Flickball is a game for 2 to as many players as you want. In this game you and your teammates take on the role of coaches and players trying to defeat the other team in a game of football. This is done by using your skill and tactics to position your players so that they can score more goals than your opponent’s team within the allotted time or until you reach a certain amount of goals.
You start the game by rolling out the playing mat and placing the goals which connect through magnetic pieces. You place the keepers in their goals and the players start by placing your figures on the field but not in the inner circle. Then you drop the ball (disc) in the center of the field at a reasonable height. The player piece closest to the ball sets his piece next to the ball and now it is time to start the game.
First off let me tell you something about flicking (moving the ball forward by using the player piece) because this an integral part of the game. There are five different ways that you can flick a ball in this game. You can accomplish the loop by using the forward spot of the figure base and placing it firmly on the ball, afterwards you pull the piece to the rear and off the ball while still applying pressure and the ball will go forward. The amount of pressure and the angle of the figure determines how hard and high the ball will move. If you tilt the figure almost completely forward, you will do a hard shot. The next move is the tiki taka where you do the same motion but with the rear of the base figure. You can also do a twister by turning the figure while doing the move. The last kind of flick you can do is the brainy where you use the head of the figure and do the same motion.
Now let’s explain a typical turn. First of the figure closest to the ball goes to the ball with the only exception that when the ball is in the small rectangle in front of the goal, the keeper gets the ball. After the figure is placed next to the ball, each player may move one of their figures but the attacker goes first. The attacker will probably try to set up a player for a pass and the defender will typically try to prevent this from happening and steal the ball. After both players have placed their figures it is time to flick the ball and repeat the above process until you score a goal, the ball goes out of the playing field, a free kick is given or the game is over. You do have some limitations, the attack can be no longer than 10 turns and you can only dribble (ball stays with the same figure after a flick) three times. When the ball goes out of the field the ball is placed on the edge where it went out and a figure of the team who did not touch the ball last is placed next to it. Now every team has exactly ten minutes to position their figures on the field. Afterwards you simply continue the game. When a goal is scored you start the game anew with the exception that the ball goes to the team who was on the receiving end of the goal scored. A free kick is given when you accidently knock over one of your opponent’s figures with anything but the ball. The ball is then placed in the knocked over figure’s position and each player again has ten seconds to place the rest of their figures.
This continues until time runs out or set amount of goals has been met, whichever method you prefer. The team with the most goals has won the game.
First off let me say that we really enjoyed this game. This definitely falls under the category, easy to do, hard to master. You start by trying out the different flicks and what they do. The first couple of flicks the ball will not really do what you expect but it doesn’t take long before you start to give some nice passes and try to shoot at the top corner of the goal and giving it a little curve while doing so. After one game you start to see the fine intricacies of placing your figures in the right places to make sure that you have multiple options to pass or try and make a run for it. We have the neutral 7 on 7 version which is played on a somewhat smaller surface with 7 football players (which are made of durable plastic) on each side. They also came out with a Barcelona version of it where the football players are wearing two different kinds of jerseys from FC Barcelona. You can even buy training goals where you need to try and shoot in specific holes in the goal. The most beautiful product is their wooden figure version that lets you play out a real football match with 11 wooden football players on a bigger playing field. The rules are not bad but they presume that you know the most common rules of football because there are some things that should have been explained a bit further for a not football player to enjoy this game. We have played with football lovers and not football lovers and it went over really well. Usually you play a couple of games in a row just because it is that fun. You can even do small tournament because games don’t tend to take that long. For the moment these games are used at schools to let students work in teams and fine-tune their motoric skills and the game is specifically designed with this in mind. This is a really good endeavor but it should also enter the mass market and be more readily available because it is really a fun game of skill and tactic.
Play with Honor