Jenga is a tried and true staple of the board game market, and its broad appeal has helped it stand the test of time for a variety of reasons. It is both simple and challenging, allowing it to be picked up and played by a wide range of players both in terms of skill level and age.
Jenga will always provide a challenge even after multiple plays, causing players to hone in and practice to develop elaborate strategies in an effort to best other players and be true Jenga champions.
Let us take a look at this much-beloved classic and all the reasons it has appealed to players of all ages, continuing to appeal to new players today, and hopefully long into the future as well.
First of all, let’s look at what Jenga is and how you play it. The game consists of 54 wooden blocks, all slightly different in size so at to increase the challenge of the game. To set-up Jenga, the players will build a tower eighteen blocks high and three blocks thick, crisscrossing the blocks horizontally and vertically with each new level that is laid.
How to Play Jenga
Once the tower is constructed, players will take turns removing one single block from the tower and then adding it to the top of the tower. What happens is, with each new removal and addition, the structure of the tower becomes more and more unstable, forcing the player to use the utmost skill and precision in deciding which block can be removed and where exactly to place it on top of the structure so as to keep the structure from toppling over on itself.
Players are only allowed to use one hand at a time when making their move, adding to the challenge of the game. Once the tower has fallen, the player who made the last successful move is the winner of that round.
Playtime is fast and the set-up and understanding is simple, but the infinite ways the tower can be undone lends the game a complex angle that is appealing to expert players.
Jenga can be played with an unlimited number of players, making it the perfect game for parties or larger families.
Jenga is an All Inclusive Game
Jenga can be played not only by an unlimited number of players, but also by an unlimited range of players. Its universality makes it so that a small child can pose a threat to a verifiable Jenga expert. Regardless of who’s playing, the game is the same, and functions on a primordial understanding of both nature and the laws of physics.
You can find Jenga being played at pre-schools and at adult get-togethers. The effect it has on the players is largely the same in both instances. The nerve-racking tension of when the tower is going to fall and who will have the final move gives noticeable signs of excitement to even the most hardened individual, making it that much more of a fun and visceral party game.
Its simplicity and easy-to-understand play style make it a perfect game for small children to play, with or without an adult guardian. Contrastingly, its universal charm and excitement makes it a very fun game for adults, whether they’ve played it hundreds of times or have never played it before.
New players around the world are still finding out about Jenga and appreciating its broad concept and elegant execution, as well as the core challenge it provides for newbies and experts alike. Jenga is the perfect family game, the perfect party game, and the perfect game to keep at the top of your stack for when friends and family come over for dinner. Its appeal is timeless, and it never gets old.
The appeal of Jenga, on a game-play level, is visceral. There are no words or long instructions you need to read to educate the players on their status or explain how to win the game. The goal of the game, and how to win it, is right there in front of you, manifested in physical form.
You have to keep the tower standing and you can’t let it fall.
It is incredibly simple, yet, in the variations of towers that can be made using the aforementioned 54 blocks, potentially infinitely complex. No two rounds of Jenga will turn out the same, which has kept players coming back to the game time and time again.
Several official variants of the game have been released, but the original, simplest version is the version that pervades more than any other in the collective conscious as one of the most popular board games across all demographics and cultures. Jenga is very fun, very simple, and very rewarding.
Jenga variations include Jenga Fortnite, Jenga Quake, and Jenga Pass Challenge.
Jenga Physical Benefits
Another very interesting and unique aspect of Jenga is that it can be used to beneficial effect in its ability to increase dexterity of the hands and fingers, as well as having very positive and real effects in developing hand-eye coordination.
Jenga Provides Education
This is another reason that you will see Jenga so very often in the classroom, specifically in early-childhood education, besides it being so simple and accessible. Jenga promotes universally useful physical skills that can be honed in the game and used elsewhere, and helps educate and demonstrate to children key examples of the laws of physics, architecture, and the lasting nature of structures themselves.
It also promotes positive social interactions, just like many other games, as the players work together to keep the tower from falling over, communicating ideas for how best to make a move without causing the tower to collapse and ending the game. These are just a few of the life lessons that can be taught to children using Jenga as a teaching tool.
Jenga is Now Bigger
Jenga is no longer just a game that you keep in a box on your board game shelf. It is now a game that you can keep with your summertime activities too.
Giant Jenga is an outdoor Jenga game made with larger blocks and allows players to physically interact with the game more than ever before.
This outdoor game is the perfect option for the family that loves playing games and doesn’t want to sit inside during the summer time. Having this traditionally inside game in your outdoor repertoire is also a great way to have fun and to share your enjoyment of board games with friends and neighbors.
For all these reasons, Jenga has taken over the world to become one of the best-selling board games on the market, continuing to stay in the mind of the popular consumer and move units to both new players and old players alike.
Experienced players have a great time showing Jenga to their kids, and their kids have a great time showing it to their friends. When that Jenga box comes off the shelf, everyone in the room knows the party is starting, and they’ll all run over to the table to watch in anticipation as the tower rises while expectantly waiting for it all to come crashing down.
Jenga will be around for a very long time, it seems, and now is as good a time as any to pull your old copy out of the closet, or go to the nearest retailer and buy a new one.