I don’t regularly follow many other reviewers. I do my thing, I let my staff do their thing, and other reviewers do their thing. I used to love Wil Wheaton’s TableTop, but these days one of my favourite people is The Cardboard Kid. Her and her family are just a few hours up the road, so I occasionally get to sit down for a game or two, have a chat, and even film a video together sometimes. She did a great review of Lumberjerks, but then I sort of lost track of the game until the campaign popped into my feed a few days ago.
So I rewatched her video, because why not, and pulled up the campaign page. One of the first things I noticed is that this game is not meant to be taken seriously. It’s a game, with a theme, and not intended to make any sort of political statement. I say that first, because there are numerous elements of this game that people may not agree with the portrayal of. If that is you, that’s ok. This game may not be for you, but it just a game. We’re on the same page now? Perfect, let’s talk about the real reason we’re all here, Lumberjerks.
Lumberjerks is a cheeky take-that card game in which players are burly, flannel-clad, lumberjacks attempting to chop down their tree before their fellow lumberjacks chop down theirs. It plays quickly and can easily be played by the whole family.
The active player rolls the die, if they roll higher than 3 they flip their bottommost unchopped tree card, if they roll a 6 they flip the bottom two cards. Next, they draw and play cards. There are four card types:
- Wildlife cards subtract a number from a player’s roll, until removed from their tree.
- Jerk cards that have unique effects and can be played at any time.
- Grow cards that force an opponent to flip their topmost chopped tree card back to its unchopped side.
- Chop Again cards allow a player to (and this may be a shock) chop again, repeating their Chop phase.
- In advanced play, there is also a fifth card type, Hippies, that force a player to flip an extra card if they have a Grow card played on them.
It’s simple and fast, making it a perfect casual family game. It’s also exceptionally affordable. Pledge levels start at $16 (USD) for a single copy of the game with any stretch goals. $35 adds in a copy of Howling Hog Games’ previous offering, The Curse of Misfortune Lane. Above that are multiple copy bundles. While there may be other goals added, the current stretch goals are uniquely based on backer numbers, not financial goals, which can be risky but is a pleasant change of focus. Shipping in the US will be free. Canadian shipping doesn’t suck more than anything else coming north, but it is guaranteed not to exceed the quoted estimates, but may be subsidized further if the campaign does well.
You can find out more about Howling Hog Games on Facebook at facebook.com/LumberJerksGame.