty strokes. However, if your ball leaves the table, you will be assessed one penalty stroke and must replace it on the edge of the table closest to its exit point. Golfers take turns flicking towards the hole and officially tally their score once it lands in the crater and touches the bottom.
Once everyone has completed the hole, the table is reset for the next hole in the series. On your first few plays you’ll complete nine total holes before determining the overall winner. This person receives the coveted “Leader Ball” and will take first shot on all future games! That is until they lose the ball to someone else with a lower score.
With 54 suggested layouts and a virtually unlimited number of potential holes, no two games of Tabletop Golf: Mars Open should ever be the same. Once you have mastered it on the tabletop, add additional tables, chairs or other furniture and require the golfers to arc their shot over these large openings! If they hit the next table and it falls off, they still receive a penalty stroke. But they get to place their ball on the forward-most spot! If they miss it altogether, back to the original landing they go.
By now I’m sure you can see why we included Tabletop Golf: Mars Open in our list of recommended family games this Christmas season. Currently ringing up for under $30 on Amazon, there is still plenty of time to get it under you tree in time for the big day. While you’re at it, check out what else Bellwether Games has to offer by visiting their website or following them on Facebook or Twitter! And if you hurry, there’s still time to enter to win a copy for yourself in our annual Mega Giveaway!
Where is the most extreme place you’ve ever been golfing?