Another reason why air hockey took so long to be developed is that it relies on scientific principles that were not necessarily well-known during the time that other table games were developed. Air hockey uses the same basic principles as a hovercraft to make the puck float (riding on a cushion of air underneath the object).
Air hockey, on the other hand, was invented nearly 100 years later. There are a few reasons for this, but most of them have to do with the technical difficulties of developing an air hockey table. The technology to make blowers small enough to fit in an air hockey table was simply not sufficiently developed up until that point.
The history of air hockey is not as long and storied as the history of other table games, like foosball, or table tennis. In fact, table tennis is one of the oldest table games that is still relatively popular, being invented near the end of the 19th century in Victorian-era England.
The inventors of air hockey were, in fact, two employees of the Brunswick Billiards Company. As you may have guessed from the name, this company already specialized in tabletop games, namely pool (or billiards). Since their employees invented the game, you can imagine how much experience the Brunswick Company has when it comes to producing air hockey tables.
The reason we decided to start off with this little history lesson is that the product we will be reviewing today is a Brunswick air hockey table. Brunswick is one of the few manufacturers who is authorized to manufacture competitive air hockey tables. Hopefully, this table will stand up to their high standards.
Before we get to the review, we will be going over a couple of characteristics that work towards making this one of the best air hockey tables around.
It is important to search for an air hockey table which is durable enough to withstand quite a few games. While the importance of this aspect is certainly dependent on how often you intend to use your air hockey table, no customer wants a model that will end up falling apart in no time.
Aside from increasing the projected lifespan of your new air hockey table, a high measure of durability makes it ideally suited for use in more intense games. High-stakes air hockey games can take a toll on the table, more so than any other table-based game, so consider how serious your games will be before making your purchase.
The fan which comes included with your air hockey table will have a huge effect on your game experience. An underpowered blower will often result in dead zones where the puck will not be held aloft. This shortfall can cause the puck to either slow down or stop completely, which, of course, hurts your playing experience.
A high-quality blower will only work well if it is placed underneath a playing surface that includes symmetrically drilled holes of the right size. If the holes are placed asymmetrically, or they are of varying sizes, the airflow will change from place to place on the table.
This air hockey table is made by the Brunswick Company, the oldest manufacturer of these game tables. It comes included with four pucks, as opposed to the usual two, but instead of flashy features, it is made to a much higher quality standard than much of the competition.
Build quality is the aspect where this air hockey truly shines. You will be hard-pressed to find an air hockey table which features the same degree of effort put into its design and construction. Everything from the abacus score trackers all the way up to the blower is constructed with excellent attention to detail.
The use of a double pedestal base as opposed to traditional legs makes this air hockey table more stable than much of the competition while also ensuring a good deal of durability. While the leg setup is a little unconventional when compared to other models, the legs still feature levelers to ensure an even table.
We also looked through reviews and testimonials from actual customers to bring you some extra information and details. For the most part, customers praised the longevity of this table, stating that it can withstand a good deal of punishment and keep going. Many models were still functioning after a couple of years of use.
What Others Say
The quality of gameplay is directly correlated with the quality of the table and its components, so it comes as no surprise that this table is lightning fast. The puck glides over the playing surface effortlessly, and there are no dead zones that we noticed during our thorough review process.
There were a few negatives, however. Some customers reported that the assembly process is a little daunting and can take a good deal of time. Others stated that they would have preferred an automatic digital scoring system for the price, but we find the abacus style trackers are more reliable.
This table features a price point that matches its quality, which is to say that it is rather high when compared to budget models. At around 750 dollars, this table is meant for air hockey enthusiasts and those who want a highly effective product. The price can sometimes drop to about 650 dollars when on sale.
If you want an air hockey table which is made to exacting standards and you are willing to pay a bit more than you would for entry-level models, this is the best choice. If there are any questions about this product, feel free to ask away down in the comments section.