Old-school Donkey Kong meets Jenga with the Jenga: Donkey Kong Collector's Edition game. The game comes with 54 regular wooden blocks that you'd find in a standard Jenga game, but these look like the black and pink girders from Donkey Kong and have a little hole in each end. The game also includes a spinner, four Mario pieces, a Donkey Kong piece, and a Pauline piece. The game is for one to four players.
You can play standard Jenga with this game, and take turns removing bricks from the lower levels and stacking them on top without knocking over the tower.
Or you can play by the Donkey Kong rules. In this version of the game, you still remove and add pieces to the tower, but you also move Mario up the tower. The player whose Mario piece reaches the top and saves Pauline from Donkey Kong or is closest to the top when the tower falls wins the game. If you decide to follow the Donkey Kong rules, each player gets one of the different colored Mario pieces and spins the wheel each turn. The pink section of the spinner tells you how many girders to move: one, two, or none. One of the sections says "reverse play", which means you change the order of play. If you had been taking turns clockwise, it would switch to counterclockwise. The black section tells you how many levels to move Mario.
There are some strategic moves you can use in this game. For instance, if you remove a girder that another player's Mario is on, that Mario falls to the girder below on the same side of the tower. Now that player is farther away from saving Pauline.
We are big fans of licensed games only when they make sense with the original game and the license, and this is a great example of that. Donkey Kong lends itself really well to the gameplay in Jenga. Whether you use this to play traditional Jenga or play by the Donkey Kong rules, you're going to have a lot of fun.
Jenga: Donkey Kong Collector's Edition is for ages 6 and up. It will definitely appeal to fans who remember playing the original Donkey Kong video game.
The instructions could be a little bit better. They don't explain what "reverse play" is. For older players, it might be self-explanatory, but it could confuse younger players.
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