Tuesday 26 April 2011

Mölkky outdoor game review

Here at The Madhouse, we've been taking advantage of the unseasonably warm Easter weekend to try out our lovely new Möllky game that we were sent to review. The chances are, you've never heard of Möllky but it's huge news in its native Finland and I'm positive it will be THE game to be playing this summer.

As you can see from the picture, you get a very rustic-looking chunky wooden crate, twelve numbered wooden pins, a wooden throwing skittle, score cards and an instruction booklet. It reminds me of the sort of thing you'd find at Ikea (I know, wrong Scandinavian country but it's not far off !). Now I said it looks rustic and that has good and bad points - you get the lovely smell of real-wood and the warm glow from the eco-friendly "back to basics" not-a-bit-of-plastic-in-sight aspect (it's made from wood from sustainable forests), but it does have rough edges so watch out for splinters when handling the crate. (But "roughousing", or the art of rough-and-tumble play, is making a comeback it seems and a few splinters never hurt anybody - well, not permanently anyway !)

So, how do you play ? Well, it all depends how seriously you want to play it really - and some people do take it very very seriously, especially in Finland, where they even have world championships ! You stand the pins up (with the highest scoring pins in the middle, as explained in the rule book) then throw your throwing pin (careful now - you could do someone some serious damage if you clunked them in the head with it !) and try to knock the pins down. With a mixture of skill and luck, you have to try to score exactly 50 points - if you go above 50, your score goes back to 25. This is a brilliant way of getting kids to practice their mental arithmetic adding and subtracting points ! Although when you first start out, you might want to ignore this rule as it's hard enough just trying to hit the pins at all ! As demonstrated by 9-year-old Sophie !

The game could be described as a cross between ten pin bowling and tossing the caber and it also reminded me of the French game of pétanque (or boules as the English often call it). This may explain why French Madhouse Daddy Mike scored a huge number of points the very first time he played ! Awww keep practising Sophie, you'll get there !

It's a really simple game to pick up with no complicated rules to learn so anyone of any age (as soon as they learn to throw the relatively heavy pin without killing or maiming anyone in the vicinity !) can play. For older kids and adults, the score cards make it into an even more fun, not to mention competitive, game and I love the fact that it can be played on anything - grass, sand, tarmac, concrete - so it's the ultimate family day out/picnic/beach game. It will definitely be a big hit this summer.

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £39.99

for more information : www.molkky.com

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. looks like a sturdy well made game, not sure id be too keen to pay that much though :/

  2. looks good but i agree with clareandtribe it does seem quite pricey - i suppose its built to last though!

  3. if you can get a good few years out of an outdoor game then that's cool. Too many plastic toys are designed to be disposed of at the end of the season.

  4. looks quite expensive on the face of it but i have a son with ADHD and toys dont usually last to be passed down to the next child whereas this definately looks like it would :) great review x

  5. This is the game I would like to play with my children. Simply superb!

  6. Mölkky - never heard of it but would like to play it this summer. @maisietoo (System will only let me post as Anonymous but am following as Maisie (M.)


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