This week’s thrift treasure find is something special. Well, special to me. I played Gnip Gnop in the early 70’s and it quickly became my favorite game as a young child. The problem was we didn’t own a copy. At least I don’t believe we did. All my memories are from playing it at a friend’s house. I also recall being disappointed I wouldn’t be playing it any longer as we were being transferred to another state. I also don’t remember the friend’s name…
Gnip Gnop is a simple game. Built for two players, each of you are trying to get all six balls to the other side of the playing field. This is done by flipping the balls with plastic levers centered underneath holes in the board.
Each side of the board is inclined, allowing them to quickly fall to the bottom to be reshot. Not only must you flip it hard enough to reach your opponent, but you must also be accurate enough to get them through one of the three circular targets in the center. There is no room for a ball to sneak over or under the circles, and since your opponent is aiming for the same area, getting them through to the other side is exceedingly difficult.
A full game of Gnip Gnop is played over multiple rounds. The winner is the first player to win either ten rounds or three rounds in a row. Each round lasts only a couple minutes at best, so a full game can be played in fifteen to twenty minutes.
As I mentioned before, Gnip Gnop is a simple game, but it was worth $2.88 just for the memories it brought back. There have been newer versions issued over the years, however, this is the exact copy I recall – right down to the box!
If you’re looking for one for yourself, they do pop up at thrift occasionally. Your best bet is to grab a copy off eBay for very reasonable prices. That way you’ll know for sure all the pieces are present. It is typical for balls to go missing, or most commonly, the plastic center targets to break.
Did you play this game when you were younger?