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Have You Played... Crokinole?

Oh I miss it so

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I only had one chance to play Crokinole before we entered the end times, but it’s still one of the things I miss most about the real world. It’s a board game that requires a very special, very expensive board, as well as several bags of a magical, edible substance known as gliss. It’s about sliding counters into a hole, which turns out to be the highest form of entertainment yet discovered by humankind.

You can play a digital version using Tabletop Simulator, but obviously that is a bit crap.

I don’t mean to be mean, it’s just doomed to be a pale facsimile. So much of the joy of Crokinole stems from its gloriously tactile foundations. Flicking a wooden disk along an ultra-smooth surface is an experience so singularly satisfying, so crisp and pure, that I can summon my memories of it with unusual and alarming clarity. It’s difficult for me to accept that Crokinole was invented by mortal hands.

There is a bit more to it. You’re trying to sink your counters into a central hole, but failing that, you earn points based on how close you are to the centre. The twist is that you have to hit an opponent’s counter, or your shot is null and void. That can be excruciatingly difficult, because the middle of the board is surrounded by a ring of pegs. Oh, and don’t go thinking you can lean around and line up easy shots – the rules for the real world version specify that both of your buttocks must remain in contact with your chair at all times.

I haven’t actually played a game of Crokinole in Tabletop Simulator, but I did mess around with it for a couple of minutes when I grabbed a screenshot for this post. It’s decent enough. I can imagine spending an enjoyable evening with it, but mainly it makes my fingers itch for the real thing.

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Matt Cox

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Matt is the founding member of RPS's youth contingent. He's played more games of Dota than you've had hot dinners.

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