Puck me! Look at these miniature hockey players go!
Cheeky Swedes. They've been playing Play Off Ice Hockey
for donkey's years (where 'donkey's' equals 43) but didn't think once to tell the rest of us how great it was. It turns out that their hidden gem is not only a great laugh to play, but also it accurately represents the sport
it's based on better than any other sports game we've played. And it does so without sacrificing the playability, which is crucial.
Don't let the age thing put you off, as this is no dusty curio of a sports board game kept alive by a handful of Scandinavian hobbyists. Play Off is a fast and skilful game
, one that doesn't suffer from the stop-start syndrome on display in lots of other games. Plus, it's dead easy. Just score more goals than the other guy and you will be champ.
Each team has six movable players
The players move up and down their designated grooves and can turn full circle on the spot. Controlling your team requires a bit more finesse
than simply grabbing at the handles and giving them a hearty spin - as you do in the table football manner - but there's nothing fiddly about Play Off.
We were slightly worried that it wouldn't stand up to a bit of rough-and-ready play, but daily tournaments in the boardroom (and trips to parties) with our copy of the game have yet to cause any kind of damage. Apart from that to our work rate.