YORKTON - As a general rule dexterity games rate rather highly on any list this game player might create – in large part because Crokinole in my all-time favourite game.
The idea of finger flicking games in general means you need a certain level of skill to be successful.
If it is a skill, then you should be able to get better at it with practice.
You can sit at your Crokinole board shooting for the coveted 20-point centre spot for hours, and you will get better. That is a positive for a game which by that factor edges toward being a sport too.
So whenever a new dexterity game comes along it’s of interest.
That brings us to Binho.
Binho is essentially a marble flicking game which is basically a representation of soccer.
The ‘players’ in Binho are simply metal stationary metal stakes. Sure that doesn’t sound to exciting, but here it works fine. They are just there as obstacles you need to shoot around as you go for goal.
And, on your turn you only get one shot at flicking the marble for a goal, then the opponent shoots, so you need to be as skilled as possible.
Here though practise is a less assured way to get better, because a round marble is harder to control than a Crokinole disc, and the ‘players’ really are a maze to get through.
What is interesting is the simple ingenuity used to deal with the sidelines.
Often in games such as this, there is an issue where pieces come up against the edge and sit there where it’s hard to do anything with.
Binho has pretty much solved that by making the sideline a strip of elastic banding. The band rebounds the marble most times, and if it does cozy up to the band, it can be stretched enough to still take a reasonable shot.
It does make one wonder if the band will lose its elasticity being stretched around the board all the time, or should it be removed when not in use? It did arrive installed in the box.
As for the board, it’s really well-made. The sort of standard edition has a green carpet which is really nice.
Other editions of the board have colours associated with various nations and famed soccer franchises which true soccer fans are going to love.
So where does Binho fit into a game collection?
Well, this is one of those games – much like Klask – that should be standard fare at every sports bar. They should be available for play and even have leagues built around them.
Sadly, pool tables and dart boards and other active options have gone by the way side in sports bars here which now seem to just focus on a bunch of big screen TVs which you can’t hear but you can watch.
It would be great to have a spot where rod hockey, Klask and now Binho were standard fare to have fun playing with buds and a brew (or coffee).
Binho is a game which will not be for everyone, but it takes about two-minutes to get on a table, explain the few rules (it’s a penalty if you shoot the marble off the game table), and be ready to go.
Once you so start playing though, if you like it, be ready to suggest ‘just one more game’ especially if a bud manages to beat you.
Well made, simple rules, and certainly more fun than watching an actual soccer game *wink.