Wednesday, February 27 2013 23:27

JENGA BOOM (Game Review)

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Until this month, I'd never owned a JENGA game. It's a classic that I've played in the past, but for some reason I just never had one to call my own. Well, the good folks over at Hasbro Games filled the void when they sent over their new version, JENGA BOOM. The "explosive" package arrived here at Rock Father HQ, immediately piquing the interest of Addie, who was curious why the box had a string on it. That "string," is actually a fuse, as the box is made to resemble four massive sticks of dynamite, bound together as a bomb. Most awesome disclaimer ever? "ACTUAL PRODUCT DOES NOT EXPLODE."

jenga2The game itself is simple: You set the fuse... build the tower... and then take turns playing traditonal Jenga - taking a loose piece from within the tower, and placing it on the top to increase the tower's height. The difference here is that each player must push the "play" button on the bomb while taking their turn, the press "stop" at the end. If you make a mistake and the tower topples - you lose. If the bomb goes off during your turn - you lose, but this time the tower goes BOOM!

It could be argued that Jenga was a perfect game to begin with, thus it can't really be improved upon. There have been different variations over the years, but the core gameplay has been the same since at least the 80s. Personally, I think that Jenga Boom is an interesting spin on the classic in that you're not only working against people to destroy the tower, but also an external force that adds an element of speed to the game - time is of the essence. Additionally, playing against a child, it's evident that Jenga Boom taps into that little quirk that all kids seem to have... the love to destroy stuff, or knock things over.

Addie? No exception:
While the "explosive" nature of the game is certainly fun (we've had it for about two weeks and it's still being requested), you can just set the wooden blocks up on the table by themselves and play a game of traditional Jenga if you'd like. Old-school and New-school together as one.

Jenga Boom is available now.

The Rock Father Rating: 4/5 Stars

FTC Disclosure: A Jenga Boom Game was provided to The Rock Father for review consideration by Hasbro Games. All opinions are that of James Zahn with influence from his children.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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