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JAB: Realtime Boxing» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Jab Review rss

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Joshua Van Laningham
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Rulebook:
A short game description, components, and setup followed by the rules proper. This is actually one of the better rulebook layouts I have seen. Everything is displayed in simple terms and short sections, as well as there being plenty of card images to accompany examples. The rulebook ends with a designer's notes section which is a nice personal touch. Something else that this rulebook does that I like is that the components section lists the number of components along with pictures that correspond to them .

Box art:
A burly looking boxer faces away from the viewer, entering the ring under the hot lights shining down from above. Simple and appropriate for a boxing game. I was expecting something more along the lines of a more action focused cover, but this captures the intensity that I feel the designer was going for. The sides and back show the face of the mystery boxer, with the back has him proclaiming that "You'll be hooked!" The back also shows some of the cards along with a short description of the game.

Gameplay:
For a game that seems to be intended to be fast paced, there sure are a lot of slow elements involved. A boxer's arms and head as well as the area for clinch and ding cards and damage counters are all relevant areas that need to be kept track of most of the time. Constantly having to stop and assess the game state every time someone throws a punch makes it strategic, sure, but really takes one out of the feel of the game. I suppose you and your opponent could just play punch cards as fast as possible to score points and end the round, but that seems like it misses the point a little.

Target audience:
I'm not really sure about this one. The cartoonish text on the cards and lame references in the rulebook show that this is not necessarily intended for older players and definitely not boxing fans, yet the "fast paced" and at times complex gameplay make me think that this may not be intended for younger players either. Maybe I'm just underestimating the younger crowd, though I haven't been younger in about ten or so years, so possibly this is aimed more at them (no pun intended).

Replayability:
The cards remain the same every time, but the fast games can allow for many games in a short time. While this game might not have the longevity of some games, I can see people taking it for a spin every once and a while if they have a small amount of time to waste.

Fun:
If you like "fast paced" game play, strategic moves, and the thrill of entering the ring to punch your way to victory, this game may be for you.

Personal opinion:
As much as I would have liked to have fun with this game, the slower play and constant chaos on the board kept me from having too much of it. While I enjoy strategy as much as the next person, I really wanted to slug it out with my opponent in a high speed exchange, not get dragged into a slow mud fight. I believe that games should be designed with as many people in mind as possible, and implementing a physical aspect puts a lot of people out of it. Even amongst something like a younger and older person, there could be a clear disadvantage. This is all not even mentioning the possible injuries that could occur with more energetic players, but maybe I am going a little overboard here. I really appreciate what the designer was trying to do here, but the execution was far from what I had hoped. Some of the smaller things, like emulating touching gloves at the beginning of the round and being encouraged to yell out certain cards as they happen show me that Tasty Minstrel Games had their fighting spirit in the right place when they made Jab, but maybe they should have considered throwing in the towel with this one. 2/5
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Paul Saxberg
Canada
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"Slower play"???

One man's trash will always be another man's treasure, and I respect you for sharing your opinion here, regardless of whether it matches mine or not.

But if you think JAB is played slowly, I challenge you to a game, my friend, with whatever stakes you care to name. cool
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Dan Dolan
United States
Highland Lakes
New Jersey
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mind_ranger wrote:
"Slower play"???

One man's trash will always be another man's treasure, and I respect you for sharing your opinion here, regardless of whether it matches mine or not.

But if you think JAB is played slowly, I challenge you to a game, my friend, with whatever stakes you care to name. cool

I have to agree with Paul. If you think this game is slow paced you're going to lose ... A lot.

Like real boxing, fast hands win.

It allows for some serious trash talk too.
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Jeff Dunford
Canada
Kemptville
Ontario
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For us, a round can take less than a minute, and we're usually out of breath and sweaty after a couple matches. This is by far the fastest paced game we own. If you're stopping to analyse the situation and can't seamlessly change strategies on the fly (e.g. adapt to your opponent, according to Haymaker > Combo > Counterpunch > Haymaker ...), then you're going to lose to your faster opponent.
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Pol Michiels
Belgium
Ottenburg
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Of all people who have nothing to say, those who say nothing are the wisest.
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As stated above: your trash, my treasure. If you simply want a game of throwing cards at one another and yelling damage, I can suggest Lunch Money, another favorite for late nights after serious gaming.

In Jab, you need to balance quick throwing of punches with quick thinking, evaluating the situation, seeing opportunities both on your opponent and yourself. Racing through the decks, throwing punches around willy-nilly, and not even looking at anything else generally won't win you the game. Neither will overthinking it, always waiting for the perfect moment, doggedly trying to build that combo no matter what.

It's all about using what you have, keeping an eye on where every moving part is at (and there's a lot of them: counter-punching, combos, haymakers on your opponent and yourself, block opportunities, health, and most of all stack composition of all 6 stacks, so you can reliably judge where which stacks score you the most points, and which ones your opponent cannot be allowed to score). Generally, it's the player who best manages to juggle all of these that wins. Speed is a factor, but only if one player is much speedier than his opponent, and can be confident he'll score enough to offset the DING! he has to take to avoid the beatdown of his life afterwards.

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Gavan Brown
Canada
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Joshua, I'm really sorry that you did not enjoy the game. Thank you for taking the time to review it and I hope I can do better for you as a designer next time.
 
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