Game Review: Bottle Bash

Recently the Backyard Buffs took a trip to California to visit Merek’s family. Our trip wouldn’t have been complete if we didn’t play any games or even….play a NEW GAME (new to us, of course)! Thanks to Merek’s father, we were able to try out Bottle Bash for the first time! Bottle Bash is a classic tailgate style game that takes a simple concept and makes it extremely addicting for competitive groups.

  • Time to set up: The game has a couple pieces to put together and then you’re good to go. After putting the pieces together and spacing the posts to your liking, then the game is ready to go. It should set up in less than a minute or so. Then you’re ready to start bashin’ some bottles!
  • Duration of game: Being newbies to the game, it took us a little longer to score points at first. By the 3rd or 4th round we were scoring points fairly easily. After getting the hang of throwing the frisbee, rounds lasted anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Getting to 21 points is harder than it looks, and honestly it took us a couple minutes to even knock down the bottle. If the game takes a bit at first, don’t worry. We’ve been there.
  • Number of players that are needed/can participate: Bottle Bash is meant to be played with 4 players in 2 v 2 fashion. That being said, it realistically could be played 1 on 1 (would be super hard, but I guess it’s doable) and up to 3 on 3. Anymore than that and things would get crowded. Make it easy on yourself and get multiple games going in a tournament fashion.
  • Where can it be played? Bottle Bash comes with 2 stakes that need to be stabbed in the ground. Luckily they are fairly sharp, so they can fit in hard ground. We recommend playing in the sand or on grass. Anywhere where it’s hard to stick the stakes in the ground might grow annoying if you have to repeatedly put the stakes back in the ground after it is hit with the frisbee. In the grass the stakes stay well-grounded, and on the beach the stakes are easy to put back in the sand.
  • How to play? The rules and scorekeeping couldn’t be anymore straightforward. After you set the poles set 20-40 feet apart, place the bottle on top and let the frisbee throwing begin. Teams of two are tasked with protecting their bottle if the frisbee knocks it down. Essentially protecting = catching it before it hits the ground. When the frisbee contacts the bottle or pole, then the team has to catch both the frisbee and the bottle before they hit the ground. If the bottle isn’t caught, then the other team gets 2 points. If the frisbee hits the ground then the other team gets 1 point. If both hit the ground, then the other team gets 3 points. The first team to 21 points wins! During play it will be tempting to catch the frisbee before it passes the pole. Players must catch and throw the frisbee from behind the pole, so that the frisbee has a chance to hit the frisbee or pole. The rules and scorekeeping are on the pole if you ever have any questions. Handy, right?!

Backyard Buffs’ Rating: 15

Ease of storage/portability: 4. What do all games that get a high score in this category have in common? That’s right! They all have a drawstring bag for easy storage and effortless portability. It’s probably one of the lightest games that we’ve reviewed. The drawstring bag that fits all the pieces and light weight give this game top-tier portability. The only downside is that the bag doesn’t seem extremely durable, and the longer pieces took some adjusting to fit.

Durability (packaging or game pieces): 4. Because we don’t own the game, nor were we able to play it multiple times over a long time period, we cannot give the most accurate rating about durability. The frisbee and bottles are made of sturdy plastic. As mentioned above, the drawstring bag seems on the less durable side, but it’s hard to say because we only used it once. From what we could tell, the poles are pretty lightweight and look like they could potentially bend with an extremely hard hit. They sell other versions that are more expensive and we suspect that the poles are made of a sturdier metal. If that’s the case then, we would likely give the other versions a 5 in durability.

Game in Bag

Friendly for all Ages/Skill Levels: 3. The idea of the game is simple, straightforward, and for some people….easy. As for the other large majority, this game can be pretty difficult. Plenty of people have a hard enough time throwing a frisbee that doesn’t require your partner to take at least a couple of steps to go retrieve it. We all know someone that no matter how hard they try, they just can’t get a frisbee to fly straight. Add that to a game directed at hitting a skinny pole with a skinny bottle on top, and things get tough pretty quickly. We played the game with people who quickly learned to fine-tune their frisbee throwing skills. But when we turned the game over to kids or other less “frisbee-inclined” people we needed to bring the poles very very close together to see any pole knocking, bottle bashing action. Like most games, a little bit of practice is all it takes to master the technique.

Fair Pricing: 4. Bottle Bash is a game that comes in different versions and varieties which fluctuates the price significantly. Depending on where you buy it, the price can range anywhere from $39.00-$49.00. And that doesn’t include the knock-off versions of the game that can be found as low as $25.00. If you’re on a budget then I guess you can buy it, but in order to get a quality set that will last you, we recommend getting a Bottle Bash branded set. We haven’t played with the other more expensive versions of the game, but we would assume the materials they are made of are more durable and therefore more long lasting. This is likely the version you will want to have if you are a competitive player that will beat down on the set. (If you don’t know whether or not that’s you, just find a frisbee, throw it at a tree a couple times, and that should tell you. If you can’t hit a tree, then you probably can’t hit a pole that’s like 20 times smaller, very often.)

Conclusion: What’s the verdict on Bottle Bash? Well, you know it’s a winner if you play it once and you’re looking forward to finding someone else who has the game. Bottle Bash is definitely a game that we would love to add to our Fun Trunk. Who knows, maybe this review will score us our very own version of the game. 😉 But in all seriousness, Bottle Bash is one of those games where even losing is fun because it means that you get lots of chances to redeem yourself by catching the bottle and frisbee, recomposing yourself, taking a deep breath, and then slinging the frisbee back at your opponent’s pole/bottle. It’s a game of runs that come and go as teams fight to take back the momentum. Momentum that is fueled by excessive celebrations, engendering the other team to fumble in frustration. If you’ve played it, you know what we mean. If you haven’t, then you’ll know the feeling one day. Bottle Bash is undoubtedly going to be in our Fun Trunk when we can get our hands on it, and will be taken on all sorts of trips to the park, the beach, camping trips, you name it. We’ll play it wherever!