I love Jungle Speed. Its a gloriously difficult and usually some what violent card game about matching shapes and colors. There is a wooden totem in the center of the table which is the object that all of the players are trying to get. In order to grab the totem, your card must match another player’s card exactly. Unless of course the color effect card has been played, then you want to just match their color. When played in the campus center at my school, this game is known to draw in 10-12 players and become extremely cut throat. Its a very nice game to carry around with you a set up on a random table. Its easy to set up and seeing 2 or 3 people playing will draw in a lot more. The drawstring pouch the game comes with for storage is also small and so easy to carry with you.
The box says that it is for 2 or more players and for players ages 6 and up. Now this last part bothers me. I tried to teach it to my 7 year old brother. He couldn’t tell the shapes apart. When shown 3 shapes, 2 of which were identical and the third was merely similar, he couldn’t tell which 2 matched. The rules are also a bit complicated for a younger child. For example, you have to flip the cards so that the other players see them before you do. If a game claims to be for ages 6 and up, I think a 7 year old should be able to understand the rules when they are explained to him. Instead they were so complicated that he got angry and wouldn’t play with me for a few days. If you have an unusually smart younger child, or one who has been raised on this kind of game, it will probably go better.
Jungle Speed is one of the most complicated card games I have ever played, which in most respects makes it an amazing game. Its also a very social game, very good for parties or any kind of get-together. The totem is solid wood and can put up with the wear and tear inherent to the game. The worst I’ve seen happen to it is for the totem to go flying across the room. The cards themselves are printed on normal card stock and are prone to bending if not treated somewhat nicely.
Some poking about the internet on my part looking for information about this game, I discovered that there is a Wii Ware version of Jungle Speed out for those of you interested in a video game version of this awesome game.
And so, the rating. I do love Jungle Speed. Most of the people I know love Jungle Speed. My only complaint is that I feel they’ve marked the age wrong on the package. Perhaps its more for 8 or 9 year olds than 6 year olds. I will award Jungle Speed with a 4 out of 5 for being an excellent game.