Any regular readers of Geeky Hobbies will know that I have always been a sucker for weird board games. Ever since I was a child I have always had an appreciation for quirky action dexterity games. Most of my favorite games from my childhood where action dexterity games. While I am not the target audience for these games anymore, I still appreciate them for what they are. They can be silly, have no strategy, and some might be more of an activity than an actual game. They succeed at what is most important though, they are fun to play. With that said, today I am taking a look at the 2021 game Foosketball.
On the surface Foosketball might seem like a joke. A tabletop version of Foosball where the soccer gameplay is replaced with basketball. How in the world could that actually work and lead to a fun game? This seemed like something that I would have absolutely loved as a child. I was skeptical of how well it would work in action though. I had to check it out though as I love silly ideas, and Foosketball might have been one of the weirdest concepts that I have ever seen. There is no denying that Foosketball is a silly game that is not going to appeal to everyone, but beneath that silliness is a surprisingly fun game that actually utilizes more skill than you would expect.
Like the name implies, Foosketball is basically what you would get if you combined the classic arcade game Foosball with basketball. For those of you not familiar with Foosball, each player/team controls a number of players attached to sticks. You turn the sticks back and forth trying to hit the ball into your opponent’s net to score points. Now take that concept and instead of trying to kick a ball into a net, you try to throw the ball through the air to try and make baskets. That is basically the objective of Foosketball.
If you would like to see the complete rules/instructions for how to play Foosketball as well as assembly instructions for the board, check out our how to play Foosketball guide.
I really didn’t know what to expect heading into Foosketball. The concept sounded fun as a fan of Foosball. I really didn’t now how the game would work in execution though. While it has some issues which I will get to later, I was pleasantly surprised by the game.
At its core Foosketball is an combination of an action game mixed with a dexterity game. Your ultimate goals is to shoot balls through the net, but that is not such a simple task. This involves using both of your hands together in order to trap and pick up the ball. You then need to pull back both hands at the same time so the ball remains in your hands. Finally after moving your front hand down, you need to fling your back hand forward in order to shoot the ball at the other player’s basket. If you do all of this successfully, you will shoot the ball through the basket and will score a point.
Reading through this it might sound like Foosketball is hard to play as it involves a number of steps. The game itself is about as straightforward as possible. It takes a couple minutes at max to explain to new players. The game has a recommended age of 8+ which seems about right, as I don’t know if younger children have the dexterity to actually successfully shoot the ball. Foosketball is the type of game that you can just pick up and play, figuring it out along the way.
That doesn’t mean that Foosketball is an easy game. I was surprised by the fact that the game actually requires a surprising amount of skill. You could get lucky and make shots at random. Some players are naturally going to be better at the game than others though. There is a skill to quickly picking up the balls and shooting them with enough power and accuracy to consistently make baskets. When I first tried the game, I can honestly say that I wasn’t particularly good at it. As you play the game though, you get used to the process of shooting which improves your speed and accuracy.
While I generally like action dexterity games, they can be pretty hit or miss when it comes to skill versus luck. I would say that Foosketball relies on considerably more skill than most of the games in this genre. There will be times in the game where luck will play a role. There is a degree of skill required to do well in the game though. Some players may win more than others, but I appreciate that the game relies on skill as it feels like you can impact what happens in the game. If the reliance on luck usually deters you from this genre, you should maybe give Foosketball a chance as it may surprise you.
Outside of relying on more skill than I initially expected, the main reason that I was surprised by Foosketball is the fact that it is quite fun to play. The concept intrigued me from the start, but I didn’t know if it would actually be fun in action. Well that hesitation went away quickly. The game is silly which is not all that surprising. It is really fun though and kind of addicting.
In theory the gameplay is really simple as you just pick up balls and shoot them at the other player’s basket. The gameplay works though since the whole process is fun. It doesn’t hurt that you are competing against another player which adds a speed element to the game. There are plenty of hilarious shots in the game where you miss so spectacularly. I missed so badly that I ended up hitting the other player in the head a couple times with stray shots. When you are able to successfully sink a shot though, it is so satisfying. The game’s silliness works as anything can happen in the game. In one game I believe both players shot the ball at the same time which ended up knocking one player’s ball into their own basket.
