Jenga, from which the Tower originates, was first published in the 1980s and it was created by British board game designer Leslie Scott. The Tower is a wooden board game published by TacTic, in which players take turns removing one block at a time from any level below the highest completed one (this rule may vary in different settings, and it can be changed if you want more challenge) and place it on top of the tower. The game ends when any portion of the tower collapses, caused by either the removal of a block or its new placement. Presumably, you do not want to be the one to knock it down because it means you lose the game. The Tower is a very simple game, where the players need eye-hand coordination, concentration, and strategy.
As mentioned before the game progresses in such a way that players take turns removing blocks from the tower and while doing so, they must use only one hand at a time to touch the tower or move a block but may switch hands any time. The player in turn can touch or nudge any block to determine whether it is loose enough to remove from the tower without making it collapse. In the original rule book, it is said that if the player decides to move a different block, the other one must be returned to its original position. However, with my friends, we have played the way that if you begin to remove a block from the tower you cannot switch to another whether it results to be able to pull the block out or to the collapse of the tower. If you want to declare winners and losers, the last player to complete a turn before the tower collapses is the winner, and the loser of course the one who made the tower collapse.
By removing, adding, and changing rules you can make the game suitable for anyone and perhaps even more fun. It might be easier for younger children to be allowed to use both hands to remove a block because the age recommendation is seven years and up – this way the smallest in the family could participate as well. For adults, it might be fun to add a rule to only use your non-dominant hand to remove a block, or to make it even more challenging, maybe do it eyes closed! If you are a fan of crafting like me, you can add a do-it-yourself twist by writing different kinds of dares under each block and the player in turn must complete the given task before or after putting the block down.
The game itself is fun, you will never know how long it will take for the tower to collapse and during whose turn it happens. Even though the idea of the game is simple, you can easily spend hours playing it, especially by adding your own twists and rules. I encourage you to buy this game if you are looking for a party game (family game) that provides you with funny situations, serious concentration, and growing suspense as the tower gets progressively more unstable.
Release date: (Could not find it anywhere)
Number of players: 2+
Playing time: 15+ minutes
Pictures. The Tower (TacTic). Taken by the author.
TacTic. (27.9.2022). Family games; Classics. https://games.tactic.net/tuote/collection-classique-torni/
Vasquez, E. (14.3.2018). Meet Leslie Scott: The Woman Who Invented Jenga. Martha Stweart. https://www.marthastewart.com/1526570/meet-leslie-scott-woman-who-invented-jenga
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