How to Play Jumanji Board Game
The simplicity and joy of board games can easily go unappreciated but the new Jumanji movie reboot has some consumers wanting to revisit the 90s. Before Jumanji was an action packed comedy featuring Kevin Hart and The Rock, it was a 90s classic featuring Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst. The 1995 film inspired the creation of a board game by the same name so everyone could get in on the wild fun of Jumanji — minus having actual lions chase you or being attacked by giant bugs and evil hunters. Jumanji the board game is great fun for 2 to 4 players but it’s best enjoyed with a full group of 4. The goal here is pretty simple. You need to reach the center of the board and be the first player to yell “Jumanji!” While it sounds easy, you’ll quickly learn just how cruel this board game can be. So get ready for the type of fun that filled our living rooms decades ago and introduced the original version of rage quitting.
Getting Set Up
In order to get started you’ll first need to set up the game. Have players come together around the game board and pick out a pawn for the game. You’ll notice a removable decoder plate included in the box. Make sure this is placed in the center of the board before starting. Have each player place their pawn on the edge of the board that correlates with the color of their piece and place the included rhino piece in the corner of the board with a rhino picture on it. This is the Rhino’s Home Base. You will also need to make sure each player has one of the salvage dice. Keep in mind that if this is your first time setting the game up you will need to assemble the adventure dice by placing a variety of stickers on them. Each die should get an axe, raft, rope, saber, hourglass, racquet, open door, and dice side. There is no specific way you have to place these as long as one of each option is available on every die.
The next step is to shuffle the all important danger cards. These are the cards that will do everything in Jumanji’s power to prevent you from reaching the center of the board. Once these cards are shuffled place them face down on the board in the area marked “DRAW.” You will also notice a doomsday grid on this side of the board. While this is an important part of the game you won’t have to do anything with this for now. Once all players have a pawn on the board, the adventure die assembled, the rhino is at his home base, the danger cards are shuffled and placed face down, and the centerpiece of the game is secured in place, you are ready to start the game.
How to Play
Whoever suggested playing Jumanji will be at the head of the playing order and then the order will continue clockwise from there. Players will take turns rolling the number die and moving their pawn along their color-coordinated path on the board based on whatever number they rolled. What you’ll have to do next depends on what kind of space you land on.
- Blank Spaces: You’re in trouble in the jungle. Draw a danger card and slide it in the game’s decoder in the middle of the board. This will reveal what item players need to role in order to release you from whatever trap you have fallen into but they will only have eight seconds to match the item or roll an hourglass (which is considered a wild card). ALL PLAYERS MUST MATCH YOUR SECRET SYMBOL TO FREE YOU. If all players don’t match the symbol or roll an hourglass then you will have to move back the number of spaces revealed in the top right corner of the card by the decoder. If you are freed by the other players you will remain on the same spot but the others get to move forward the number of spaces revealed on your card. These players do not have to follow the rules of whatever spaces they land on in this case. Place the danger card in the discard pile if you are rescued. If you are not rescued, place the card in the Doomsday Grid.
**You will fill up the Doomsday Grid by starting in the bottom left column and making your way up, over, and back down to the bottom of the right column. Once this grid is filled, all players lose the game and you must start over from the beginning. This should incentivize you to actually try your best to rescue fellow players when they fall into dangerous traps.
- Wait for 5 or 8: You’re being sucked into the jungle. The player to your left needs to roll a 5 or 8 to put a stop to this. If they manage to roll a 5 or 8 then you can stay put and your turn is over. The game will continue as usual. If this player fails to roll a 5 or 8 then you have to move back one space as the player passes the number die to the player to their left. It will be their turn to attempt to roll a 5 or 8. If they don’t, you will have to move back another space. The number die will keep being passed around to the left until a 5 or 8 is rolled but you may not roll to save yourself. For every failed roll, you must move back another spot. You do not need to follow the instructions on each space as you move back.
- Rhino Spaces: Landing on this space allows you to place the rhino game piece directly in front of any player as long as the rhino is not directly in front of the center of the board. This rhino blocks the player’s path and prevents them from moving forward unless they roll an even number on their turn or another player lands on a rhino spot and relocates the piece to block a different player. If you are the blocked player and you roll an even number, move the rhino back to its home base and move forward the number of spaces shown on the number die. You will need to follow the directions for whatever space you land on as well. If you are unable to roll an even number and you are being blocked by the rhino, you will need to remain on the same space and follow the instructions for that space. If your pawn has to move backwards, the rhino moves with you and remains one space ahead of you.
- Jungle Spaces: All players (including you) are now trapped in the jungle and everyone has to roll in an attempt to rescue each other. The player who landed on the jungle space must draw a danger card that all players will be subject to. The group will now have 8 seconds to roll the matching rescue item or the hourglass. If every player manages to roll the matching item or the hourglass then all players advance forward the number of spaces on the danger card. If one or more players fail to roll successfully in the eight seconds, the danger card is placed on the Doomsday Grid and the process must be repeated again with another danger card until all players roll successfully. Keep in mind that it’s very possible you may have to add multiple cards to the Doomsday Grid when a player lands on this type of space.
Movement Rules and How to Win
There are a few additional rules in terms of movement as you make your way around the game board. Players are not allowed to occupy the same space so if you land on the same space as another player you will need to move your piece to the next open space in front of that player. You will also follow the instructions for whatever space you ultimately land on. It’s also very important that all players always move their full number of spaces unless they are prevented from doing so because of a rhino blocking their path. Also remember that in order to win the game, you must reach the center of the board on an exact roll. So if the center of the game board is three spaces away and you roll a four, you are not allowed to claim victory just yet. You must roll the exact number of spaces to actually land on the center of the board.
It’s also possible to win the game without rolling. If all players are required to move forward based on the space number provided by a danger card that impacts them, they can claim victory if this number provides them with the exact number of spaces they would need to land on the center of the board. If you roll or otherwise have to move forward a certain number of spaces that places you short of the center of the board you still need to move your pawn. If you have to move forward a certain number of spaces that would place you beyond the center of the board then you need to remain on the same spot and follow the space instructions for that space again. In the event two players reach the center of the game at the same time, the winner is whichever player manages to yell “Jumanji” first.