Jenga is one of those party games that never gets old. We all remember the heart-pounding tension of trying to wiggle out that little wooden block without causing the whole tower to topple over. Because Jenga is more focused on physical dexterity than strategy, you’ll be sure to enjoy refining your tower stacking skills with this classic board game that never disappoints.
Building the Tower
Jenga is played with 54 wooden blocks that are each three times as long as they are wide. The blocks are stacked three in a row side by side to form a square, with three blocks then stacked perpendicularly on top of the previous stack. This means that if the bottom row of blocks is facing north and south, then the row above will face east and west (and so on and so forth).
The game begins with one player building the tower by stacking the rows of blocks on top of each other. There are going to be a total of 18 different stories of blocks once the tower is first built, although the number of stories will increase once the game has begun. Jenga usually comes with a loading tray that helps you stack the initial tower, since it would usually be pretty tedious doing it by hand.
One of the trickiest aspects of this party game is that each Jenga block is not created to be identical. Each block has small, random variations that make stacking them more difficult and make the game more challenging.
Deconstructing the Tower
The game is then played in turns as each player takes one block from almost any level of the tower and places it on top of the tower. The only level you’re not allowed to take a block from is either the top incomplete level or the one below it. This means that you’ll have to find certain blocks within the tower that you can safely remove without threatening the integrity of the tower itself.
If you end up knocking over the tower, then you lose the game. You’ll want to move carefully as you remove blocks, as one wrong move can result in a pile of fallen Jenga blocks. Some players find it helpful to tap a block before removing it to make sure that they can get it out without knocking over the tower. However, you must only use one hand at a time to remove blocks from the tower.
After each turn, players are allowed to wait 10 seconds before taking the next turn in order to see whether or not gravity will take its course and knock the tower over. If you remove a block and the tower falls over within 10 seconds, then you lose the game. If the tower falls over in the middle of the other player’s turn after 10 seconds have passed, however, then they lose even if they have yet to touch the tower.
There are a few sequel versions of Jenga that add fun new mechanics to the game and make it a bit more complex. Jenga: Super Mario allows you to play as characters such as Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, or Toad by taking character pegs and slotting them into blocks inside the tower. Players will use a spinner to decide how many layers their character is allowed to climb and how many blocks they have to remove.
There’s also a Monopoly Jenga that combines all of the fun of Jenga with the classic board game Monopoly. This version of Jenga is similar to the block balancing mechanics of the regular party game, but each block represents properties you need to collect and may earn you points or abilities.
Move Gently with Jenga
Jenga is playable by 1-8 players, as it’s just as fun to play by yourself as it is with a small group of friends. It’s suitable for ages 6 and up, so it’s a great party game to play at kid’s parties or with families. Playing time for Jenga lasts around 20 minutes, but you’ll almost certainly want to play multiple rounds.
Buy Jenga today and let the blocks fall where they may!