Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Most Dangerous Game

No, not hunting people.

Jungle Speed. I've never seen a game which so completely changes people.

My wife is a beautiful woman. She's not a very competitive person when gaming - that's not to say she isn't a skilled competitor. She's just not very trash-talking or in-your-face.

But get Jungle Speed out, and this happens:

Jungle Speed

If you look at the cards played, you can see that this is an "All-Grab" card. Two players have just barely started to move, and two are already fighting over the totem. One of the two blurs struggling over the totem is my wife.

The game's impact is such that we require all players to remove all jewelry from their hands before playing. And we can't play in the presence of children.

My wife isn't the only person impacted by the game, either. My good friend Dawn doesn't swear. She has a son and works as a newspaper editor (and freelance edits for WotC), so she is very aware of her language choices. She's very particular about the language she allows to escape her mouth.

Now, my Wednesday night game night is held at a game store which is open to the public. We sometimes have small children about, so we're pretty particular about our language as well.

The last time we played Jungle Speed, Dawn caught herself swearing. A lot. It doesn't help that I'd included the expansion.

There are a few games designed to cause pain or suffering, such as Shocking Roulette, Really Wild Bug Eating Party, Quelf and Nautilus (have you tried it?) but they hold no interest for me.

I have games which have cut me, games which have fallen on my toes, and games which have caused me to injure myself in other ways (Curses nearly always causes a strain). But Jungle Speed is the only game which I have played which nearly always draws blood or causes bruises. It's the only game I own which has put holes in walls and dented ceilings.

And I just keep coming back for more ...


  1. Don't forget about denting foreheads - I'm pretty sure Katie still has a little bit of a dent.

  2. Riding the edge of nerve twitches is fun, even if I haven't quite programmed mine to be competitive yet.