Archive for August 21, 2012

Hours of fun for the whole family

What I love about summer is having more time: for friends, for feasting and for family games.

The family game thing is tough, though: some love them, some hate them. Personally I am in the former camp but my husband is usually a reluctant participant. Not so with our new family favourite, Pucket.

We discovered Pucket in the UK this summer. It is a wooden board game that originates in France and has recently been reintroduced in the UK by a charming fellow (a supreme Pucket master) called Dave.

To win the game you have to sling all 8 of your pucks (akin to backgammon pieces) through a small opening in a barrier in the centre of the Pucket board, with a catapulting rubber band. The challenge is that your opponent will be aiming at the same hole at the same time from the other side, leading to frequent clashes (which bear names such as cardinal’s revenge and neptune’s kiss in Pucket lore).

If it sounds confusing, I assure you it is not. Try watching this youtube video of the masters at work.

Pucket’s beauty lies in its simplicity and universal appeal. In a matter of seconds anyone from a pre-schooler to a game-on granny can get going. And while each individual game lasts only a matter of minutes, Pucket is addictive (you always think you can do better) so a whole afternoon can be whiled away with serial Pucket challenges.

So, I hear you ask, what makes Pucket an eco product (that works)? The answer is a bit sketchy because, on the negative side, the boards come from India which means they consume a good deal of transportation fuel. Dave and his partner Ben are upfront about this and have chosen to respond to this issue by favouring sea transportation over air freight. They also offset their shipping emissions.

On the plus side, the boards are handmade by artisans and the company uses only fair trade suppliers (externally verified). They are doing their best to ensure that the wood that is used is sustainably sourced. And the boards should last a long, long time (assuming no destructive player rage).

Pucket is available at a number of shops in the UK and on line for delivery worldwide through the website at a cost of £40 (about $60). Delivery in the UK costs £7. Delivery to North America is a relative bargain at only £14.50 (about $23), giving you an all-in north American price of about $85 which could be worse, given the fun you will have.

And the best news is that for a limited time (until the end of 2012) ecoproductsthatwork readers can get a discount of £3.50 with the code MFPAFD, just click here to get started.

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