Coconuts is a two to four player game by Walter Schneider originally released August 2013 in Korea by Korea Boardgames. The game will be released April 2014 in the United States by Mayday Games after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Based on the “Monkey King” character from Chinese mythology Coconuts is a dexterity game where players use a spring-loaded plastic monkey to launch rubber coconut pellets into yellow and red cups. You start the game with eight coconuts for each player and a set of fourteen cups laid out in a square or triangle pattern depending on the number of players. If you launch a coconut into a cup, it’s all yours, leaving the coconut in the cup and placing the cup on your player board. If you get a coconut into a red cup you not only get to take the cup but you also get an extra shot. Once a coconut is shot into a cup the coconut stays in the cup until the end of the game.
Each player also starts the game with two random special magic cards. Magic abilities include taking an extra turn, taking a turn away from an opponent, choosing the cup your opponent must land their coconut in, making your opponent shoot from an arm’s length away, making you opponent shoot blind or blowing on an opponents coconuts as they fly through the air. Yes, you heard that right, you get to blow on your opponents’ coconuts. Please ask for permission before blowing on your friends’ coconuts, sickos.
The game goes until someone has stacked six cups on their player board in a pyramid fashion. If all coconuts have been shot into cups before someone makes a pyramid, the person with the most coconuts in the cups on the their player board wins the game. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is and it is also a lot of fun but it isn’t easy. The coconuts are not perfectly round and don’t always fling in the direction you are aiming. Due to their shape the coconuts will also bounce unpredictably with the outcome sometimes being a lucky bounce into a cup or being an unlucky bounce off the table. Thankfully the game comes with a few extra coconuts and additional coconuts can be ordered from Mayday Games.
Coconuts may sound like a pure dexterity game with a good heaping of luck thrown in, but there is some strategy to the game. Do I attempt to get the coconut into the red cup to earn that extra shot or do I try for one of the cups on my opponents player board because they’re about to win? Do I save up my special magic cards or use them to get revenge on the monkey-hole that just played a card on me? Does it really matter? In the end probably not because this is the type of game where you don’t remember the winner but the crazy bounce the coconut took to land in a cup, the person that actually made a long shot after having a card played on them or the awkwardness of watching your friends trying to blow on coconuts mid-flight.
Coconuts plays well with two to four players, is almost as much fun to watch as it is to play and bystanders will get the added “fun” of chasing down misguided coconuts. Coconuts can be enjoyed equally by kids and adults making it great for families. Games typically last between ten and twenty minutes but never expect to play just one game. Simply put, Coconuts is a blast to play. I can’t recommend this game enough and everyone I have played with has thoroughly enjoyed it, until I started blowing on their coconuts anyway.