Posts Tagged ‘Bet’

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

 

Our next featured game for the weeks of May 10 and May 17 is a betting and wagering game from IDW Games, Jungle Joust.

Jungle Joust on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Box Art

Jungle Joust takes players through the roller coaster world of underground gambling. Designers Adrian Adamescu and Daryl Andrews have teamed up again to bring to life the fantasy world of Rhino Riding Jousting. 2-6 Players will place bets on different aspects of the two competing Jousters. Players will play cards to move either Jouster and grant special boosts that may help or hurt competing Jousters. Control the market and bet wisely and you may walk away the richest in all the land.

This is a unique and fun game with a style that might not fit every group.

Rules

I have yet to read an IDW Games rule book that was reader friendly. I read this rule book five or six times before playing the game and none of the scoring made any sense to me or the other players until we played our first game. The rule book isn’t wrong or misleading – it just doesn’t make sense until you play the game. Rule books from IDW are the only ones I’ve ever had this issue with.

The rule book is accurate, but confusing until you do a play through or a mock up game. I highly suggest doing a mock up game with your self before breaking this game out for your group. The confusion could lead to lots of frustration and give players a distaste for the game before you ever play.

Components

The board seems to be your average quality card board game board. The colors are bright and images are clear, for the most part. The bonus favors that are marked on the board are easy to forget or accidentally skip over because of the artwork on the board around them.

board.jpeg

The jousters and the fence are the same quality as any other card board punch out. Over time, these pieces could see lots of wear and tear from being assembled and disassembled multiple times. There is no way to prevent this other than being gentle with the pieces. I noticed that one of the riders has his arm printed backward on the inside of his shield. It doesn’t affect the game at all, just thought it was funny. The design is cool and the colors are bright and vibrant, making these pieces the highlight of the game.

Riders with Fence

The game includes a deck of cards with special symbols on the bottom of the card. This is how you determine certain scores for the wagering aspects of the game. The symbols are easy to read and the colors are bold and bright. The artwork is cool, but doesn’t affect game play at all. The cards use standard size sleeves and you don’t need to see the back of the card for any relevant game play, so solid color backs would be fine on your sleeves.

Deck

There are sixteen favor tokens, eight red and eight black. These are wooden tokens painted to match the two riders. These get handled quite a bit during the game and I’m glad they’re wood and not card board.

Favor Tokens

There are six allegiance tokens made from standard quality punch out card board. They are double sided and the designs are crisp and the colors are bold. These get handled more than the favor tokens so they could see some wear and tear over time.

Allegiance Token

The betting chits are standard punch out card board pieces that can send your gaming group into a frenzy of puns. When enunciating the word ‘chit’, you may want to be sure you do it clearly – especially in a family friendly environment. If you don’t, the chit could hit the fan! (Thanks to John H. for letting me steal that one.)

The symbols on each chit represent one of the many aspects you can bet on for each rider. Each symbol and color is easy to distinguish as are the payouts in the top corner. Luckily, if you lose the bet with one of the chits, you only lose one coin and not two or three coins.

Betting Chits

The coins and debt tokens are also standard quality punch out card board. The coin denominations are all easily distinguishable from one another because they’re all different in size and color scheme, aside from having the number printed on them as well. The debt tokens are neat and thematic to the game. If you don’t have any coins, you acquire debt tokens if you would have to pay due to losing money.

Setup & Clean Up

Setup takes some time, and so does clean up. There’s no way around it that I am aware of. The other players can assist in setup and clean up to help decrease the time, but it’s still going to take several minutes. All the components fit nicely into the game’s insert, unless the cards have sleeves on them. I still think game inserts should accommodate for sleeved cards.

Game Play

Game play really isn’t very difficult, it’s the intimidating scoring at the end that’s a bugger for some folks. I seem to have a knack for picking these type of games.

The game is played in three rounds. A round begins with the first player and continues until the riders clash, meaning their little burst symbols on the front of their bases are in the same row. Each player gets to do a few things on their turn. The first thing they MUST do is play at least one card to a rider’s tilt. After they’ve done that, they can then take one betting chit or place a bet on a rider. After they’ve chosen none, one, or both of those actions, the player then draws one card from the Tableau or two cards from the deck.

There are a couple of things that can happen during a player’s turn that can affect the game state. If a player plays a card to a rider’s tilt and there are three consecutive symbols (same color and type), they activate the favor for that symbol. When a player plays a card to a rider’s tilt, if it causes a clash, then the round is over immediately and the game advances to the scoring portion.

After the riders clash, players proceed to the scoring portion of the round. I’m not going to go into the details of scoring, because it doesn’t make a lot of sense until you do it, but I’ll touch on it a little. First you have to determine the victor. It’s not always the rider that crosses the middle line! It all comes down to the amount of favors a rider has and what tilt the favors are on. After determining the victor, there are three scoring phases: Allegiances, Betting Chits, and Card Bets. After scoring is complete, everything is collected and redistributed for the new round, except for the coins. The player with the most coins after three rounds is the winner.

Summary

I do like the game, but because of the group I play with, it’s a game that won’t see much play. I don’t mind the scoring so much, as it’s not really any more complicated than 7 Wonders. What I really don’t like is the lack of a player aid card. I had to leave the rule book out so everyone could see what order they were supposed to do things in and what all they could do on their turn. The back of the rule book has a scoring cheat sheet. But if I’m going to break out the rule book, then I’ll look in the book itself and not at the cheat sheet on the back. A small reference card or scoring aid card would be perfect.

The game is well made and plays well, so I don’t really have any complaints other than the rule book and lack of aid cards. Seriously – accurate player aid cards make a huge difference.

What the Players Said

Paul – All of the components are cool and the game play is fun. I don’t like how over complicated the scoring is.

John H. – I like the design and how simple and fun the game play is. I don’t think the scoring needs to be so complex for the game to work.

Katie R. – The pieces are cool and the 3D board is great. I like that the symbols on the cards are easy to distinguish and that the game is easy to learn and play. It feels like it’s missing something, but I can’t put my finger on it.

J. North – It’s a good game but it’s not really for me. I’d play it if the group wants to play it, but it’s not a game I’d pick to play. I do like the jousting part, but I’m not very good at betting and wagering.

Buy or Bye?
Buy – Eventually

I would most likely buy this game with every intention of playing it, but I don’t think it would get much table time. It’s still one I’d like to have for my collection, but it’s not high on the priority list at the moment.

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Board out and game on!