A few weeks ago KLASK was reviewed in this space, a game with a lot of similarities to air hockey with the added benefit of ease of taking the game ‘on-the-go’.
BONK is something of a sister game to KLASK. The game is a 2017 release from designer David Harvey, coming from the same company, although BONK has its own web page at www.playbonk.com
“BONK, the fast rolling ricochet game, will give you and your friends hours of entertainment,” noted the website. “The aim of the game is to roll steel balls down your chute(s) so as to knock the wooden ball into your opponents’ goal. BONK demands a good eye, timing, and teamwork. It penalises both fumbling and trigger-happy play.”
The aim of the game is to roll steel balls down your chute so as to knock the wooden ball into your opponents’ goal.
BONK is at its heart a ricochet game that’s ideally played with four players. It can be played by two, but frankly managing the two ‘chutes’ you roll the steel balls down is all but impossible by a single player, at least in terms of effectiveness.
The goal is to roll the steel balls down your chutes in order to knock a wooden ball across the table and into your opponents’ goal.
If you knock the wooden ball into the opponents’ goal, you score a point, then the next round begins with the steel balls remaining on the half of the board where they’re currently located. The first team to score five points wins.
The game requires a huge amount of dexterity and timing to be good at it, which I am sure can be developed through practice, which of course is one of the key aspects of dexterity games such as rod hockey, carom, crokinole, KLASK and BONK. Games where skills can be improved and refined are in principle highly rated in my mind.
However, with BONK the initial experience can feel as though you have zero control of what occurs. The cutes maneuver well enough, and the basic idea of game play is easy enough to grasp, but it’s hard, very hard, to make shots that are anything but blind luck.
And the question many will end up asking is whether the game enthralls enough to devote the time and effort to refining the most basic of skills, especially because it would take a team effort against another team on the same learning path to see improvement.
But without that effort the game will not be particularly satisfying I am afraid.
On the positive side, the BONK table is well-made, comparable to that of KLASK, and again is highly portable to help in terms of finding opponents