If you grew up in the Eastern world, in India particularly, you will be no stranger to the game Carrom. In the States, well they would match the concept as being very similar to pocket billiards, and to us in the UK and Europe we would think the rules are very much like a game of Pool. When it comes to Carrom we can play singles or doubles too, however, there are no cues, no balls, and ‘strikes’ are made with a flick of the finger on the side of the Striker piece sending a Carrom coin into any one of the four pockets.
Under review is the Wooden large scale version of Carrom from Garden Games
The board is made from wood of a decent quality and finish (underneath : a wooden framework with pockets made from synthetic material stretched across every corner). Everything is well planed and smooth, no splinters, and with the Carrom design (the striking lines, the flower etc) in black and red it is very pleasing to look at. The board requires no assembling though it is one solid piece and so it is not possible to fold it down smaller. The board is square and measures 84 cm x 84 cm and can be set upon a table top with a large flat surface, or put straight down on the floor/grass or patio. The playing coins are similar to backgammon pieces, wood milled, very tactile and pleasing to hold and handle. The Striker is a larger coin, made from acrylic in blue and white.
The whole set with its current 47 GBP price tag consists of:
Offical Sized Carrom (Karrom)
11 x White Wooden Carrom coins
11 x Black Wooden Carrom coins
2 x Red ‘Queens’
Striker Carrom Coin
30 gms of Carrom Board Powder (see comment on health and safety below)
Rules and Instructions Booklet
It is obvious that this Carrom set from Garden Games is Made in India and are supply distributed straight out of that country. TSS testers noted however, that the booklet containing the Rules and Instructions bears all the hallmarks of being written by someone whose first language is not English. We presume the customer base for Garden Games is mainly UK National, but because the booklet (be it small) is rather amateurish, it lets the presentation down somewhat and we feel it may be difficult for people to get a handle on the Rules of Play because of the word errors. So we suggest a rewrite and some kind of planned implementation to replace those booklets in existence for the UK market especially.
Health and Safety information
Suitable from 3 years plus (with smallest components measuring 3cm diameter round) The kit does include Carrom powder (30g). This is designed to add ‘slip’ to the surface area so that extra speed along the striking lines can be achieved. Unusually the label on the little white bottle bears no detail about actual broken down content, and it has the tiniest, small print information imaginable warning against ingesting the stuff. We wondered if it may be toxic but Garden Games assures us the powder is vegetable starch and in a statement they say: ‘there are clear labeling laws that state what you have to put on a product if the contents are toxic and the Carrom powder is definitely NOT’. TSS has requested that they look into clarifying the fact for the consumer by relabeling the item so it reads as being 100% Vegetable Starch
TSS Says Powder labeling and booklet aside, we really like the standard of all the components. We strongly feel the Wooden Carrom set would make a great, long lasting, keepsake gift for anyone! Great fun and entertainment at home with family and friends; indoors or outside. A Carrom board would work well as a permanent installation in a meeting place, staff room, or games room.
— TSS NEWS (@TSSComms) October 31, 2016