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Yard games have long been a staple of casual outdoor social gatherings. Whether you’re attending a backyard barbecue, a picnic at the park, or a tailgate before the big game, a little lighthearted competition is a great way to keep family and friends entertained.
When people think of yard games, they tend toward timeless classics like cornhole. While there’s no arguing that cornhole is a fun way to entertain a crowd, it leaves a lot to be desired in its durability, portability, and design.
Caliber Games is looking to disrupt the existing yard game market with sleek, high-quality products like their hit game, TowerBall. TowerBall comes with a steeper price tag than many of its classic competitors ($189.99 MSRP), but thousands of happy customers have discovered that it’s a worthwhile investment.
Why TowerBall Is a Game-Changer for Social Gatherings
Caliber Games launched TowerBall less than a year ago, and it’s already taken the world of yard games by storm. They’ve garnered almost 100% five-star reviews, mentions in numerous lists of the best game products, and adoption from most major retailers.
Caliber Games co-founders, Alex and Kelsey Carroll, say they invented TowerBall as a cure to the common pain points found in most popular yard games:
“Most of the top-selling yard games we saw were easily breakable or decayed from weather, difficult to transport, or just boring because they’re so outdated,” says Alex Carroll. “We wanted to invent a game that felt like a classic yard game but was super-durable, easily portable, and stylishly designed.”
What Is TowerBall?
TowerBall is a simple toss game where players toss hacky-sack-style balls through holes in a four-sided pyramid. The first side has one large hole, the second has two smaller holes, and so on.
You start the game by tossing your four balls toward one large hole and scoring one point for each shot that goes through the hole. Then you move to side two, where the shots toward the two smaller holes are more difficult, but you score two points per made shot.
You continue moving around to sides three and four, each round increasing the points scored for made shots.
As yard games go, TowerBall isn’t reinventing the wheel — it’s perfecting it. This fun game has a similar feel to cornhole or washers, but its impressive form and functionality make it stand out.
TowerBall is made of weatherproof plastic that’s engineered to take a beating and stay standing. As soon as you unbox the product, you notice the quality of the materials and attention to detail in its engineering.
When you pick TowerBall up, it’s a bit heavier than expected, though still very manageable at 15 pounds. The hacky-sack balls are also noticeably high-quality and have the perfect feel and weight for this game.
One of the biggest downsides to most yard games is that they can get ruined when you leave them in the yard (the irony). Wood or cheap plastic warps and cracks in the sun and moisture, but TowerBall boasts that it’s 100% weatherproof.
It’s a huge convenience to be able to leave your game where you want to play it without worrying about it falling apart.
TowerBall consists of four interlocking panels that connect securely to form the tower. Once you get the hang of it, it only takes about a minute to set up and break down the game.
When you’re not using TowerBall, you can disconnect the panels to stack and pack them into the included backpack carrying case.
Honestly, we think the backpack may be the game’s best feature. The fact that you can throw everything in the case and easily carry it hands-free to and from your playing venue is pretty amazing.
TowerBall’s design works well both functionally and aesthetically. When you’re trying to engage people at a party or excite your kids with a new game at the house, appearance matters.
TowerBall’s colorful tower looks playful enough to get children’s attention but sleek and stout enough not to feel like just a kids’ toy.
In many ways, TowerBall is just a riff on a basic toss game. It’s pretty simple: you throw balls through holes.
Still, the four-sided aspect with different-sized holes offers variability that makes it adaptable to different environments and social situations. Depending on the crowd, there are multiple ways to play, and the fact that you can rotate or move the tower around works well for a variety of play areas.
The gameplay is intuitive enough to learn quickly, but it’s also more challenging than you might expect. The simplicity is inviting, but the surprising difficulty can be addicting enough to make you want to keep playing.
Moving the Ball Forward in Yard Games
Caliber Games is looking to change the perception of how customers view yard games. In the same way YETI leveled up the market for coolers, Caliber Games hopes people can start seeing the benefits of investing more into a higher quality social competition.
TowerBall is just the beginning of a premium line of products Caliber Games is introducing to the market. Since TowerBall, they’ve already released two more original products: Island Shot (a simplified take on cornhole) and HOKU (a horseshoes-like wooden star throwing game).
Caliber Games touts the mission of “[strengthening] families by facilitating shared, in-person play experiences.” Co-founders Alex and Kelsey believe simple outdoor games can become an antidote to the digital isolation being caused by screen addiction.
Kelsey Carroll notes, “during the pandemic, we saw families stuck at home together but still disconnected because they were living on their phones or computers. We want to build a business that encourages families to put down their screens and connect in real life.”
Between reversing the trend toward internet obsession and changing generations-old yard game preferences, they certainly have their work cut out for them. But with the success of TowerBall, it looks like a bright future is ahead for Caliber Games.