Jenga blocks, a game about precision, geometry, physics, perfect hand eye coordination, dexterity and speed. Jenga blocks or Jenga is a classical block stacking game in which you have to keep making an ever growing tower using only 54 rectangular blocks that are always three times longer than its width, and one fifth as thick as its length, so the dimensions can be as you like, as long as they follow the 3 : 1 : 0.5 ratio. Some blocks have small variations to these dimensions to create imperfections in the stacking process and adding a bit of challenge to the game.
Confusing? Let me explain it better.
You start the game by making a normal tower using the 54 blocks and stacking the blocks so that there are 18 levels of three blocks placed side to side. Each level should be arranged such so that the blocks of the next level are at right angles to the blocks of the previous level.
Once that is done you can start playing the actual game.
- The person who built the tower gets to go first.
- The players can take one block from any level except the incomplete top level and place it on top, and then the turn passes to the next player.
- Players can only use one hand while taking out a block.
- You can bump a block to find a lose block that won’t disturb the precarious balance of the tower.
- Any block apart from the block that is intended to be removed, must be put back to where it was and the way it was before you can take out another block.
- The game ends when either the tower falls or a block falls, other than the one being knocked out to be placed on top.
- The winner is the last person to successfully remove and place a block without disturbing the tower or the other pieces.
Now for a little history, yes I said history, history isn’t always boring and I swear it’ll be quick. Jenga was created by a woman named Leslie Scott who is the co-founder of Oxford games Ltd. It is based on a game that evolved within her family during the 1970s using children’s wooden blocks. She first introduced the game to the world in the London Toy Fair in January 1983. Through a series of various meetings and business deals, Hasbro became the licensee of Jenga in various countries. It is believed that an estimated 50 million Jenga games have been sold worldwide to this day; that’s a lot of Jenga blocks!
There are a lot of variants to the game too, like:
- Jenga truth or dare: The blocks have dares or questions on them and you have to either complete the dare or answer the question on the block you pull out. There are also neutral blocks with nothing written on them.
- Jenga Xtreme : Here the blocks are shaped like parallelograms which makes interesting leaning towers.
- Jenga XXL and Jenga Giant : Here the blocks are huge and towers can go up to 3 feet fall in Jenga Giant and more than 8 feet in Jenga XXL.
In case you are wondering, I got the information for all of this from these sites:
To tell you the truth I have never played Jenga before. I’ve watched other people play it and it looked like a lot of fun but I never played it myself which I find really strange now that I think about it. Usually Jenga is played with other people but I think you can play it by yourself too, it probably won’t be as fun but it is still possible. There is a lot of concentration involved in this game which is why I think it would be great for stress and anxiety because you will be completely focused on not letting the tower fall. So if you get the chance to, then play Jenga, preferably with other people. Improve your concentration and dexterity, improve your hand eye coordination and most importantly, have fun.