Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

"The Floor is Lava" mini golf

Insomnia last night inspired this game idea; maybe there's something to it, maybe there isn't. I might give it a try next time I'm at a games event.

"The Floor is Lava" mini golf, version 0.01
Remixing and improvement encouraged. Released under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Players: (at a guess) 6-10 at a time, freely subbing in and out between rounds
Duration: three minutes per round, plus 5-10 minutes for setup
Equipment needed: a dedicated area (maybe 20 yards by 10 yards) that's probably outdoors, one golf putter per player, one easily distinguishable golf ball per player, one numbered target per player, three or four pieces of detritus (pizza boxes, buckets, paint cans, car tyres, plant pots, album covers, sheets of newspaper, carpet underlay offcuts... really, anything that can be stood upon and is perhaps 1.5-5 times as large as an adult foot) per player, one timer.

It's not a very prescriptive game in terms of equipment. The putters are presumably picked up second-hand from charity shops for peanuts. In a perfect world the targets might be, say, gateball hoops which come with their own numbers, but croquet hoops or pegs would be almost as good, or tent pegs, or wooden spoons, or whatever you can imagine and distinguish. Similarly, if you end up using other sorts of bats and balls then that's fine as well.

Dot the detritus and targets around the playing area. Ensure that the sequence of targets does not make a simple circle but a path that crosses the area from one side to the next and criss-crosses itself several times. There should be at least one piece of detritus in the way of the straight route from one target to the next. The items of detritus should be sufficiently far apart that the player with the shortest step cannot quite step from one to the next, but not much further than that - just far enough apart that every player has to jump a bit. Once the detritus is down, the extent of the playing area is defined as "anywhere that can be reached while standing on any of the detritus".

Starting position: each player is given their own putter and ball, picks their own numbered target (one player per target), then places the ball at that target and stands on the nearest piece of detritus to that target. When the stopwatch is started, players then attempt to putt their golf balls from one numbered target so that it hits the next one in sequence, then the one after that, and so on, before the time expires. If you reach the highest-numbered target, then your next target is the lowest-numbered one.

Special difficulty: the playing area is lava and players must be standing on detritus at all times; Players who step onto the playing area are disqualified. Additionally, players must move to a different piece of detritus after each shot, so it's more important that you putt your ball to somewhere that you can reach from another piece of detritus than that you actually hit the targets. Also, all players putt and move simultaneously at their own speed.

Victory condition: the game ends after three minutes. The player, or players, who have hit most targets in sequence during that time win that round. Play as many rounds as there is interest, substituting players in and out and/or redistributing the targets and detritus between rounds.

There are some deliberately vague issues left to vary from game to game, or from round to round, as the players see fit. Deliberately putting other players' balls with your putter is cheating, though groups may consider players' balls hitting each other to be part of the fun. (I suppose players can step outside the playing area if they need to - for instance, if their ball gets knocked out of it. Alternatively, you might prefer to disallow that but instead to put some sort of physical boundary rope in place.) I decline to rule whether or not the detritus may be moved while the game is in progress; whatever's more fun goes. This is not intended to be a roughhousing game where you attempt to dislodge your competitors off the detritus into the lava, but if everyone gives enthusiastic informed consent to the thought of it then you go for it.

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