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Game Preview: Hurricane Ball, or Gaming in a Whirlwind

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Each year at SPIEL, BGG owner Scott Alden is on the lookout for new dexterity games to add to the Hall of Dexterous Wonders (not its real name) at BGG.CON, and I've found a contender for him, although this design is plastic instead of wood, which is usually the case.

Hurricane Ball is a design from Korean publisher OPEN'N PLAY for 2-4 players in which players attempt to land the right balls in the right pits. You have no control over the balls, mind you, but you can eject unwelcome balls to make room for the proper ones.

You can play the game two ways, and it's simple in either configuration. In the more straightforward game, everyone sits in front of colored levers, you pull up the plunger to start the "hurricane" in the dome, the balls fly all over the place, you hit the levers to eject balls that aren't your color, and whoever first has balls of their color in all four pits hits the plunger to stop the hurricane and claim victory.

In the "longer" game, you reveal a target card that shows ball color combinations that everyone is competing to get into their pits first. Sometimes a ball of any color is okay, and sometimes you must leave a particular pit empty. Whoever does so claims the card, and whoever first claims five cards wins.

I've played Hurricane Ball five times on a review copy from OPEN'N PLAY, which took approximately thirty minutes, and this game is definitely one to bring to student gatherings as I've learned from experience that teenagers like nothing better than sitting around making lots of noise and razzing one another. To watch the game in action, you can check out this quick overview video:

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