Jenga: World Tour (Wii) review
"At last year’s Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), an event called the Omegathon was held which is a marathon competition where participants competed in console games, PC games, and tabletop games. Prior to the event, it was revealed the first event would be Jenga, the classic wooden block pushing game consisting of people freaking out and yelling “JENGA ZOMG!” As a result of this announcement, Jenga sales increased 20%. Moreover, from the “success” of other board games such as Monopoly and UNO, Atari d..."
At last year’s Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), an event called the Omegathon was held which is a marathon competition where participants competed in console games, PC games, and tabletop games. Prior to the event, it was revealed the first event would be Jenga, the classic wooden block pushing game consisting of people freaking out and yelling “JENGA ZOMG!” As a result of this announcement, Jenga sales increased 20%. Moreover, from the “success” of other board games such as Monopoly and UNO, Atari decided to release a version of Jenga using the Wii motion controls.
First thing’s first, why the hell would you buy your child a video game version of a board game, assuming you’re a parent when the actual board game is $20 cheaper. Why not get them the actual game since video games are bad for you or whatever propaganda Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton are spouting out. Anyway, the premise of the game for those who’ve been living under a rock for the last ten years is there’s a tower of wooden blocks consisting of three narrow blocks for each row of the tower and you must carefully push each block out and stack them on top of the tower. The first player to cause the tower to fall loses… and gets a spanking.
While that is how the game is supposed to work, actually doing that in the Wii version is next to impossible. So your tower is sitting on a coffee table in the living room of what appears to be a high-rise apartment in a big city as you can tell from an open window. Why would someone who owns an apartment want to play Jenga and show it to the world. Probably to beg onlookers to have conversations such as, “Hey, is that dude playing Jenga?” “No, he’s just playing some crappy game.” Anyway, you’ll use the Wii remote to aim and point a hand you select the block you wish to push out. Your instinct will be to press A which pulls out the block, but not just the block, the whole tower is pulled with it. Yes, the whole tower bends with each block you attempt to pull out, but given your luck you’ll never be able to accomplish the task. It’s not until you check out the tutorial that you realize that you can tap the blocks by pressing the B button. Doing so will lightly push a block out so you safely pull it all the way out. If that’s the case, then what’s the point of having a pull-it-out-all-the-way feature, if you can easily tap it out without having to pull it out. I’m quite surprised that I haven’t made a “That’s what she said…” joke from all this pulling out and tapping commentary. If you can successfully push/pull out more than two blocks from this atrocity of a game, then you have me beat, because not only did I fail multiple times, but also that was about as much as I could handle from this failed abortion of a game.
Since the gameplay is obviously broken, why not create a façade of it being a good game by offering the World Tour mode, where you can play against the computer in different regions of the world. Since Jenga is such a popular sport it’s rumored to be an Olympic event, this summer, I mean if it’s at PAX, then why not the Olympics. There are other modes such as free mode and arcade mode, I don’t really know the difference since it’s the same crappy game. I guess there is the option to include power-ups such as stone blocks that can’t be pushed out. Additionally there’s the option to include your friends in on the torture, because you’re such a great friend to force them to suffer with you.
Given that the gameplay isn’t the best, the presentation of the game is decent. Remember that apartment scene from before, well there’s a dog sitting on the couch and he looks as bored as hell because he’s forced to sit through several matches of a broken game and he’s probably wishing he was Old Yeller right now so he could be shot. Poor dog. You can change the design of the blocks to neon which makes the blocks even more difficult to push because now you don’t even know what you’re pushing since they’re all transparent and laser-like. The music is a little annoying, which adds more frustration to the game. To make matters worst, there’ll be constant chatter from disembodied voices which will say things such as “It’s time to play Jenga!,”, “Uh-oh it’s going to fall!” and the fact that they’re all excited about it is another fabrication this game creates because just like the developers, the announcers were probably paid less than minimum wage to do this gig.
In closing, Jenga for the Wii is absolute garbage. I’d rather dive into a pool of urine with a bucket of fecal matter on my head than play this game. If there’s one thing this game does right, is it insures you that there are really horrible games out there. I’ve been to the ninth layer of hell and back. Asmodeus is a cakewalk compared this eternal torture that is a game. In short, don’t buy this game, unless you’re looking for an expensive pizza cutter or drink coaster.
Community review by Ness (February 18, 2008)
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