Review: Jungle Speed Card Game
Playing The Game
Jungle Speed, as you might expect from the name, is a game of fast reflexes, but also keen observation. The basic playing rules are fairly simple. A wooden totem is placed in the middle of the table, and the cards are dealt to each player. In turn each player flips over the top card off their play deck, and places it in front of them face up creating a ‘discard pile’. If the symbol on your card matches the symbol on someone else’s upturned card, a ‘Duel’ ensues, meaning you need to make a grab for the totem. The loser (i.e. the person that didn’t make it to the totem on time), has to take all the cards from their discard pile, and all of their opponents discard pile, and add them to the bottom of their play deck. The winner is the first person to get rid of all their cards. Sounds pretty straightforward right?… Oh… But there are pitfalls to watch out for… Brilliant annoying pitfalls… 😉
1. Over enthusiastic grabbing for the totem – Knocking over the totem when lunging for it means you have to take ALL of the other players discard piles!
2. Grabbing the totem in error – Some of the cards are extremely similar, so you have to be sure there is a match. Picking up the totem in error is a bad as knocking it over, and means you get everyone’s discard piles.
3. Special Cards – There are 3 of these. The 1st means ‘everyone grab the totem’. The 2nd changes the rules, so you’re trying to match the symbols colour, not the symbol itself. And the 3rd forces everyone to turn over their cards at once.
The Game Pieces
The game comes with a nicely crafted wooden totem, a rule book, 80 cards, and a handy little cloth bag to store all the bits in.
You may think this game sounds too easy, but we play tested Jungle Speed with 5 fully functioning (mostly) adults, and it’s a lot harder than it looks! You have to be so so careful looking at the symbols, as they are devilishly similar, so it’s very easy to make a costly wrongful grab for the totem. There were a couple of occasions where someone had got to their final card, only to wrongly grab the totem, or knock it over, and end up with a handful of cards again! The rules are really simple, so it would work brilliantly to play with children or as a family. The kids maybe quicker, but the grandparents more observant, so overall it should level the playing field! For those of you that have played the brilliant Dobble, Jungles Speed is not dissimilar, albeit with a rather more vicious streak!