Filler Games · Reviews

Review of Jabberwocky

MVIMG_20181104_132559Game: Jabberwocky

Published: Jellybean Games

Players: 1-7

Playtime: 20-30 Minutes

Play Type: Variety

Synopsis:

You have fallen down the rabbit hole and landed in Wonderland. Experience the land through a variety of games but beware of the tricks of the land. Most of all, beware of the Jabberwocky.

Game Play:

While I would normally detail the game play of a game, I will not be able to do so for Jabberwocky. That is because Jabberwocky is actually a collection of games rather than a singular game. Within the box there are five different games included, and each of the games has a different player count and play type. Here are the different play types:

  1. Bandersnatch: A Puzzle Game (1 player)
  2. Borogoves: An Asymmetrical Map Making Game (1-2 Players)
  3. Gyre: An Area Control Game (2-3 Players)
  4. Mimsy: An Area Control Game (2-3 Players)
  5. Slithy: A Negotiation Game (3-7 Players)

As you can see, the box includes games that support a variety of play styles and numbers. This helps make the game more flexible and stand out among other filler games.

Components:

MVIMG_20181030_182004

The components in Jabberwocky are simple and visually attractive. If you are familiar with it’s predecessor,  The Lady and the Tiger, you won’t be surprised to find that game includes only cards and  glass tokens. Most of the cards fit into one of three suits. The glass tokens come in three different colors. Different games utilize these materials differently.

While the components are extremely simple, they are also vibrant and fun. The cards come in especially bright colors such as green, orange and purple. The artwork depicts some beloved characters from Alice in Wonderland such as the Cheshire Cat, The Queen of Hearts, The White Rabbit and the Jabberwocky.

Overview:
Positives:
  • Meets a Variety of Play Styles
  • Very Portable
  • Quick to Play
  • Easy to Explain
  • Versatile
  • Plays Up to 7
  • Player Aids

Negatives:

  • Only One Game for More Than 3
  • Game Play is Lacking in Theme

Jabberwocky is one of the most versatile games I have played this year. The collection of games will provide something for almost any scenario, because of the range of game types and player counts. It is the kind of game I could see gamers carrying around in a purse or car for periods of downtime while waiting for a game to start or food at a restaurant. The time to play the games is short, but they still feel as though they have some level of depth to them.

The two games that I favored the most were Bandersnatch and Slithy, for completely different reasons. I enjoyed Bandersnatch because it provided a solo game play experience that was thinky and somewhat challenging without a huge time spent setting the game up. I often shy away from playing games solo because of the time commitment  to set up and take down the games, but Bandersnatch was a breeze. I could easily see someone playing the game during downtime at the office or even while waiting for food at a restaurant.

I enjoyed Slighty because it was a game that is simple and can be played at a high player count. The game is a negotiation game that forces players to count cards, fib a little and generally engage with one another. The simplicity of the game makes it one that I could easily use inside my classroom during downtime. It could be used to help teach odds within a classroom as well. It is also nice because it plays well at any of the player counts, not just as the higher end of the player count unlike many other games that accommodate that many players.

While these two games stood out to me, I had the chance to play all of them. Each of the games is elegantly simple, but provides relatively high player interaction and challenge. I would have liked to see more of the games include player counts above three though. Generally I either play with two players or four, so only having one game that accommodates four players makes it one that might not see the table as often. I would suggest this one for players who mostly play solo or with one other player.

In addition to the low player counts, I would say that the game play itself is not very thematic.  While the art beautifully represents Alice in Wonderland, any theme could have been used to represent the games. If you are looking for a thematically immersive game play experience this may not be the one for you.

However if you are looking for a game that is versatile and portable, I definitely suggest checking this game out. Players who enjoyed the predecessor, The Lady and the Tiger, will likely enjoy this game as well as they have a very similar feel to them. It will also appeal to players who enjoy small box games like Fluxx, Love Letter or  Kingdomino. Families will also likely enjoy many of these games, as they are simple enough to be taught to older children.

If you are interested in hearing more on this one, keep your eye out for the Kickstarter. It will start on November 13th.

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