“ Brand: Asmodee „
* Prices may differ from that shown
I'm going to address this review in two parts - firstly Jungle Speed in general and then the Raving Rabbids edition.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
Rabbit figure (unique to this edition)
PRICE: I've generally seen it in the £10-15 range.
Jungle Speed is essentially a convoluted version of snap that can be played with 2 - 8 players. Each player is dealt a stack of cards and their aim is to discard their entire pile.
Players take turns to turn over a card from their stack. Once they turn it over they must quickly look to see if it matches any cards turned over by another player. At the same time, the other players will watch to see if it matches the card in front of them. When there is a snap, the two players in question must try to grab the totem poll that lies in the centre. The first person to grab it gets to discard whatever cards they have already played - these go to the losing player.
So obviously it pays to work quickly, meaning you discard as many cards as possible. But, you must also find a balance between speed and care, because if you make a false move (e.g. grabbing the totem when there is no match), your reward is a hefty pile of other players' cards.
The game sounds quite simple from my description, but it is much more challenging than it sounds.
Many cards look EXTREMELY similar without being matches. This leaves players in two minds - should I grab or not? - and leads to the hilarious sight of players wrestling in their own minds over whether or not to grab the pole.
In my opinion it is important to keep the game moving because the faster it is played the more confused and panicked players become! That's all part of the beauty of the game for me.
To top it all off there are special cards which either temporarily change the way the game is played or require all the players to perform a certain task. It all adds up to a game that is deceptively complex.
RAVING RABBIDS EDITION
We already had the original edition in our home when we were given this version as a present. Essentially it is the same game but with different branding. However, this new branding gives the game a whole new lease of life, as there is a new set of cards to learn.
One advantage of this is that it (to an extent) levels out the playing field between experienced and novice players.
While the cards are different, the principles remain the same. It's probably worth pointing out that the special cards are different. They involve:
* Every player racing to grab the totem
* Every player racing to grab the rabbit on top of the totem (without knocking over the totem!!)
* Every player racing to make bunny ears and silly noises beside the next player
* Every player closing their eyes then trying to find the totem
Don't be put off by how complex the game sounds. It does have a steep learning curve, but the principles are perfectly simple and any player will begin to get more confident as they gain experience.
It's lot's of fun, quite zany at times and requires different skills (physical and mental) to be put to use.
Lot's of fun and very silly.
This edition has different cards, meaning it is a new challenge for experienced players.
Can be played and enjoyed by a wide age range.
Very confusing for a first time player. It may take some players a while to actually begin enjoying themselves.
The rabbit figure is easily broken and the totem is not as robust as in other versions. This isn't a huge problem - they can both still be used in spite of damage (and the rabbit isn't all that important anyway).
You'll probably need to lay down some ground rules for what happens when two players grab the totem simultaneously. In my family we basically wrestle and for us this is one of the funnest parts of the game.
However, if you have a group of siblings of different ages and sizes there is more potential for someone getting hurt - so you may have to lay down the law!