Cards & Dice & Tabletops: Jungle Speed Safari
There are times when you are playing board games where, like Cyndi Lauper, you just wanna have fun. Saving the world, defeating Chthulu and stabbing your mates in the back is all fine and well but what do you do when you just want to be a kid again? Allow me to offer a solution in the form of Jungle Speed Safari.
Jungle Speed Safari is a card game for two to six players where each card triggers an action. The game consists of a deck of cards and five coloured totems. Cards are dealt out evenly and the totems placed in the middle of the play area within reach of all the players. Each totem has its own colour and a picture of the favourite food of a specific animal. How and when the Totems come into play depend on which card is revealed. Each player takes it in turns to reveal the top card of their deck which everyone then has to react to. The fastest player to react in the correct manner then keeps the card as a point and the player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. The deck is split into five different types of cards which determine what action to take. Most actions require quick thinking and even quicker reflexes. Hungry Animal cards require players to grab the correct food token to “feed” the animal pictured; Angry Animal cards need you to mimic the animal pictured; Chameleon cards require players to grab the correct coloured totem whilst Hunter cards gets the rest of the players covering their point cards while the hunter tries to steal one. There also are neutral animal cards which merely add a point to the person who revealed them.
If you are reading this thinking that this sounds like chaos on a table then you are absolutely correct. Once the rules have been explained the game quickly descends into madness as players try to be the quickest in grabbing the correct totem or remembering which of their card piles to protect. As a result of this Jungle Speed Safari is also rather physical. You often find that in the rush to grab the correct totem or cover your cards you will end up “holding” somebody’s hand. This of course leads to the obligatory so and so fancies so and so jokes which leads to face pulling which then leads to trying to cheat which leads to barrels of laughter. The point I’m trying to make is that playing Jungle Speed Safari does indeed turn you into a five-year old again. The game makes for a refreshing change to a lot of the chunkier games normally played in a gaming group. I’m not suggesting you play Jungle speed Safari at every meeting but bringing it out every now and again will definitely relax the atmosphere.
Jungle Speed Safari is not meant to be taken seriously. There is no massive backstory, no complicated game mechanic or no tactics involved. It is meant to be a wee blast of fun and laughter. The game is quick to set up and easy to teach which makes Jungle Speed Safari the ultimate family game. Bonds will be broken and rivalries will develop playing this – but in the good way. So while Jungle Speed Safari will get a laugh and some playtime in your game group; your kids, parents, nieces and nephews are going to adore it too. And the fact that it can be brought out on more than one occasion (to the same amount of fun and belly laughs I might add) should put Jungle speed Safari on your list of games to add to your collection.