Arcade Reviews - 09 September 2010
Author:Kristofer Brozio

JengaThe DigestJenga for Xbox 360 is the classic re-imagined in digital format, and oddly I find it more enjoyable than the real-world version. The arcade Jenga has two different modes basically, a classic mode and a remixed mode that offers a refreshing twist on the original.

THE FACT SHEET

RELEASE DATE: June 23rd, 2010
PUBLISHER:EA
DEVELOPER:EA Bright Light
ESRB RATING: E (Everyone)
GENRE: Family, Card & Board

PRODUCT OVERVIEW:

Play the classic game of physical and mental skill! Take turns removing a block and balancing it on top – without toppling the tower! The full version of JENGA lets you play the original Hasbro game as well as the new versions – Chance Blocks and custom modes! You’ll also have access to trophies, leaderboards, and achievements! This game requires the Xbox 360 hard drive or the 512MB Memory Unit for storage.

PRODUCT FEATURES:

  • Players 1-4
  • HDTV 720p
  • In-game Dolby Digital
  • Online Multiplayer 2-4
  • Content Downloads
  • Leaderboards
  • Voice

Review:

So it’s Hasbro Family Game Night with Mister Potato Head as your host, and I’m taking a look at Jenga.

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When you start the game you’re greeted with four options for Play Original, Play Remix, Play Custom and How To Play.

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We’ll take a look at the original version first as that’s how it’s listed. The Play Custom mode is just picking between Original and Remix.

The graphics are decent really, the games start out in what looks to be a living room or family room and the table opens up to reveal the game you’re playing. It’s only 720p resolution, but the graphics aren’t bad for this type of game.

The idea of Jenga is to pull the blocks out without knocking over the tower and then you place them on the top. It’s simple really, but it’s a lot of fun.  Since having kids I’ve got a couple real Jenga sets actually, but sadly don’t play much.

The interface allows you to rotate all around the stack so you can figure out your next move. The blocks light up blue as you select them, then all you have to do is press the button to pull. While you’re pulling though you can use the stick to control the direction of the way you’re pulling the block. You have to be careful how you pull the block as you could pull the tower off and you’ll lose. As you’re pulling the tower will wiggle and move the way you’re pulling, basic physics 101 here really.

Here’s an assortment of screen shots for you to view:

PDVD_009 PDVD_010 PDVD_011 PDVD_012 PDVD_013 PDVD_014 PDVD_015 PDVD_016 PDVD_017 PDVD_018 PDVD_019

and then how about a nice video:

..and yes I died on purpose or else this video would be a lot longer.

Then there’s Jenga Remix which is a unique twist on the original. The blocks are either red, yellow or blue this time.

PDVD_020 PDVD_021 PDVD_023 PDVD_024 PDVD_032 PDVD_044 PDVD_045 PDVD_041

The game is played with cards this time, cards are drawn for you and appear on the screen. Some of the cards are colored to correspond to the block you’ll need to remove, but then there are special cards as well. Here’s a few of them I ran across while playing:

PDVD_025 PDVD_028 PDVD_029 PDVD_035 PDVD_036 PDVD_037 PDVD_038 PDVD_039

The colored cards are self-explanatory. Then you have things like rainbow where you have to pick one of each, then wildcard where you can pick any color. There’s also special cards like Hammertime where random blocks start coming out and you’ve got to push them back in, or there’s Bomb cards where the blocks will explode and you have to remove them before they do.

I like Remix mode quite a bit really, it’s fun.

To finish this off here’s a video for you:

Conclusion:

Some people might say that this Jenga is not the same or it won’t replace the original ‘normal’ hands-on version. I don’t think it’s intended to really, those that say that don’t understand the point of it. It’s meant to be fun and it is. I played it and my kids remembered we had Jenga blocks, so they actually went and dug them out and played with them.

The Xbox 360 version of Jenga is fun to play really, I’ve played it a few times now and enjoyed it. It’s one of those games that you can play with your family or you can play it alone and still enjoy it. It’s the kind of game that is great for a few minutes of entertainment, for when you’re just not in the mood for some long drawn out game.

I like it a lot honestly, and so do my kids. It’s not a hard game at all, it’s actually easier than the real-world version. The Remix version adds a bit of spin to it, and it’s different. Jenga will set you back 800 points and I think it’s worth it. At this point I’m not sure which version I like better, as I’m going to have to go and play some more to make up my mind…

PROS CONS
+Remix or Classic versions
+Easy to play
+Fun for everyone
-Won’t replace the real game, but it’s not meant to
-Rather short play time

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Special Thanks to EA for providing us with a copy of this game.

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Kristofer Brozio

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