Game night has probably been a social tradition in most cultures since the invention of the Royal Game of Ur, originating around 4,600 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. And card games have been around since at least the time of the Tang Dynasty in ancient China – somewhere in the 800s A.D.
In America, game nights have had their ups and downs.
The fun-loving Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony issued the following ordinance in 1631, for example,
“It is … ordered that all persons whatsoever that have cards, dice or tables in their houses, shall make away with them before the next court under pain of punishment.”
So much for Monopoly…
However, if we fast-forward about 330 years, game nights were much more interesting. In the 1950s and early 60s, games night often meant card games like Rummy, Hearts, Canasta, Poker, Whist, Bridge, Euchre, Pinochle, and Tripoley. For those who preferred playing with dice and game pieces, Mahjong was a huge favorite.
And, while games of chance were popular, strategy games were always a bit hit, as well.
Today, a trip to your local game stores – when you can find one – will likely leave you overwhelmed with the variety and sheer number of choices. So, if you want to get one game that you can know for sure is going to be a winner with everyone, what game should you choose?
Jenga – The Ultimate Game of Nerve-Wracking Skill and Anxiety
And, according to the tens of millions of Jenga fans, it’s also a ton of fun!
The Jenga game is essentially a game of physical skill and dexterity. Easily played by participants aged six and above, it is a hugely popular game that was first trademarked and sold as “Jenga” at the London Toy Fair in January 1983.
Allow us a bit of “backstory” here:
According to the Jenga entry in Wikipedia,
“Jenga was created by Leslie Scott, the co-founder of Oxford Games Ltd, based on a game that evolved within her family in the early 1970s using children’s wooden building blocks the family purchased from a sawmill in Takoradi, Ghana. The name jenga is derived from kujenga, a Swahili word which means ‘to build’”
Jenga is possibly the epitome of simplicity when it comes to party games. The game box consists of just 54 precision-crafted, specially finished hard wood blocks along with a loading tray. Simple.
And the Jenga rules are also pretty simple.
- Stack all of the blocks in levels of three placed next to each other along their long sides and at a right angle to the previous level.
- Once the tower is built, the person who stacked the tower plays first. Moving in the game Jenga consists of:
- taking one block on a turn from any level of the tower (except the one below an incomplete top level), and
- placing it on the topmost level in order to complete it.
- Players may use only one hand at a time; either hand may be used, but only one hand may touch the tower at any time.
- Players may tap a block to find a loose one. Any blocks moved but not played should be replaced, unless doing so would make the tower fall. The turn ends when the next player touches the tower, or after ten seconds, whichever occurs first.
- The game ends when the tower falls — completely or if any block falls from the tower (other than the block a player moves on a turn).
- The loser is the person whose turn it was when the tower fell.
How to play Jenga is pretty simple, too. But maybe not easy!
Jenga played with 2 or more players. First, you need to build the tower. Once the tower is built you simply start the game:
- The player who built the tower goes first and players take turns removing one block from any level below the highest completed one and then place it horizontally on the top of the tower, perpendicular to any blocks on the level it’s sitting on.
- Each player may use only one hand to touch the tower or move a block at any given time and can switch hands whenever desired.
- Once a level contains three blocks, it is complete and cannot have any more blocks added to it.
- A block can be touched or nudged to determine whether it’s loose enough to remove it without disturbing the rest of the tower, but it has to be put back into its original position if the player decides not to remove it.
- A player’s turn ends when the next player in sequence touches the tower or when 10 seconds have elapsed since the placement of a block, whichever occurs first.
- The game ends when any portion of a Jenga tower collapses, regardless of whether it was caused by the removal of a block, or the removed block being placed on top.
- The last player to complete a turn before the collapse is the winner.
So, How Do You Get Your Skillful Hands on a Jenga Game?
Sure, you could grab your phone and type in “Toy store near me” or, better yet, “Toy store in Rohnert Park” but toy stores, in general, are notorious for being a bit weak in their game department.
Not to worry!
A visit to “Gametopia” here at Fundemonium will make that search for your own Jenga game quick and easy. Fundemonium is much, much more than a toy store or hobby shop. We also offer games, games, crafts, educational, and hobby products for everyone in your family.
We are the family-friendly destination for all types of fun. For example, we host daily activities and events like Indoor RC Car Racing, Game Play, LEGO Play, local hobby club meetings, Kidtivites in the Wonderground,, birthday parties and more!
And of course, tons and tons of games!
By the way, not only can you find your own Jenga game at Fundemonium, but you can “up your game night” to an even bigger level with Giant Jenga. Officially known as the Giant Jenga Party Game, these wooden blocks are 8x larger than the classic game and make a tower that can be stacked up to three feet– and higher!
So, if you’re ready to level up your game night routine with friends and family by injecting a super dose of fun, a Jenga game is sure to fit the bill.
Visit Fundemonium’s Gametopia for Great Games for Your Next Game Night
At Fundemonium, you’ll discover tons of great board games for kids, teens, adults, and the whole family!
We invite you to explore our wide selection of board games, strategy games, and fun card-based games along with all of our other indoor fun products such as toys, crafts, and hobby items.
Fundemonium is more than a game store.
We are your Rohnert Park Toy Store – and a fun family experience, where families and fans of all kinds of great games can meet and play. We are also a safe and friendly place where adults and children of all ages can enjoy creative fun.
In addition, we have a great selection of games, toys, arts and crafts, and hobby products for your entire family. And you can be sure that our friendly and knowledgeable staff of Fundemoniacs make it their business to help you have fun.
We always do our best to quickly respond to website inquiries about card games (and more!), or you can also find answers to your questions by calling us at (707) 540-0701.
Just give us a call during our business hours if you’d like to speak directly with one of our Fundemoniacs.