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Subject: The Thrown Totem - Confessions of a Middle Aged Gaming Hen rss

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Madelyn C
United States
Locust Grove
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Alas, a short game, a great filler, and a way to release the tension brought on by a bad day at work.

What is Jungle Speed? A quick game of pattern matching. The deck of cards is dealt our evenly between the players. There is a wooden totem that is placed in the middle of the table where all players have an equal chance of grabbing the totem. Everyone places their stack of cards in front of them face down.

The first player starts by flipping over the top card of his stack of cards. The cards are flipped face up one at a time away from the current player so everyone will have an equal chance of seeing the pattern on the card. Of course some of us older player struggle with the fast flipping, but once you are beaten out a few times and the adrenaline starts pumping you will speed up.

Then the next player goes and so on. Should the pattern of your card match another players card already flipped face up on the table your goal is to grab the wooden totem before they do. First player to grab the totem, gives all their face up cards to the slow player. First person to loose all their cards is the winner.

There are however a few cards in the deck that may require everyone to flip a card at the same time and match just on color vs. pattern, or just on pattern. There are also cards that once flipped simply require you to be the first person to grab the totem, regardless of pattern matching. On these special cards, if you grab the totem, then all your faceup cards become part of the pot.

So what is the pot? No we are not talking a plant....but the cards placed under the totem in certain circumstances. Who claims the pot? Well the next person to loose grabbing the totem on a match or the person who accidently knocks over the totem or who grabs the totem thinking their cards match another players but they really don't. We call this the DUH? factor.

I play this game with a group of teenage boys and men, typically while waiting for the other game groupies to arrive. At our local gaming store we usually gather a crowd of on-lookers. "Oh, look they are playing the violent game!"

Violent you say? Yes, violent as I have a tendency to employee the following player tactics:

1. Shock and Awe: When you match another player, stand up quickly, knocking over your chair, scream loudly, while getting right in the opposing players face, grab the totem while they are sitting there with a shocked look on their face of just being scared by a crazy woman with gray hair. Incredible effective.....

2. Evil Eye: sauron You know that look your mother gave you when your were up to no good. Look your opponent straight in the eye while they are flipping their card. Your opponent is to afraid to grab the card as to endure the evil eye. Works especially well on playing with opponents that are your own children's ages....

3. Claws and effect: Hey I am a girl, I have long finger nails - guess what happens if you grab the totem before me. OUCH, your opponent let's go and you end up with it.

4. Throwing your weight around: Both players grab the totem simultaneously. You have a firm grip, use all that extra weight you have been packing for the last few decades. Jerk violently backwards and pull your opponent across the table. Works incredibly well when everyone at the table is younger than you and they respect their elders...

5. Thrown Totem: Two players have matching patterns, they are like cheetahs, quick and agile, both go for the totem at the same time. Only to see it spin out of their hands, hit the table hard, bounce across the store in which you are playing and hitting the very large man playing a Warhammer Chaos army. Quickly point your finger at the other player and accuse them of being violent and offer the the man "here hand that back to me, I am very sorry some people are violent and throw things" - make sure to smile.....of course you may lose an opponent permanently this way...

A fun filler that I would recommend. Certainly eases tension and usually gets some laughs.

I did forget one tactic - Lightning Speed - something the teenagers have and I not longer do..darn they beat me again. That's OK, I still have the Evil Eye.sauron

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