Playing this game reminded me of my long brewing intention to create a playlist of fun family games appropriate for all ages and abilities. The litmus test is whether someone aged 16 would find it enjoyable even when playing with a 3-year-old and 65-year-old.
For example, Monopoly would not be included on the list while UNO would make the cut. Although Monopoly scores high in terms of fun factor, it fails the playability test. UNO touts playability across a wide age range while maintaining its fun quotient. CandyLand which scores high in play-ability, wouldn't make the cut since its fun quotient plummets rapidly across the age divide. I am convinced there is an equation to that explains it. Something like:
(oldest - youngest)/(gff - lff) = x
gff = greatest fun factor
lff = lowest fun factor
I don't know. Something like that off the cuff of my brain.
Whatever the equation, Glow in the Dark Bocce Balls [GITDBB] definitely make the cut. If you have a family, don't waste another moment debating your next family fun purchase. This is it. If you don't have a family but you like to entertain or host wild parties, you should also think about adding GITDBB to your entertainment collection. I played GITDBB for the first time at an adult New Year's Eve party and it instantly won a place in my heart. Thinking back on that game, it occurs to me that my mathematical equation should probably include a "maturity factor" since age is not always the best indicator of such.
Anyhoo, back to GITDBB.
Basically, you have a durable, plastic set of Bocce balls each containing an LED light. The balls are nearly indestructible (proven last night by my teenagers) as well as water resistant which would make them a fun beach game.
Play is simple. One person, any age, begins by throwing the small white ball (the pallina or jack) anywhere they wish on a predetermined playing field. You don't need a lot of space. You can throw it near or far. Obstacles make the game more challenging and fun, requiring players to use a certain amount of technique and ingenuity. Once the pallina has been launched, each player (or team) takes turns trying to land their Bocce ball as close to it as possible. Closest ball to the pallina wins the point. That's it.
This game can be pretty fun in daylight but playing it in complete darkness is nothing short of magical. Here are some photos I took during our most recent game.
Here's a quick 7 second clip of what it looks like in play:
My set was a Valentine's Day gift. They were purchased from the Playaboule website. The order was perfect and painless. The set comes with a lifetime supply of batteries - or so it seems. There's a lot of spares and I hope we have the pleasure of actually needing more some day. Turning the balls on and off is as simple as pushing a button. They have flashing mode - which nobody in my family likes - as well as a steady-on mode.
The set we have, and the only one I can personally recommend, is the Playaboule V3 Lighted Bocce Ball Set DLX Glow (LED) 107mm - G. I did quite a bit of research and you definitely want the V3.
If you end up buying a set, drop me a note to let me know. I would love to hear about your experience and adventures. Our GITDBB have found their way through wooded areas, soccer nets, over picnic tables and cement patios, and across vast open fields at great altitude. Did I mention they are durable?