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Tracy Frank, Published July 18 2012

Thursday review: RingStix a fun, challenging ring toss game

FARGO – I was a little dubious when I first tried playing RingStix as to whether I would actually enjoy it, but it turned out to be a fun, challenging game.

The game is a bit like playing catch with two curved 25-inch plastic sword-like sticks and a five-inch plastic ring.

One person uses the sticks to launch the ring toward the other player while that player uses his own sticks to try to spear the ring in mid-air (or as it goes rolling down the driveway as was often the case in my experience).

While the ring is easy to launch, it takes a little more skill to send it flying in the direction you want it to go.

I tested the game with my husband, sister and brother. Our rings flew onto the roof of our parents’ house (and luckily rolled right back off again), into the branches of a nearby pine tree (freeing several pine cones on its way back down) and under several cars. An added – and maybe unintentional – bonus is that the sticks are long enough to retrieve the rings from under cars and low-hanging tree branches.

The game worked much better once we gave ourselves a little more space (playing in our parents’ empty front boulevard instead of the fenced-in backyard filled with trees, flowers and children).

Launching the ring is a lot of fun, and it’s fairly easy once you get the hang of it. You hold a stick in each hand, cross the sticks and slide the ring onto the crossed sticks. To launch the ring, you pull your arms apart, uncrossing the sticks, and the ring goes flying.

Catching the ring is trickier. You can use one or both sticks to spear the ring in mid-air. While it can be a bit difficult, the satisfying “thunk” of the ring landing on the stick is highly addictive. It’s also pretty funny watching other players run, leap and lunge trying to catch the rings.

The rings and sticks float, and while I haven’t tried this game in the water, it seems like it would be a blast.

The company says the rings can fly up to 50 yards, even in strong winds, depending on how hard and fast a player flares the sticks.

There are instructional videos on how to play at www.ringstix.com.

The game is recommended for ages 10 and up.

RingStix Standard sells for $19.99 and comes with four sticks (enough for two players), one red ring and one glow-in-the-dark ring.

RingStix Pro sells for $29.99 and comes with four sticks with handle grips, one red ring, a glow-in-the-dark ring, and a bag to carry the game.

RingStix are available online at: www.ringstix.com.