A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn the importance of thinking ahead, as just pulling out blocks randomly often leads to defeat. Players will need to think about the long game, just as they would in chess. Kids will learn through trial and error -- determining the best move with the remaining pieces. (Should they take out a center block or the two side ones, for instance?) Jenga encourages kids to think ahead, and they'll also get a rudimentary lesson on physics and gravity -- as unsteady towers collapse under their own weight.
Ease of Play
The game makes a surprisingly natural transition to the iOS, giving users a variety of ways to get blocks out of the stack.
Products & Purchases
A link from the main menu takes users to a page with more games from the developer.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jenga is a faithful recreation of the popular family-friendly tower-building game. Using a realistic physics engine, you'll see your tower wobble and lean as you remove puzzle pieces and stack them higher. The blocks react like the ones in the real-world version, which is an incredible feat. Designed in consultation with Leslie Scott, the original creator of Jenga, the game includes several modes, including the classic regular game, a pass-and-play mode for more than one person, and a new "arcade" mode, which adds a time element. Kids will appreciate the app's forgiving nature, whereas shaky hands in a real-world version can end a game prematurely. Online play is a part of the game, though, and includes the ability to play and chat with strangers -- and there is no method to disable this. There's a separate HD iPad version of the game called Jenga HD, which is a bit easier given the extra screen size, but iPhone players can get the same experience in Jenga.
Is It Any Good?
JENGA doesn't seem to be a natural fit for an app, but NaturalMotion does a terrific job of building an electronic version of this classic -- thanks in large part to its terrific physics engine, which causes the blocks to react as they would in the real world. Is it more fun than the game you play with friends around a table? No. But it's as close as you can come. The pass-and-play mode is the best mode -- since playing Jenga alone isn't a fulfilling experience. And the new arcade mode, with colors and a timer, is a great spin on the single-player game that makes it fun to play when you're alone. It's nice to be able to play with friends who aren't in the immediate room, but there are some safety concerns there. Still, at its core, this is a terrific game.
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Our Editors Recommend
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