Tinderblox Review

12 April 2021
It’s a reverse Jenga affair.

Ah, the great outdoors – sleeping in a tent, fresh air, building a slightly precarious fire, alerting the local fire brigade and forestry commission – all wholesome things to enjoy. If instead, you’re in a caravan with the rain lashing against the window, there’s this tiny tinned emulation by Alley Cat to keep you toasty.

It’s a reverse Jenga affair. Build up the fire as instructed by the card you draw, adding a log or a yellow or red fire cube using some amusingly wobbly plastic tweezers. Knock the fire over, presumably causing a minor incident, and you’re out. Some cards contain a combination of items that have to be stacked to the side before being added to the main fire, making for some trickier placement. Additionally, you’ll be instructed to use your weaker hand from time to time by the cards, bringing further challenge to the mix.

While this should all be an exercise in classic ‘will it stack’ dexterity gaming – the thrill of watching someone else not quite manage to navigate your own horrible placements, leaving you victorious – it is missing something. The challenge isn’t quite deep enough to make players want to play again immediately, which is always the sign of a good game designed to play socially. We suspect that at the lower age range however it will be a hit, and worth scouting out for family trips – although not one for car journeys. There is an undeniable enjoyment in ‘building up a big fire’ and for that, we can certainly recommend Tinderblox.  

Christopher John Eggett

Play it? Maybe 

Designer: Rob Sparks

Publisher: Alley Cat Games

Time: 3-15 minutes

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Players: 2-6

Ages: 6+

Price: £10

This review originally appeared in Issue 49 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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