Jenga was one of my favourite games in university. A game of skill and chance that always ends with a bang. So long as I wasn't over-caffeinated and could keep my hand steady, I was pretty good at it too :) If you haven't played before, the object is to remove blocks from a tower without knocking the whole thing down. And you can only use one hand and have to place each block on top of the tower to keep growing it. Challenging.
New for 2013, Hasbro has come out with a new version of Jenga, based on the computer stacking game Tetris. Jenga Tetris brings a whole new level of challenge, as your tower is now built with oddly shaped Tetris blocks instead of nice, uniform straight ones. This makes is super tricky to remove individual pieces, especially if a piece is shaped differently than you think it is! Because of the different shapes, not every level will be "filled," and the natural gaps left add to the instability of the growing tower. I also found that the lighter, plastic pieces meant more movement in this tower than in the classic wooden game. Overall, this was a lot of fun and definitely upped the Jenga ante. Jenga Tetris is recommended for ages 8 and up, but Little Boo loved it at 7. I think the age rating for Jenga games is really about manual dexterity and fine motor skills rather than any safety or understanding issues, so judge accordingly. Since this can be enjoyed with any number of players it makes a great family game night choice. You can even play it solo and challenge yourself to see how high you can build.
And of course, the classic version of Jenga (ages 6 and up) is always available as well. I played this at the recent Hasbro House Party event and loved it just as much as ever. I need to get back in practice though.
Any of these Jenga games would make excellent gifts for kids or families on your list. And at a suggested retail price of just $19.99, why not consider the Jenga family of games when you're thinking about what to bring for a different twist on the hostess gift?
Disclosure: I received complimentary product to facilitate this review. No other compensation will be received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.