Plenty of people fell in love with foosball (table soccer) during their teenage or college years: it’s social, fast-paced, and engaging enough to play for hours. Why not keep the fun going when you’re older and more settled?
Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to afford a dedicated game room, this can be problematic. Although you can pick up a used foosball table for about $100, you’ll need a space of at least 9 feet square to use it, and that’s being conservative. Moreover, almost all of these are decorated to attract attention in a garish arcade or dimly-lit bar, which probably won’t please your other half.
There is a solution, though: a stylish coffee table that doubles as a foosball machine.
Its exterior is made of hardwood with some nice finishing touches; there’s a tempered glass pane on top for you to place cups and snacks on. On the downside, you will have to spend up to an hour making sure all the parts are connected as they should be, but you don’t need a degree in engineering to manage this.
The spinner rods are of the kind that don’t protrude from the side opposite the handle, alleviating my somewhat irrational yet persistent fear of getting hit in the crotch (or in this case, the knees) with the pointy end of a metal pipe. Another thing that makes it good for use in a living or sitting room is that the handles, when pushed all the way in, lie mostly under a lip on the side of the table – your shin won’t get a nasty surprise as long as you remember to stow the handles.
Learning to play sitting down is something of an adjustment since most foosball players are used to moving from side to side. However, though the table as a whole is 4 feet long, the three spinners are close enough together to reach comfortably from one position.
That’s right: there are only three levers: the goalkeeper position has been omitted on this one, so a pair of players won’t be able to play on the same team.
So, while it’s a magnet for compliments and a pretty decent piece of furniture, it’s actually only so-so as a foosball table. Don’t get me wrong: it works fine and is a lot of fun to use. If, however, you’re the kind of player who routinely spins the rods or slams them from one side to the other, you might find it a little limiting.