In terms of popular family/party games, Jenga has to be among the most recognizable.

It is super easy to explain in terms of rules, has a lot of laughs that come from gameplay, and there are brand name and generic sets all over, especially as the December holiday season nears.

It has even spurred those with a crafty tilt to create large-scale versions for backyard fun.

Into the same general game arena now strides another game; Crazy Tower from Synapses Games.

“Your fingers are trembling,” states the game rules. “Your heart is pounding. You have to add another block to the teetering tower, and your mind is racing: will the tower hold together, or will it collapse? A drop of sweat trickles down your forehead as your fingers release the block. This is the moment of truth. The tower sways. Your breath catches in your throat. The tower re-stabilizes and remains standing. For Now …”

Yes, there is a fair amount of hyperbole in there for sure. It is after all a game that again, like Jenga is pretty straightforward.

In Crazy Tower, the goal is simple: build a stable structure.

“Blocks must be laid flat. Blocks can overhang floor cards. Floor cards can be offset from the tower. Only one hand can be used to lay a block or floor card. There can never be two blocks of the same colour on the same floor card. In a two-player game, each player has two colours of blocks,” notes the rules.

So within that brief description are the two defining features of Crazy Tower.

The first is that there are blocks of varying colours and only one of a colour can be used on any level. That doesn’t seem significant except pieces are various shapes and cover varying areas, so sometimes the perfect piece to lay down is unavailable because of the colour restriction.

The second interesting addition to this style of game comes from the addition of cards that get laid like floor frames. The cards have varying patterns with areas that blocks cannot be laid, and others that impact what you can or must do.

Having some variation to how pieces get added is interesting at least.

As you might expect the game ends if the tower collapses. The tower is considered collapsed if at least one block and one-floor card fall.

In multi-player games, the player who caused the collapse does not score any points.

Other players accumulate points based on the pieces they have left to play.

The game would be great for a younger audience, or a quick party pull-out. As a two-player offering, the better half and I conquered the tower rather easily, and my hand is not as steady as it once was, so it lacked the tension hinted at in the description.

It is doubtful Crazy Tower will replace Jenga in popularity for those wanting some dextrous fun, but it is an option with a few twists you may like.

Check it out at jeuxsynapsesgames.com

Thanks to Dixie Daniels for helping play and review this game.

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In terms of popular family/party games, Jenga has to be among the most recognizable. It is super easy to explain in terms of rules, has a lot of laughs that come from gameplay, and there are brand name and generic sets all over, especially as the December holiday season nears. It...