Tuesday, January 11, 2011

#83: Jungle Speed

Jungle Speed
  • designer: Thomas Vuarchex & Pierrick Yakovenko
  • publisher: Asmodee
  • date: 1997
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 444/6.80
  • position on my top 100 in 2005: #27
  • age: 7+
  • # of players: 3-8
  • print status: in print
  • cost: $13.50 (Game Surplus)
Here's what I wrote back in 2005... which still holds true.

In America, "Land of Litigation", no one in their right mind would make a speed game with a HARD plastic stick that can be batted around the room by over-zealous players. Evidently, Germans aren't nearly as worried about "legal entanglements."

Hence, the Arribabaton... thing of beauty & fear. It's the centerpiece of Arriba, a cross between Set (the pattern recognition game, not the ancient Egyptian game) and Spoons. For a game with 80 cards & a stick, there's certainly a lot of injuries. We've had to "time out" the game more than once to bandage players... and I'm not the only person wearing glasses who has stopped the baton with my face. Still, there's nothing quite like snatching the stick cleanly away... or watching 3 people wrestle for control of it. (When we play on the floor, we play that the stick is "in play" no matter what... even if it leaves the circle. Much fun!)

I'm no longer unbeatable at this (there's a dude in our Bible study group who has cat-like reflexes who gives me a run for my money) but it doesn't change how much I enjoy playing it with 4-8 players. (It will, btw, work with 9 or 10 if you're willing to get REAL close to each other in a circle on the floor.)

Arriba is better known in the U.S. as Jungle Speed - and for those who love the game, Asmodee has finally published the expansion (more cards, more craziness!) stateside.

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