Click Clack Lumberjack (Preview)
“Tok Tok Woodman”, a tree chopping game that successfully funded through Kickstarter in late 2011, is back and better than ever. The makers of the aforementioned Korean game have decided to tweak the original design in order to help the game appeal to a wider audience…hence, “Click Clack Lumberjack” was born. The revamped version improves upon the original packaging in order to make it more shelf-friendly, adds a few variants to give the game lasting appeal, and more. Before we take a quick look at this recent Kickstarter success, I’d like to thank Seth Hiatt from MayDay Games for reaching out and providing me with a press copy. It’s important to note that I received my press copy after the campaign ended and before retail copies were made. Thus, the contents in the pictures below may or may not be fully representative of the final product.
Setting up the game is very easy to do, as there aren’t that many components to worry about. You’ll have nine core blocks, thirty-six bark blocks, one tree base, and an axe. Of course, a manual will be available to give you a rundown of how the game is played. It’s a very short but concise manual, consisting of about four pages, if that. In all honesty, most younger children capable of reading comprehension will be able to master the rules without parental supervision.
For those of you unfamiliar with this game or its predecessor, players will essentially be attempting to cut down a tree with the axe piece in order to collect bark pieces. Players get two chops with the axe on their turn, with bark pieces being worth a point each. The nine core pieces, on the other hand, penalizes the player that chops them down at a rate of negative five points each. The person with the most points at the end of the game (which occurs when all of the bark is off of the tree), wins.
Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that. When setting up the game for the very first time, players will place four grub stickers on any four bark blocks. These grubs will be placed on the insides of the bark pieces so that players will have no idea which bark pieces have grubs on them while the game is being played…at least, not until those bark pieces are cut down. Players who manage to cut down bark that has a grub on it get to take an extra turn.
The two variants included in the manual serve to mix things up a bit. In the first variant, the game doesn’t end when all of the bark is off of the tree. Rather, victory is awarded to the first player to reach a set number of points. In the second variant, handicaps are introduced. The player who came in last place in the last game gets to choose whether or not they get an extra whack with the axe on their turn. There’s also a mention of handicaps against the winner of the last game, which forces them to take one less whack with the axe per turn. Nothing fancy, but they’re fun options to include when you need a break from the norm.
For as simple as the game is, I found that it tested my dexterity and eye-hand coordination a bit. Its mechanics are similar to that of “Jenga” in that you’ll be trying to surgically remove the pieces you want in order to score the most points / win the game. The core pieces penalize players, so you’ll need to be careful in regards to how hard you swing the axe piece. Vinnie (12) actively enjoyed himself and needed no second explanation as far as rules were concerned. He grabbed that axe and went in chopping like a pro, giving me a serious run for my money.
All in all, “Click Clack Lumberjack” is a great example of a game that can be introduced to your family, no matter what age they happen to be. There’s a reason that games like “Don’t Break the Ice” and “Hi Ho Cherry-O” stick out in my mind…they were simple and easy to play but still provided hours of entertainment. I have fond memories of playing these games as a kid with my grandparents, and I see no reason why “Click Clack Lumberjack” couldn’t carry on the tradition. Perfect for all ages, “Click Clack Lumberjack” is a fun, quick party game that won’t disappoint.
You can learn more about “Click Clack Lumberjack” by visiting the following websites: