No man cave or games room is complete without a table game of some kind, whether it's a foosball table, pool table or air hockey table. These tables are often large and costly, so making the right decision is crucial.
But how do you know which is the best one to suit your needs?
You read this article, of course!
Here you’ll find out the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. It'll help make your games room the coolest in the neighborhood.
Possibly made most famous by Joey and Chandler from Friends, foosball is a fast-paced, fun and competitive game. Sometimes called table soccer, it’s loosely based on the game of soccer itself.
Figures are on rotating bars and players stand on the side of the table, carefully maneuvering these bars in order to make the figures kick the ball.
You score a point when a ball kick makes it past the goal keeper, just like normal soccer.
- Pros – foosball tables are often smaller than pool tables, making them ideal for games rooms that are a little tight on space. They also cost less than other table games. They're even cheaper if you buy the table top version. Two or four players can play this game, which means more involvement.
Foosball is intense and fast-paced so it’s enjoyed by those who like a quick, competitive game. If you’re willing to spend a few extra dollars. You can even order a table with your preferred team of choice, or even personalize your players to reflect your friends or family.
There’s no need to set up the game each time you wish to play, simply drop the ball into the center of the table and you're good to go.
- Cons – foosball tables have many small parts, and the figures are susceptible to damage. Replacing figures or fixing these small parts can be costly and inconvenient.
If you have a large group, only four people can play at any given time. This crowds the table and prevents anyone else from spectating, or enjoying the game. Foosball requires a certain amount of co-ordination, which may make it a little difficult and frustrating for younger players.
Air Hockey Table
An air hockey table is a table with a large number of small holes. Cold air blasts through these holes in order to help the plastic puck glide smoothly across the table.
Players stand at the ends of the table and use a mallet to hit the puck back and forth. The aim is to shoot the puck into the small slot at the other end of the table, much like scoring a goal on a field hockey pitch.
- Pros – air hockey tables come in a variety of sizes so you can easily find one to suit your spacial needs. There’s even the option of a table top variety, meaning you don’t need a large amount of space. You can easily move it and store it away when you need to.
Many of them have lights and screens to display the score, which adds to the fun and excitement of the game. The game is easy to play. It’s not highly tactical making it perfect for younger players who enjoy a fast and exciting game without too many rules.
- Cons – a full size air hockey table is expensive and requires a large space, not leaving much room in your man cave (or budget) for other games and activities. Only two people can play the game at any given time. Whilst a full-size table allows for spectators, a table top table doesn't.
If you frequently have large groups in your games room, this can mean non-players get bored. Air hockey tables run using a fan system. If this isn't kept clean it can break, leading to costly repairs and replacements. This fan also requires electricity to run the table, all amounting to added costs.
An old pub favorite, people of all ages can play pool. Tables are usually solid and heavy, although various sizes are available to suit the size of your room.
The table has a felt cover and players use pool cues to sink the balls into the pockets strategically placed around the perimeter of the table.
The exact rules will vary depending on the type of game being played. Billiards, pool and snooker all come with their own variations of rules.
- Pros – the sheer variety of games that you can play on a pool table makes a pool table an investment that you won't get bored of. Unlike other table games, you can play more than one game. If you modify the rules you can play with multiple players or in teams, creating involvement for larger groups.
If space is a problem, you can get table top pool tables. These are small and easy to store, you simply place them on a surface such as a dining table and get playing!
Pool tables vary in cost so you’re likely to find one that suits your budget. Games such as pool and snooker can take a long time to play, providing hours of entertainment with just the one game.
- Cons – in order to play pool, you need to invest in balls and cues. These often come included when you purchase a table. If they don't (or they break or get lost) you’ll have to fork out money for replacements.
A good quality pool table is usually expensive and large in size, generally suited for people with both a big budget and a big space.
The long-playing time of pool, and other similar games, may not suit younger children who enjoy a more intense, fast-paced game. Plus, the co-ordination required may make the game difficult for younger players.
Investing in a table game for your man cave or games room is a brilliant idea - you'll never be bored again. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the space for multiple different games, so you have to make a choice.
This article has helped you by highlighting all the pros and cons regarding each type of table. You can now make an informed decision about what’ll suit you best. Enjoy!
Compiled in the video below are some of the other indoor games and sports that you can play for fun.