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Click Clack Lumberjack Review


Quick Look: Click Clack Lumberjack

Designer: Justin Oh
Artists: Marco Echevarria, Max Holliday, Vincent Kim, Allison Litchfield, Justin Oh
Publisher: Mayday Games
Year Published: 2008
No. of Players: 2-7
Ages: 5+
Playing Time: 10 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

Review:
Have you ever wanted to be a lumberjack? No? Well, that’s probably because you haven’t played Click Clack Lumberjack! While a game geared toward children, it’s a wonderful game for adults as well. It’s nothing deep or complicated (again, it’s designed with kids in mind), but there is enough gameplay here to satisfy both your child’s and your own yearning for entertainment. When played with kids, it’s silly, fun, and competitive. When played with adults, it’s silly, fun, and even more competitive!

The rules for Click Clack Lumberjack include advanced rules, which ups the difficulty a notch or two, making it more fitting as a game for veteran gamers, yet still easy enough for kids to hold onto. For the younger kids, it’s all about chopping off bark and getting the most pieces. There is joy in both rule sets, and there’s nothing more fulfilling than watching your young child whack away at the teetering log and seeing the pride in his eyes when he finally chips off a piece of bark.

As far as games geared for kids go, this is one of my favorites (Coconuts is also a favorite). Let’s talk about the various aspects of the game and how it all works together.

Setup:


Setup can be a bit tricky, depending on how young the child is. Setting up the game involves sliding four pieces of bark into one of the core pieces, and then stacking that on another core piece that’s likewise surrounded by four pieces of bark, onward and upward until your tower of cores is complete.

When I say it can be tricky, I mean that the core needs to be sitting on something when the bark gets inserted, or else the bark will slide out the bottom. Of course, if you have complete mastery over your fingers, you can hold all four pieces of bark in place while moving the core to the top of the stack. Personally, I do both. My four-year-old also does both, although he is a little slower at it. I will say that the age suggestion for Click Clack Lumberjack is for ages five and up. I will also say that I say this about my four-year-old so you can see that even kids that young can make it work and have a good time at it.

I wouldn’t say setup is difficult, but it does take practice if you’re still mastering your fine motor skills. Give your child a bit of practice, and they’ll be building up the log in no time!

Gameplay:

And you thought Jenga was crazy!
The basic gameplay is, well, basic. Simply chip off bark from the tree’s core—without knocking off any of the core pieces in the process. You get a point per bark, and if a piece of bark you knocked off has a bug inside (don't worry, it’s a sticker), you get to take another turn!

The most difficult concept - for my kids, at least - is to only take two or three whacks before passing the axe off to the next player. For the younger ones, that’s totally fine, and I’ll let them go until they get something. The older ones, however, get to follow the rules.

With more advanced rules in play, points vary depending on the shade of bark chipped off, and the core is worth more negative points than before. With these rules in play, it ups the ante from a kid’s game to something more competitive. I’ve played this with only adults, and I dare say we had more fun than the kids did. To have a kid’s game that’s just as appealing for adults is awesome. Props to the designer for making the rules adjustable to make this success possible.

Theme and Mechanics:


Woodcutters unite! Chopping down trees might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the theme fits the mechanics perfectly. I’m originally from Canada where logging is a thing, so I’m quite at home with this theme. Wolverine was also a lumberjack up in Alberta (at least, according to the original X-Men movie), so there’s added incentive to become one yourself.

Artwork and Components:


The art is minimal—mostly just on the box. But what’s there is great.

The components are plastic, with big, solid core pieces and park that’s made to slide into the notches on the cores. The axe is great, and it still says Toc Toc Woodman on it, which is awesome because that’s the original name of the game. Don’t worry—the axe is plastic and won’t leave any lasting injuries.

The Good:
  • Fun for kids and adults
  • Unique dexterity aspect
  • Quality components
  • Varying difficulty/play modes

The Other:
The only thing I can think of is the building of the stack of wood, and only if you’re a wee child without proper control over your motor skills.

Final Thoughts:


Click Clack Lumberjack is a solid dexterity game that will bring joy and laughter to the table. Both kids and adults will enjoy it, and it’s difficult to tell who actually enjoys it more. To have a kid’s game appeal to adults is a massive feat, and one that this game does well. Of course, not everyone will be into light-hearted, fun dexterity games (where is your soul?), but for those who are, this is a no brainer when it comes to games for kids and/or adults.

Players Who Like:

If you like simple dexterity games like Coconuts or Yummy Yummy Pancake, check this one out. It’s also great for young kids and adults who play games with kids (or are kids at heart). 


Check out Click Clack Lumberjack on:

               


About the Author:



Benjamin Kocher hails from Canada but now lives in Kentucky with his wife and kids. He's a certified copyeditor through UC San Diego's Copyediting Extension program. He's a freelance writer and editor, and covers everything from board game rule books to novels. An avid writer of science fiction and fantasy, it comes as no surprise that his favorite board games are those with rich, engaging themes. When he’s not writing or playing games, Benjamin loves to play ultimate Frisbee, watch and play rugby, and read the most epic fantasy books available. Follow him on Twitter  @BenjaminKocher and Instagram @Benjamin_Kocher, and read his board game-inspired fiction at BenjaminKocher.com.

Check out Benjamin's reviews here.
Click Clack Lumberjack Review Click Clack Lumberjack Review Reviewed by Benjamin Kocher on August 14, 2019 Rating: 5

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