As part of my role as a Board Game Club blogger, I get a new board game each month to test out on my willing family. We love playing together, I’m always torn between letting them win or playing to my ability and winning myself if that’s how it happened. I remember giving up on most games eventually with my family as it was impossible to win unless chance was involved. I may go easy on my kids a bit – says one of the most competitive people ever!
This month it’s Jungle Speed, the fast paced card game with an added dimension of the totem pole that sits in the middle and must be grabbed when the time is right, but be warned, if you grab it at the wrong time, you lose out!
We were all excited to give it a go, it promised something different that we’d not tried before. I love the brightly coloured box and simple playing pieces. I am not a fan of little pieces with a toddler in the house.
What’s in the box?
Inside the Jungle Speed box you get a pack of square playing cards, a wooden totem pole, the rule book and a carry bag for easy storage and portability.
How to Play
The wooden Totem sits in the middle of the table, waiting for the player with the fastest reflexes to snatch it up and win the game. Each player is dealt a hand of cards. In order to win you must be the first player to get rid of all of your cards. One by one each player reveals one of their cards. If two cards are identical, those two players must duel and make a grab for the Totem. The faster player then gives their cards to the loser. If there are any cards in the pot, they too go to the loser.
To add to the difficulty, certain cards have very similar shapes, which can trick a player into grabbing the Totem by mistake, meaning they gain more cards. There are also special cards which have different meanings, either to force all players to make a grab at once, change the method of play, or otherwise add to the difficulty.
After the initial try out game, it has since been out twice by request, and Daniel has even got involved, even though he’s too young. The recommended age is 7+, but I would say 5 up should be able to manage it. Adults can enjoy it too, and you can play with 2 players up to 10 – I imagine the more players the more chaotic the grabbing becomes – I managed to scratch William at one point as we both went for the totem pole (told you I was competitive). At the beginning the different rules seemed a little tricky but once you start playing it’s really easy. It’s always fun adding a physical element into the game, and the misdirection of the similar patterns can get interesting! We’ll be getting this one out again and again, it’s simple to start and finish and has enough going on to keep each member of the family going.
Stars – 4/5
Disclosure: we receive the board games free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions my own.