How To Play Horseshoes With a Fun Twist: Introducing HOKU

How To Play Horseshoes With a Fun Twist: Introducing HOKU

Are you looking for a fun new game with friends and family? Look no further than HOKU. This exciting new game from us right here at Caliber Games is a twist on the classic game of horseshoes, giving you endless hours of entertainment.

Whether you have ever played horseshoes before or not, HOKU is a fun and engaging game that everyone will love. With simple gameplay that anyone can learn, HOKU is perfect for all ages. So grab your friends and get ready to have some fun.

Here is our Caliber Games breakdown on HOKU and how to use HOKU to play horseshoes with a fun twist.

What Is HOKU? 

Promotional image of Hoku Game bundle - woman holding Hoku game and storage bag

HOKU is an original game that we invented at Caliber Games, with the testing help of our toddlers, to foster in-person play experiences that will engage the whole family. HOKU is a twist on classic backyard toss games like horseshoes that reward accuracy.

The HOKU Bundle comes with everything you need to play the game:

  • Rubberwood Game Board - HOKU starts with a durable rubberwood game board. The board is shaped a bit like an asterisk.
  • Six Rubberwood Throwing Stars - Six throwing stars (three for each team) are included and are made of the same durable rubber wood as the game board.
  • Easy Storage Carrying Case - Last but not least, the HOKU Bundle comes with convenient storage and carrying case so that you can bring HOKU with you anywhere you go and store it without worrying about damage.

Now let's talk a bit about setting up the ultimate game.

Setting Up HOKU

Luckily, the setup for HOKU is fast and easy, so you can have the game set up and ready to play in minutes.

First, you need to find a good play area with at least ten feet of free play space in one direction. However, remember that HOKU is a 360-degree game, so the more space around the game board you can muster, the more fun you can have.

Then, all that's left is dividing the throwing stars so that each player/team has three throwing stars. Three stars have a square marking, and three have a triangle marking to help differentiate groups. You can also order additional throwing stars marked with different shapes to add even more players.

Remember that the board and pieces are made of wood and can cause injury or damage if misused. Be sure you have a safe space to play where the risk of injury and damage is slim to none. Once you've got that squared away, you're all ready to play.

How To Play HOKU: A Fun Twist on Horseshoes

How to play horseshoes with a fun twist in the park with HOKU

Step One

First, you need to select one player or team to go first. You can decide whatever way you want: rock, paper, scissors, the youngest player tosses first, run a race, or anything else.

The player tossing first should take three steps back from the game board to establish the distance for the first toss. Depending on the skill level and age of the players, you can adjust the initial length if you wish.

Step Two

Player one will then take their turn tossing all four of their throwing stars towards the game board. You can score in a given round on your tosses in two ways. First, you can score one point by getting your throwing start closest to the center of the HOKU board at the end of a round. 

Second, you can score three points by getting a HOKU. You achieve this by landing the point of one of your throwing stars where it breaks the plane of a notch in the board. A HOKU will score you three points (players can score multiple HOKUs per round).

Some helpful advice: in many play areas like grass fields, you will have better luck bouncing your stars off the ground than trying to land them directly on the board. Experimenting with different playing surfaces can give you ideas on how the game changes in new spaces.

Step Three

After player one has tossed their three stars, player two takes over. Tossing stars from the same place as player one, player two's goal is to score more points than player one.

Players can use their throwing stars to knock other players' stars out of the way, so don't be afraid to let your competitive spirit come out.

Step Four

Once all the players have tossed their stars, it is time to add up the scores. Each player who achieves a HOKU scores three points, and the player whose throwing star landed closest to the center of the game board scores one point.

Step Five

Now it is time for the next round. The player with the highest score tosses first in all subsequent rounds. The player who tosses first for each round also selects where players will throw from, which can be anywhere in the playing space.

Step Six

Keep playing rounds until one player reaches nine points and is crowned the winner. If there is a tie, you can play a "sudden-death" round where the winner of that round wins the game.

Cleaning Up HOKU

Hoku board game on the grass with throwing stars on top

If you are a parent, this section will be a big life saver for you. While some games have complex setup and cleanup routines, HOKU is fast and easy. All you have to do is pack the game board and throw stars back into the convenient carrying and storage case, and you're all cleaned up.

Fun Alternatives and Twists

The classic rules of HOKU are fun and easy for anyone to learn, making it a classic for backyard parties, graduation celebrations, and family gatherings. However, there are also some more unique and creative twists for different play styles. Here are a few ideas for you and your friends to try.

Cancellation Scoring

One way to extend the game, mainly if the players are pretty skilled, is to play with cancellation scoring. In a cancellation scoring game, only one team or player scores points each round. You do this by subtracting the lower-scoring players' scores from the higher-scoring players' scores. The high-scoring player is then awarded the difference in points, and the next round can carry on from there.

Trick Shots

Another fun way to bring extra creativity to the game is to play with trick shots. Players will have to toss their stars from the exact location as the first player of the round and with whatever restrictions or additional elements they include.

This could be things like closing your eyes, tossing behind your back, under your legs, or whatever other fun trick shots you can come up with. Include elements of your play space for even more ideas.

Horseshoes With a Fun Twist: HOKU

Learning how to play HOKU doesn't have to be complicated. It can be fun and engaging.

HOKU is an excellent game for people of all ages. It's easy to learn and can be played with various skill levels. Whether you're looking for a classic game of horseshoes or something with a fun twist, HOKU is the perfect game for you. So gather your friends and family and get a HOKU Bundle today so you can play.

Do you want to learn more about HOKU? Check the product page for more details.



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