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Dexterity Game Review: ‘Coconuts’

Dexterity games are a form of tabletop gaming too often overlooked. Some might think of simple games for kids to develop their fine motor skills, while others might think of intricate stacking or deconstruction games for adults. Coconuts from Mayday Games fills the gap between the two in a game with rules that can be explained in seconds and flipping fun that will last for hours. Mayday is known for its high quality games, and the art and pieces in Coconuts stand among the best. Imported from Korea, a nation of innovative and captivating games, through a successful Kickstarter, the…

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Dexterity games are a form of tabletop gaming too often overlooked. Some might think of simple games for kids to develop their fine motor skills, while others might think of intricate stacking or deconstruction games for adults. Coconuts from Mayday Games fills the gap between the two in a game with rules that can be explained in seconds and flipping fun that will last for hours.

coconutsboxMayday is known for its high quality games, and the art and pieces in Coconuts stand among the best. Imported from Korea, a nation of innovative and captivating games, through a successful Kickstarter, the game features four plastic monkeys with spring-loaded arms that act as catapults. The monkeys are adorable with their tongue-filled grins, and the coconuts have a squishy grip texture that prevents too much bouncing. The art and theme tie into the Monkey King of Eastern mythology, creating a sense of magic in the game’s aesthetics.

Mechanically, the game is all about the dexterity of launching the coconuts into the red and yellow plastic cups, something like a spring-loaded tiddlywinks. Players line up their monkeys and let their arms go, tossing the coconut into the lines of cups in the center of the table. Gaining expert status with the catapults will take plenty of practice, and there is always something to be said for beginner’s luck, making Coconuts a game for everyone.

coconutstableWhile flinging coconuts is fun in itself, Coconuts adds a new dimension of balance to the mechanic through its use of plastic cups. When a player lands a coconut in the cup, he or she takes it and places it on the tree stumps atop his or her placemat. As players collect more cups, they build a wall that they must shoot over to gather more cups. The game thus becomes more difficult the farther players go, slowing down those lucky or expert enough to get a head start and giving a chance to everyone to play. Games end when one player collects six cups, but it may also end when all of the coconuts have been used in cups. Players might determine a strategy of tossing coconuts into their own cups, building up a stash of points as they predict no one will accomplish the six-cup goal.

To further the flipping fun, players also receive Special Magic Cards that may be used as power-ups to themselves with extra shots, but they are primarily effective as attacks on one other. By receiving cards, players might have to shoot blindfolded, into a particular named cup, make a shot from an arm’s length away, or even suffer distraction from his opponents who blow crosswinds to throw off his coconut. Players will strategize to trip up those in the lead, again balancing the game for players of different skill levels, while also adding an element of wildness to an already hilarious and exhilarating game.

Coconuts is a dexterity game for two to four players aged six and up. The little coconuts may have a habit of flying off the table, so be sure to keep track of them. Spares may also be purchased from Mayday’s website, perfect for those who have lost a few or anyone who wants to do a marathon game with piles of coconuts. With fun and easy game play, coconut-flingers will return again and again.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.
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