Jenga. Who hasn't played this game? It's a classic! I could play Jenga all day long without any complaints.
However after a few beers and an afternoon in the sun on a hot summer day playing Jenga your mind might start playing tricks on you. Maybe you're approached by the big black dog down the street, maybe he comes up to you and tells you that you are the one who will redefine Jenga, the one who will show the others, the one who will blow their minds. Maybe he just melts into the ground after telling you all this, leaving behind a pile of scattered Jenga blocks for you to restack. Was the dog real? Maybe you should have rethought eating that 4th Bavarian smokie that was left out in the sun all afternoon. Hopefully the feeling in your stomach will be like to dog you think you saw, and quickly fade away.
Rubbing your hand through your hair you clear your head. Crazy hot dog induced hallucinogenic big dog or not you have a new mission, to stack and restack those magnificent wonder blocks into something new.
Maybe you've tried Jenga and are an old hand, maybe you've played on ferries and airports and even had a crowd watching, this quick variation should give your old set a new challenge!
Step 1: Reverse Jenga
In this version of Jenga you stack the blocks as shown in a log-home pattern, the aim is to take the blocks from the top and insert them back into the tower again somewhere lower. Seems silly and easy but as regular Jenga you are only allowed to use one hand. Once you finish reassembling the tower you start a regular game of Jenga removing blocks and restacking.
Step 2: Reverse Jenga (setup)
Picture 1 - The easiest way to start this is with a solid base of three blocks.
Picture 2 - Alternate with another three blocks in the other direction
Picture 3 - Remove the middle block and you have a perfect gap.
Picture 4 - Alternate again with three
Picture 5 - lather, rinse, repeat.
Step 3: Vertical Jenga
"Dude, that's totally not going to work" was the first words out of my friends mouth. After 2 minutes of setup I had completed the vertical tower of Jenga and it was game on!
This version is played the same as regular Jenga, though a bit more though it required to select the block you wish to remove. Restack the removed blocks on the top repeating the stacking pattern. I challenge anyone to stack up 3 more levels on this version, we came close.
Step 4: Vertical Jenga (setup)
Start stacking the blocks vertically, you'll get pattern of 3 blocks across and 5 blocks deep, alternate with a deck of 3 more Jengas, then start vertically again but with the pattern rotated 90 degrees. (Impossible to explain, but obvious in the pictures).
Step 5: Final Thoughts
Like pizza, pretzles, and popcorn, Jenga is best enjoyed with friends and beer. That goes for all board games really, (yes I count Jenga as a board game).
This quick and simple variation should be a fun addition to any Jenga game. I'd like to see photos of anyone who has a stacking record they want to share, or any other variations they have thought of.