A slightly different game for us from the Board Game Blogger Club this month! Jungle Speed is a fairly fast-paced card based game which is suitable for the whole family from around 7 years and above. In the box you get 70 playing cards, one rule book, a totem and a bag for storage. Each of the 70 cards has a pattern on; there are 15 different patterns (each one shown in yellow, red, green and blue)and there are also 8 special cards (4 of each type). The aim of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all of their cards.
The yellow totem stands in the middle of the table and all of the cards are shuffled and then dealt equally between all of the players, play goes clockwise and one by one the players turn over their top card (you must turn over your card away from you so that you don’t see the card before the other players). If another player has the matching card on top of their pile (it can be any colour as long as the pattern matches) then you need to grab the totem in the middle before the player with the matching card does, this is called a duel! The player who isn’t successful in grabbing the totem first has to take their opponents discard pile to add the to the bottom of their card pile, thus making the pile that they need to get rid of to win, far bigger. Once a card has been played it then goes in to your discard pile and play continues like this until someone lays a special card; if a card with arrows pointing inwards is laid then everybody needs to try and grab the totem first and the winner can place their discard pile in the pot (the pot is a central discard pile). If a card is played with arrows that point outwards then each player must flip a new card simultaneously, this starts a duel if two or more cards have matching symbols on.
There are punishments for incorrectly grabbing the totem, if this happens to you then you must take the discard piles of all players as well as the pot. Once a player has turned over their last card, it stays in play and they can only be declared the winner once their discard pile has gone, a fun twist as they can often end up with more cards as game play continues!
We’ve mainly been playing this with two adults and two children (8 and 7) and it has been really fun! The children have often been quicker than the adults and it’s great to find a game that you can start playing quickly, without the need for complicated instructions. Each game has taken around 15-20 minutes and the winner hasn’t always been the person who has turned his last card over first. It is trickier than you may think as the patterns are deceptively similar to some of the others, so it is not that easy to instantly recognise if your card is the same as someone else’s and an incorrectly grabbed totem means you get a punishment! A great game to play with the family and its handy bag means you can take it out, it is simple to learn and we love the nature of its unpredictability! Jungle Speed retails at £14.99 and is available at all good toy shops.