My full review of Click Clack Lumberjack can be found here:
A full list of my board game reviews can be found on the same site here:
(Thanks to Dad's Gaming Addiction for the layout idea)
I'm a Lumberjack and I'm OK
The concept of Click Clack Lumberjack is that you're a hard-working lumberjack whose sole purpose is to collect bark from the trees of the forest. Uh-oh, it looks like there's other lumberjacks in the woods with the same idea. The lumberjack who brings home the most bark can claim victory (and probably some flapjacks with syrup).
The game play area consists of a plastic tree base with 9 sections that represent rings on the tree. Each section will hold four pieces of bark that are partially connected. Each lumberjack gets two whacks at the tree with a large plastic axe during their turn. If a piece of bark is knocked off the tree, it's worth one point. However, if you don't watch your strength, you'll knock off a center ring and lose five points. The game is played until all of the bark is removed from the tree.
The first few games we played went by really quickly because of my inability to ease up on the throttle, knocking down the tree in the process. Games were taking a little bit longer now because my mind was fixated on finding just the right spot to hit on the tree. After a while, I got the hang of it and even earned a pat on the back from my daughter for doing so well.
Let's Mix it Up!
About an hour into playing the game, things were getting sort of stale. We were getting really good at knocking off the bark and most games would either end up in a draw or with someone accidentally knocking over multiple center pieces. Then we discovered the additional rules variants which looked very interesting. Is there someone at the table who is always in last place? Well you can choose to let that person hit the tree an extra time on each turn if they wish. If you wanted to create a challenge for last game's winner, they can be forced to only hit the tree once per turn on the next game.
Then there's the grubs. Each game comes with four grub stickers that can be affixed either to the outside or inside of random bark chips. You can then create house rules that trigger if you manage to capture a grub. For one game, we made a rule that if you got the grub, you earned an extra point. Mixing and matching these rules variants is an amazing way to keep the game from feeling repetitive. Admittedly, this concern is trivial as the game itself is amazingly fun to play.
I am really impressed by the plastic components. Each piece of bark fits snug as a bug in a rug into the center rings, yet easily slides out of place with the right hit. This lack of friction creates an inconsistent result from one hit to the next which adds to the excitement of the game. The oversized axe is a nice touch, and provides for a fair amount of balance and momentum when swung.
The only negative I could find with the game's design is the box(albeit a minor one at that). I understand that the goal of the design was to lower the price point of the game, but the walls of the box feel thin, unstable, and vulnerable to tearing. I ended up cutting an L-shaped piece of cardboard to help reinforce the walls which helped a lot.
Click Clack Lumberjack is a game that truly is fun for all ages. This is the type of game you break out at a party to play with your friends or during a family game night. Setup time is minimal, the rules are simple, yet there's room to augment these rules to keep things interesting as time goes on. If you and kids enjoy other dexterity games such as Jenga, Kerplunk, or Don't Break the Ice, this would definitely be a great fit for you.