Playing Mölkky, a fun combination of chance and skill from Tactic Games, which involves throwing a Mölkky skittle to knock over wooden pins placed at a distance, reminded me of a game I used to play as a child. I would stack pebbles vertically and aim to bring the stone tower down by throwing another pebble from yards away. Technique, skill, strategy, and chance would keep me occupied for hours at a stretch. Mölkky intends to do the same.

Designed for kids ages 6 and up, Mölkky is an outdoor game that kids can take to a park, a BBQ, the beach, or the backyard, play with family or a group of friends, or one-on-one with a feisty opponent.

Mölkky comes with 12 wooden skittles, numbered 1 through 12, and a Mölkky throwing skittle, shaped like a rolling pin that’s nearly twice the size of the other skittles. To get started, players place the skittles in a tight formation like the diagram below:

ArrangementThe throwing line should be 9 to 13feet away—keeping it at 13 makes the game worth the challenge. To aim the Mölkky skittle at the target, players throw underhand for safety reasons, so any other technique will get you disqualified. After each throw, players reset the skittles.

Now comes the fun part—strategy and keeping scores! The score equals the number on the skittle, but when more than one skittle knocks over it equals the number of skittles that fell. If a player misses three times in a row, he or she is knocked out of the game. The game ends when the first player reaches an exact score of 50 points, however, if they get too ambitious and get more than 50, their score is sliced to 25. Yikes!

Aiming and throwing a skittle has lots to do with hand-and-eye coordination, but aiming at the skittles to get a perfect 50 will keep kids thinking on their feet. If kids master their techniques, its good to know that National Mölkky competitions are held worldwide including Finland, where this game first popped up. Another fun fact to know is that Mölkky skittles are made from natural sustainable wood from Finland, teaching kids to care about the environment even while they play.