Welcome readers, to the Game Corner! Every week, we’ll be giving a quick look of a board game in Hwa Chong, and this week, we’ll be starting with…

Blocks all the way down

Blocks all the way down

Game: Jenga

Where: Loan from Council Welfare Room (open 3 to 6 pm from Mon – Fri)

$5 deposit required, return by 6pm the same day

Note: There’s also a UNO Stacko set in the library, which functions similarly to Jenga – however, the blocks create a lot of noise when they fall, which tends to be a bad idea in the library.

Jenga. Derived from the Swahili word “to build”, this game involves a tower of blocks, then players taking turns taking one block from any level but the bottom or the top, and putting it on the top of the tower. Objective: Don’t knock down the tower. Sounds simple, right?

I never get tired of watching this gif.

I never get tired of watching this gif.

The thing is, this game can get a bit boring and long, as players tend to take great amounts of time meticulously removing pieces. So, ladies and gentlemen, we present to you…

Chess Clock Jenga!

This idea was derived from British entertainer Tom Scott’s video on the subject – I rcommend you check it out here – http://www.tomscott.com/chessclockjenga/

  1. Get a chess clock

If you have an actual chess clock, all the better – but chances are you don’t. No worries! There are plenty of apps that serve as a chess clock for both Android and iOS. The one that we used for playtesting this idea was this one.

Hey, if it's endorsed by Chess.com, it must be pretty good, right?

Hey, if it’s endorsed by Chess.com, it must be pretty good, right?

  1. Play!

Here’s how Chess Clock Jenga for two people works:

When the first player touches the tower of blocks, the second player touches their side of the chess clock, causing the first player’s timer to run down. After the first player finishes their turn, they touch their side of the chess clock, pausing their timer and making the other player’s timer run. This continues until:

  1. Someone’s timer runs down, in which case that person loses, or
  2. Someone knocks down the tower, in which case that person loses.

Final Musings

  • What should you set as the time limit? That depends on the players. For a first game, we found that 2 min 30 sec gave a comfortable yet exciting experience, but any time limit from 1 min to 2 min should be fine.
  • The player going first tends to have a bit of a disadvantage in this game, because their timer starts running down first, so try balancing it out a bit by alternating starts or giving the first player a bit of a head start!
  • If you have three or more players, you can still play Chess Clock Jenga – just put people into two teams.

That’s it for this article! If you enjoyed this, join is again next week for a dire, dicey board game where detectives descry a difficult death in a dark dwelling…

To be continued...

To be continued…

Categories: The Game Corner

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