Palikka: Seattle's New Favorite Game

Inspired by the Finns, Wallingford's new gamemaker has Seattleites chucking wood.
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The Northwest has a long history of knocking down logs, and while we no longer have endless forests to plunder, we do have…Palikka.

The brainchild of Wallingford resident Santtu Winter, Palikka is based on the popular Finnish game Möllky, which Winter purchased while visiting his parents in Finland in 2006. Loving the game but wanting to put his own spin on it, Winter spent the better part of a year creating Palikka (which means “block” in Finnish).

The premise is simple: Chuck the “tossing log” at the 13 hand-size wooden pins, which are placed “three large steps” from the throwing line. Each pin—crafted locally (on Winter’s porch, in his in-laws’ garage and in friends’ backyards)—has a point value. Knock ’em down and add ’em up; the first person to reach 50 wins.

Winter describes the game “like a deck of cards—you can play many different ways with the same pieces” (see palikkagame.com for instructions on how to play classic and new Super Palikka). This month, you can toss a log with Winter and his fellow University of Washington alums before Husky games (10/15 and 10/29; check website for details), but be warned—consumption of alcohol may impede your toss.

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