Shoot the Moon

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A nostalgic game of gravity-defying skill

This simple game is as much fun today as it was when it first appeared over seventy years ago. It offers hours of entertainment without batteries or screen time. The object is to roll the steel ball-bearing up the steel rods and then drop it in the highest-scoring hole. Building the game is straightforward: drill some holes, rout a groove and a slot, and screw together some boards. You can even get in touch with your inner blacksmith as you cold forge the ends of the metal rods.

To play, start with the bearing at the bottom of the hill and spread the rods to get the bearing moving. Then, ease the rods together to keep the bearing from dropping as it rolls upward. Finally, open the rods wide to drop the bearing in one of the scoring holes. Easier said than done. I numbered the holes in my game starting with 5 at the bottom then 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50. But feel free to use any scoring system you like. To make the game more challenging, assign the lowest hole a negative point value.

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