Football season is about to ratchet up, so Osprey Games’ Zoo Ball: The King Of Sports comes out at the right time, because it is reminiscent of finger football (without the field goals ) or maybe more like finger futbol. Designed by Duncan Molloy for two or four players, Zoo Ball is a quick game where players take turns flicking wooden discs across a 30″ x 30″ felt play mat trying to score goals against their opponent. Each team has 4 discs consisting of three blockers and one scorer. The game comes with stickers of cute animals to place on the discs (hence, the name of the game).
On a turn a player may either flick all three blockers or, alternatively, the scorer token. Only the scorer token can register a goal. Blockers can be used to block or to knock other tokens away. After every goal tokens are reset to starting positions and play continues until one team wins the match with 3 goals. A match should take you five minutes or so. The box says Zoo Ball is designed for ages 8 and up, but I think even younger kids could enjoy this game.
The wooden discs slide in a satisfying way across the felt, and the sound of disc hitting disc is pleasant.
Because the mat is folded to fit in the box, a purist may want to iron it before playing. But even out of the box, the nooks and crannies add a bit of challenge, so maybe it’s best that way. Overall, I could see Zoo Ball providing a good time for younger gamers and possibly a group of grown ups during commercials on a fall football afternoon. I predict we will see a pub version of Zoo Ball, sans mat, at some point. It seems like a no-brainer.
So, if you’re in the market for a quick dexterity game check out Zoo Ball. Thanks for reading, and keep nerding on!