Outside of the genre sometimes relying on quite a bit of luck, their longevity usually runs out rather quickly. While fun, the gameplay gets repetitive eventually. This is one of the biggest issues that I had with Foosketball, but it does a considerably better job than most games in the genre. The game held my attention for longer than I was expecting. After playing a couple games I was still interested in playing more games. Games are pretty short (with at least decent player accuracy), which makes the game perfect for rematches. I think most people will find it hard to not want to play at least a couple games.
Like most games from this genre though, Foosketball isn’t the type of game that you will want to play for hours on end. After a while the game does start to feel a little samey. Eventually you are going to want to take a break. Foosketball is most enjoyable if you play it for 20-30 minutes and then put it away for a while. I can see Foosketball being a game that I bring out more regularly than most games from this genre. In fact it is probably one of the best games from this genre that I have ever played.
This brings me to the game’s components. As you will likely play the game in shorter doses, this means that you will need to assemble and disassemble the game regularly. There is not enough room in the box to keep the game together. So if you want to store the game in the box, you will have to disassemble it every time you play it. The assembly isn’t overly complicated, but it does take some time. I could also see younger children having some issues setting up the game.
As for the component quality I was quite impressed in some areas and a little disappointed in others. One of the main reasons that I was skeptical about Foosketball is that I thought it would be cheaply made and not work well. As it only retails for a little over $20, I honestly thought it was going to be cheaply made. I was pleasantly surprised though that the game is actually much nicer than I was expecting. For its price you actually get a much higher quality product than you would expect. I was genuinely impressed with how smooth the operation of picking up the balls to shooting them worked in action.
The components do have their occasional issues though. The components are durable enough where they should last quite a while if they are taken care of. At times you can tell where the cheaper price impacts the game though. While there is quite a bit of skill to the game, there is some luck as well. This is due to the fact that the components don’t always work the same way each time you shoot the ball. One time the ball could be shot well. The next time it could fly off the board with no real change in how you shot the ball. Sometimes the balls don’t really go anywhere either as the sticks get somewhat stuck just as you are about the shoot the ball. This can be a little frustrating at times and may impact some games. With how fun Foosketball is though, it is pretty easy to look past these occasional issues.
When most people first hear the name Foosketball and see the game, they may think the game looks extremely silly and is a joke. While Foosketball is not going to be for everyone, I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The game is basically what you would get is you combined Foosball with Basketball which seems like it wouldn’t work. It actually does though and leads to a really fun game. The game even relies on quite a bit more skill than you would expect. If the concept interests you at all, I think you will have a surprising amount of fun with the game. It is better in shorter doses and its components sometimes let it down. I was genuinely impressed with Foosketball though, as I enjoyed it more than I was expecting.
My recommendation for the game is actually quite simple. Does it sound like a game that you would enjoy? If you don’t generally enjoy these type of silly action dexterity games, I don’t see it being the game for you. If the general premise behind the game intrigues you at all though, I would highly recommend looking into picking up a copy of Foosketball.
Year: 2021 | Publisher: Hasbro | Designer: NA | Artist: NA
Genres: Action, Dexterity, Family, Sports
Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 2 | Length of Game: 5-10 minutes
Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate
Components: 2 basketball court halves, cardboard court, 2 gates, 2 connectors, 2 hoops, 2 posts, 2 backboards, 2 players, 4 handles, 10 balls, instructions
- The idea of combining Foosball with basketball leads to a surprisingly fun game.
- Relies on quite a bit more skill than you would think.
- Is better in shorter doses as it gets a little repetitive if you play it for too long.
- While the components are generally pretty good, they will sometimes impact your shots.
Recommendation: For anyone who think the idea of combining Foosball and basketball sounds like fun.
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