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Amazing Jungle Run Kickstarter Preview

Quick Look: Amazing Jungle Run

Designer: Keith A Smith
Artists: John Childress
Publisher: Buddypal Games
Year Published: 2020
No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 30 minutes


Imagine your dream vacation. Was it trying to survive in a jungle with man-eating plants and quicksand? I didn't think so.  I mean, who would want this? There are animals everywhere, a mysterious looking Shaman lurks about, I'm as hungry as could be, and did I mention? MAN EATING PLANTS! I just want to find a way out of this place...

In Amazing Jungle Run, players will be trying to survive the elements of the jungle while also using the environment in their favor to help themselves and hinder their opponents.
The goal in the game is to be the first player to reach 9 points. You earn points by collecting the point cards from the shared decks and rolling the dice to see if you
are successful in your attempt. May the best survivor win!


To set up the game, start by separately shuffling the resource cards and the peril cards. Then, set them aside within reach of all players. To set up the jungle cards (larger cards) take the
higher valued point cards ( 4 two-point cards and 1 three-point) and shuffle them with random jungle cards to create a deck of 16 cards. With this deck, create four equal stacks of four cards
each. With the remaining jungle cards, shuffle them and place them on top of the four stacks so that all decks have an even amount of cards in them. This ensures that the higher valued
point cards will make their appearance later in the game rather than sooner. Place the dice within reach of all players, determine a first player, and get ready to play!


There are three phases on a player's turn. The first phase is the action phase. During this phase, you will have two action points (AP) to spend in three different ways. The ways you can spend action
points are: draw a resource card (1 AP), draw a peril card (2 AP), or look at the bottom of a jungle deck (1 AP). After the action phase comes the manipulation and collecting phase. In this phase,
you will be playing resource and peril cards to assist you in collecting jungle cards and then you collect or attempt to collect the jungle cards. If you are wanting one of the common jungle cards (hippo, toucan, or tiger) you then take all of the face-up cards that match that card, at no cost. When you collect three of a kind with these cards, you can trade them in for a peril card or remove an
ongoing effect. If you want to try to collect a special power card (The King, Gorilla, or Hyena) or a point card, you have to roll the dice to see if you are successful. You get two chances to roll
the dice, locking in any dice from your first roll to save for your second. Whenever you collect any jungle card, they are placed face-up in front of you for all of the players to see. The last phase
is the defense phase. This phase allows you to play any resource or peril cards to make it a little bit harder on your opponent. Play continues like this until one player collects 9 points, in which
case they are crowned King or Queen of the jungle!

Theme and Mechanisms:

I found the jungle theme of this game to be appealing. While there are a few games that share this theme, it isn't a theme that is as played out as many others. I'm looking at you high fantasy and
general space! The designer, Keith, did a great job of pulling the theme into some of the cards too. Two of the best that do this are the Off Limits and Quicksand cards. They are both somewhat thematic, so their
effects make sense to their names!

This games functions on mechanisms such as AP allowance, dice rolling, card drafting, and set collecting. All of the mechanisms work well together to create a good flowing game, but the dice
rolling is the one I am most iffy about. So much rides on how you roll the dice, which can be good or bad depending on what your preferences are. For me, I do not like for a game hinge so much on luck. If you roll poorly, you will not collect points and therefore will not win. This is somewhat mitigated by resource cards that allow you to change the dice to certain colors. I like that they did this because it dials back the luck factor, but if you don't have those resource cards, it can be difficult to collect point cards. Again though,
this comes down to preference.

The game hinging on luck usually isn't a problem for me in a quicker take-that type game like this. It usually fits the game style and not too much is on the line with it. Which is true in this game
as well. I found it especially frustrating in this game though, because of how well you can set yourself up through using the right combination of cards at the right time, to just have it not work
out for you because of your dice roll. The combos you can pull off in this game are fun, but can also be very swingy too. Several times throughout the game, I felt like I made some clever moves, only
to be unsuccessful in my attempt to collect a point card. I don't know if this is a feature or a bug, but I wasn't a huge fan of it.

Artwork and Components:

I don't really have too much to say about the artwork or the components. The art on the cards is well done and graphic design is functional. The quality of the cards is good, but not great. I
was sent a prototype copy of the dice so I cannot comment on the quality of those. If I had to judge the artwork and components overall, I would say that they work but they leave something
to be desired.

The Good:

My favorite part of the game was no doubt, the card combos. The effects in the cards allowed you to use several cards in the same turn to achieve some pretty fun moves. Some being from luck
and others being from skill, either way, I had a lot of fun with it. This held especially true in the late game. I think this is where the game is the best too. When there are only a few cards left
in each deck the game becomes a lot more strategic. If you combo the right cards at the right time in the late game, you can win rather quickly. During the late game, you are also able to make
better use of the ability to look at the bottom of a deck. Up until that point of the game, I didn't find it too useful to use that ability often.

The Other:

On the other hand, I found the first part of the game to be kind of slow. It seemed to me that the decisions to be made in the first part were somewhat obvious. I am specifically talking about the jungle cards with that and what I mean is that depending on what jungle cards were revealed, it wasn't a hard choice on what to do. Even later in the game, I didn't find the decision making all that interesting.
This, of course, is just my preference and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Final Thoughts:

I have said it a couple times already, but I really enjoyed the card combos in the game. It was fun to see how big of a move I could pull off and really change the game state up by manipulating
the cards. Other than that though, I felt like it was missing something that I can't quite put my finger on. It was a fine game, not something I would personally seek out, but maybe great as a family-style game.
Players Who Like:

If you like light-hearted games with some take that elements, maybe give this one a try!

Check out Amazing Jungle Run and Buddypal Games on:

https://boardgamegeek.com/image/5152349/amazing-jungle-run  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ajrun/amazing-jungle-run-game  https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Game-Publisher/Buddypal-Games-110733213593185/        

 Eric Schevenius - Reviewer

Full-time father, part-time nerd. When not spending time with my family, I try to fill the rest of my time playing tabletop games. Some call it an obsession, I prefer the term passion. Either way, I will play any game, with anybody, at any time.

Find Eric's articles HERE.

Amazing Jungle Run Kickstarter Preview Amazing Jungle Run Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by Eric Schevenius on March 03, 2020 Rating: 5

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