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who needs bricks when you got wooden blocks.


Educational , competetive , fun

I must not cheat , I must not cheat  -  oh sod it cough cough oops .

Recommendable Yes:

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Playability & Enjoyment

Design & Presentation

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Jenga .

They say that the simplistic ideas are often the best.With Jenga you must have one of the simplistic games ever invented . Yet with simplicity you get competitiveness , hours of family / group fun , and an educational toy for youngsters all in one

Jenga is manufactured and distributed by Hasbro UK Ltd , Caswell Way , Newport , South Wales NP19 0YH , and is available from all good toy shops and the multitude of catalogue type shops ( Index / Argos etc. ) , and a cost of approximately £9.00

So what is Jenga ?

Basically a box full of 54 rectangular blocks of wood , complete with stacking aid ( plastic coated cardboard , but it does the trick ) . For those of simple mind or pure forgetfulness , Hasbro have kindly imprinted the name Jenga onto the two long edges of each block , just in case your forget its name !

There are cheaper imitations , often made of plastic , but the wooden blocks are far superior , and provide for a better more substancial tower , and as so are the recommended choice.

Object Of The Game :

Basically you aim to be the last person to place a block on the tower ( see later ) without collapsing it. It really is that easy - told you. You can play a game singually just to get some practice in , and against 2+ more players . An ideal group would be 4-6 , giving all a chance to participate.

Playing The Game:

Step 1 )

A player is nominated to build a tower from the blocks. To aid you a stacking tray is supplied. Building is simple , with each level comprising of three blocks placed side by side . Each additional level is built 90 degrees to the one below it ( therefore looking at it straight on you will see a single edge , then 3 small edge faces and so on ) .

Step 2)

Once built , transfer your tower onto your table , taking care when removing your stacking tray . NOTE , I would recommend the use of a sturdy table , which will make life so much easier .

Step 3)

Starting with the player who stacked the tower , players can remove any piece from the tower , as long as it isn’t taken from the top level . Now , providing the tower hasn’t collapsed , that player must place his taken block and place it on top of the tower , remembering the 90 degree rule.

Step 4) Continue as per 3) , and in a clockwise direction . Note however is the top level does not have three blocks on it , then you cannot try to raise the tower , instead you have to continue at the current level.

The game ends when the tower collapses . The winner is he one who last added to the tower . Should further games be played , the player who collapsed the tower previously , has the honour of rebuilding the tower .

Making it harder ! :

1) Adults only : have a few drinks before hand - a real laugh then !

2) Anyone : for a real challenge use your opposite hand ( ie. right handed people use your left hand and vice versa ) . Obviously those of ambidextrous nature would benefit here .

3) Anyone : have a die handy . Roll it , and only take from a multiple of that number ( really hard if you get a higher die number when the tower gets quite high ) .

As time passes , so the pressure piles onto you when it’s your turn . Strategy starts to take effect , so think ahead - bad strategy will catch up with you believe me .

Game Alternatives :

Why not have some suitable forfeits written on paper and folded . The loser chooses and completes their choice .

Suitability :

On average I would say 7 years to adult , as within this age group you will get a pretty even game .

Furthermore :

At the beginning of this op , I said that this is an educational toy . How so ? Well :

1) Youngsters will have hours of fun making up their own games ( pretty much as with the cardboard box v’s big toy syndrome ) . Competing against each other to build their highest towers , vague looking creatures / robots / whatever and of course Jenga blocks are like big dominoes .

2) By 1) , a child is homing his/her fine motor control . My disabled daughter really benefits from doing the likes of this , as would any younger child ( supervised of course for very young ones. ) .

3) When playing a normal type game , strategy comes into effect as does good old thinking power . Now this has to be to everyone's advantage , especially children .

Final Thought :

A fun game that gets the old grey matter thinking , nimble fingers moving , determination brought to the fore , and of course that uncontrollable urge to cheat ( cough , table wobble etc. ) . It can also provide hours of fun and is quick and easy to set up as well as pack up. Well worth investing in .

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Comments about this review »

Anna145 11.01.2002 22:04

This game is brilliant. I love it! Great op. Anna x

laura_oconnor 04.01.2002 21:28

I love this game! :)

CareBear 04.01.2002 16:34

My parents bought this for me in Holland before it was available in the UK many years ago. Now married and left home, I bought my own set (although from NEXT) just last week. Hours of simple fun! Claire

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Product details

Type Board Game
Sub Type Family Board Game

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This review of Jenga has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  2. helencbradshaw
  3. Anna145

and 22 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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