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All-time low: £12.49 on 29/10/2016
Determination, agile fingers, and an alert mind are required for Screwball Scramble, a cleverly designed tabletop obstacle course game. The object of the game is to move a small steel ball through eight hurdles as quickly as possible by hitting, pushing, and turning buttons or pulling and twirling levers.
The orange, brown, and beige obstacles sit compactly on a green plastic unit 30 cm long, 25 cm wide, and 15 cm tall at its highest, and the controls feature clear pictorial instructions. The game does not require batteries, and assembly time is limited to the few seconds it takes to slot a timer and loop onto the unit.
The noisy one-minute timer is designed to increase the pressure as each second ticks away. The player has to direct the ball along a tilting three-part walkway, use the magnet on a lever to turn the ball in a semicircle, manoeuvre the ball down two steel parallel bars, and lead it to the correct exit on a wobbly plastic board; they must then slide the ball into a small hole and bounce it into three further openings, propel the ball through a loop, guide it through a covered maze, carry it on a small plastic arm into a hole, before catapulting it accurately to ring a bell.
The obstacles vary in difficulty, but players – with practice – will become adept at handling each of the hurdles. The real knack is to complete the circuit in one attempt, which requires good concentration and coordination. Screwball Scramble can be played competitively or alone, and is challenging either way. This sturdy game will provide hours of entertainment and will be a firm favourite in any household.