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Board Game Review – Coconuts

2014 November 29
by Michael Schroeder

Coconuts from Mayday Games, the perfect game for children…and Canadians (see below).



Designer: Walter Schneider

Number of players: 2-4

Age: 6+

Time: 20 minutes

What’s the game about?

A description from the publisher…

Coconuts is a dexterity game based on the “Monkey King” character from Chinese mythology.

In the game, players launch coconuts toward a field of cups in the middle of the playing area. Land in a cup, and you get to stack it on your player board; land in a cup on someone else’s board, and you get to move it to yours. By playing special “Monkey King Magic” cards, you can force opponents to shoot blind, take long shots, or otherwise bollix their efforts to cup a coconut. Whoever first completes a pyramid of six cups on his player board wins!

Basic idea in my own words…

Coconuts is dexterity game where you’re controlling monkeys whom are trying to launch coconuts into baskets. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. This game is not for the serious gamer at heart, but it is absolutely for those times where you need a break from strategy games and it is great for families with children. I normally don’t enjoy dexterity games but I wanted to make my gaming library more diverse and have something to play with my children.

Coconuts in action

Coconuts in action

Setup (express setup):

  • Give each player a monkey and a playing mat
  • Setup the baskets based off the number of players, either in a triangle shape or square shape – sometimes baskets are stacked on each other.
  • The playing boards are setup adjacent to the baskets in the center of the table, and the red line on the boards is supposed to be close to the player, this is like the foul line. The money’s face the players and sit outside of the red line
  • Give each player 2 randomly selection action cards – these cards offer one time rule breaks or special abilities
  • Finally give each player 8 coconuts and choose a starting player

The Game:

The rules are quite simple. In the game of coconuts, you are trying to be the first player to receive 6 baskets stacked like a pyramid on your player board. On your turn, you set a coconut in your monkey’s hands and carefully launch the coconut into one of the baskets. If your coconut lands in a basket, you get to take that basket and place it on your player board.

If your coconut lands in a red basket, you get another turn! The real fun comes in when you get a coconut in an opponents already claimed basket. In the chance this does happen (and it will), you get to take their basket! Also on your turn, before you go, or before an opponent goes (depending on the card), you may play a card and intercede.

Coconuts in the basket

Coconuts in the basket

Special Action Cards:

  • Guess Who? – Your opponent must shoot blind
  • Aimed Shot – Your opponent must call the basket they are going for
  • Freeze! – Make a player lose a turn
  • Far Shot – Your opponent must shoot the coconuts from at least arms length back from the red line
  • Call the Wind – This card is the silliest – you get to blow the coconut as your opponent is firing, sometimes backfiring on you!
  • Reduplicate the coconut – you get to go twice

End of game:

Play continues until 1 player has 6 baskets on their player board at the same time, or all players coconuts are in baskets. The game doesn’t last long and will often prompt for multiple games in one sitting.


Components: 3/5

For a game that’s so silly, I’m surprised the quality of the components are as good as they are! The box isn’t great, but the baskets, the monkeys and coconuts that look like droppings are great quality! The box, rule sheet and cards leave little to be desired however.

Theme: 1/5

Not my type of theme. But I wasn’t after the theme. I wanted a dexterity game that can be fun for the whole family, and that’s exactly what Coconuts is. I’ve played it multiple times with friends, my kids and some other family in Canada. My core group of gamer friends hate the game, and say it’d be a great drinking game but my kids and family in Canada seem to enjoy it!

Luck Factor: 5/5

There’s a good amount of luck in this, but with practice you can mitigate that. I’d have to equate it to sports. It’s all dexterity! There’s no random shuffling of cards (just in the beginning) or rolling of five here.

Strategy: 2/5

There’s not a lot of strategy in this game. It’s more like…basketball? Just hand and eye coordination and shoot for the baskets!

Overall Feelings: 2/5

While I give Coconuts a 2/5, the game still offers it’s fun. The game is definitely not my forte, but it’s still enjoyable and I highly recommend it for families with young kids. Coconuts also offers a diversion from the mind bender games and makes my game library more diverse.

Review copy kindly provided by Mayday Games.

Thank you to the kind members of Board Game Geek for providing images of gameplay.

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