Skittles
Skittles

Growing up, I spent hours playing Skittles with my sisters in the basement of our grandparents' house. We would play again and again, frequently changing our stringing and pulling techniques, likely to no avail. A few years ago, I tried to track down what happened to the copy from my childhood only to find that it left my life via a garage sale only a few months before; I was devastated but picked up a new version. Although my new version isn't as high quality as the one I grew up with, I still have a fun time playing it.
Overview
Synopsis: Skittles is a dexterity game in which players spin a top to knock down mini 3-inch tall bowling pins. Truthfully, it's probably more of a toy than a game.

Designer: Uncredited

Publisher: Carrom Company

Player Count: Any number of players can be play Skittles by taking turns at spinning the top.

Game Length: Skittles can be played for a set number of rounds or to a set point limit, so the length is variable. A full game usually lasts 10-15 minutes, as each spin only takes a couple of minutes.
Gameplay
The object of Skittles is to get as many points as possible by knocking down pins with a spinning top. At the start of the round, pins are placed on the indicated spots. Pins are worth different amounts of points, as is shown on the board; The more valuable pins are the ones that are harder for the top to reach. My Skittles board is shown above but there are other variations.

On their turn, the player wraps a string around the top, being careful to wrap the string tightly and evenly. The top is placed in the starting slot with the top inside the board and the string outside. The player then pulls the string smoothly and firmly to send the top spinning. The top explodes onto the board, hopefully knocking over the pins. We often house rule it to allow the active player to blow on the top to try and change its path. Once the top stops spinning, the player scores points for the pins that were knocked over.

Gameplay

Players take turns spinning the top and scoring points; at the end of the game, the player with the most points is the winner. Skittles can be played to a set number of points or it can be played for a set number of rounds. Players can also just play one-off rounds to see who can score the best in one round.
My Opinion
What I Like
The Fun: Skittles is downright fun. Spinning the top and watching it bounce around makes me feel like a kid again. When I knock down the pins in the back row, I want to dance in celebration. It's random, it's simple, and it may be more of a toy than a game, but I can set all that aside for something that creates as much fun as Skittles does. Everyone I introduce to the game to has an absolute blast.

The Memories: Playing Skittles takes me back to being a kid. I cheer, I dance, and I laugh just like I did when I was young. What's not to love about that?
What I Dislike
The Quality: On my version, the bottom of the board is made of a thin plywood and the sides aren't as high quality as I would like. It is functional, and it won't give out anytime soon, but it feels a bit cheap compared to the ones they made in the good ol' days. The version I grew up with was durable, and the inside walls could be removed to create slightly different floorplans. Pick up an older copy if you can find it, but the new one you can find from Carrom today is good enough. The set only comes with one top, but an additional top is nice so one player can be wrapping their string while the other player's top is spinning; you can purchase additional tops and pins by contacting Carrom.
Final Thoughts
I've belabored the point, so I won't spend much more time on it... Skittles is fun and is worth it! I have a few friends that only want to play Skittles when they come over, and I frequently pull it out when I'm bored and want to kill a few minutes.