- For ages 3 and up (publisher suggests 5+)
- For 2 to 7 players
- Approximately 10 minutes to complete
- Counting & Math
- Logical & Critical Decision Making
- Hand/Eye Coordination & Dexterity
- Risk vs. Reward
- Child – Easy
- Adult – Easy
Theme & Narrative:
- Prove to everyone in your family who the best lumberjack is once and for all!
- Gamer Geek mixed!
- Parent Geek approved!
- Child Geek approved!
During the 1840’s through the 1940’s, the United States was experiencing a lot of industrial development and modernization in urban areas. Lumber was a necessary component for the nation to grow. Men took to the forests and worked long days to supply the necessary materials for towns and cities to come to life. It was dangerous and difficult work. Now you get a chance to see how good you could have been as a lumberjack. Do you have what it takes to be the best?
Click Clack Lumberjack, designed by Justin Oh and published by Mayday Games, is comprised of 9 Core blocks, 36 Bark blocks, 1 Tree Stump base, and 1 Axe (not a real one, obviously). All the game bits are made of solid plastic and are very durable. Which is good, because you’re going to be hitting them a lot. If you are familiar with Toc Toc Woodman, Click Clack Lumberjack is the newest version of the game. Toc Toc Woodman version 2.0, if you will.
The Giant Redwood, the Larch, the Fir, the Mighty Scots Pine!
Note: Prior to playing the game for the first time, the owner will be required to affix 4 small “Grub” stickers to the inside curve of 4 randomly selected Bark blocks. This is not a difficult or lengthy process.
To set up the game, organize the 9 Core blocks and the 36 Bark blocks into 2 different piles. Place the Tree Stump base in the middle of the playing area. Make sure whatever surface you are placing the Tree Stump base on is stable and flat.
Second, randomly select 4 Bark blocks and slide each into slots that attaches the Bark blocks to the outside ring of the Core block. When completed the Core block will look like a cross-section of a tree. Place the Core block with the Bark blocks on the Tree Stump base. Repeat this exercise for the remaining 8 Core blocks. When completed, the Tree Stump base will have 9 Core blocks stacked in a tower with all 36 Bark blocks attached.
Note: This part of the game set up can be exceedingly boring if only one person is doing it. We suggest you get all the players to help out. The game will be set up much faster as a result!
That’s it for game set up. Determine who the first player will be and hand them the axe. Time to get chopping!
Oh, I’m a Lumberjack and I’m OK!
Click Clack Lumberjack is played in turns with no set number of turns or rounds in a single game. On a player’s turn, they will take the Axe and swing it (gently) at the Bark and Core blocks stacked on the Tree Stump base. The player will be allowed 2 swings only. The goal is to attempt to make as many of the Bark blocks fall to the table while at the same time avoiding knocking off any Core blocks. After each swing, 1 of 3 things is going to happen.
- Bark Block Falls: If one or more Bark blocks fall, they are collected by the player and will count as points at the end of the game. The collected Bark blocks are referred to as the player’s “stash”. If a Bark block has 1 of the 4 “Grubs” on it, the player is awarded an additional bonus swing. Note that the extra swing is not always welcomed, but the player must take it.
- Bark and Core Block or Just a Core Block Falls: Same as above, except the player has unwittingly awarded themselves negative points.
- Nothing: The player needs to stop being so timid and put a bit more effort into that swing!
Once the player has taken 2 swings (or more if they found a “Grub”), their turn is over. Any Bark and Core blocks collected are placed in the player’s stash and the next player in turn order sequence now goes. Pass the Axe with as much or as little pomp as you like.
I Sleep All Night, I Work All Day
OK, seriously. If you DO NOT have the Monty Python “Lumberjack” song in your head by now, I have failed you. Since there is no way of knowing, here is the song in its entirety. ENJOY!
The game comes to an end when all the Bark blocks are off the tree. Players now determine their score by counting the blocks in their stash. Each block is worth the following points.
- +1 point for every Bark block
- +1 point for every Grub
- -5 points for every Core block
The game can now end or it can be set up again for another round of bark bashing brouhaha.
Click Clack Lumberjack has two game variants that can be used to augment the standard game rules. They are summarized here.
- “It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose, It’s Whether You Win First!”: The game comes to an end when a player has earned a specific number of points. The number of points needed is based on the number of players at the table. This makes the game something of a race as all the players are attempting to be the first to get a certain number of points before their opponents do or the tree is cut down.
- “Handicap That Kid, He Always Wins!”: The player who came in last (using the standard game rules noted above) in the previous game may choose to take an extra swing with the Axe on their turn. In a 4 or more player game, the player who won the previous game takes one less swing per turn.
To learn more about Click Clack Lumberjack, visit the game’s web page.
At risk of sounding like I’m ditching my responsibilities as a reviewer, there is nothing to predict here. We have played this game before, but under a different name. Specifically, Toc Toc Woodman. The games are essentially the same, require the same level of concentration, and will most likely cause the same level of frustration and fun. The Child Geeks will love it, the Parent Geeks will enjoy it, and the Gamer Geeks are going to be fairly mixed.
If you are new to the game, good news! It won’t take you long to teach Click Clack Lumberjack. Simply set up the game and go for it. That’s it. The amount of “umpf” a player will put into their Axe swing will vary and you’ll quickly see who the risk takers are in the group versus the more cautious players. You might be asked if there are any rules when it comes to swinging the Axe. The answer is “no”. The player can swing the Axe in any way and in any direction they like as long as they swing it. Taps are allowed. Feel free to add your own House Rules if necessary.
After showing the game to my little geeks, they had the following to say.
“Wow! Is this our copy of the game? Do we own it now?! AWESOME!!!” ~ Liam (age 9)
“Me first! Me first!” ~ Nyhus (age 6)
“NO FAIR! I WANT TO BE FIRST!” ~ Ronan (age 3)
Let’s set up the game and knock it over to see if it provides fun or disappointment. TIIIIIMMMMMMBBBEEERRRRRR!
The Child Geeks LOVED Click Clack Lumberjack and asked for it again and again. And again. We played this game a lot. To a point where everyone but the youngest of Child Geeks was tired of it. But even after playing it many times in a row, it still brought smiles, cheers, boos, and high-fives. The game was a real pleasure for the Child Geeks and it showed. They were enthusiastic, engaged, and best of all, geeking out. According to one Child Geek, “THIS IS THE GREATEST GAME EVER!!!” No, it’s not, but that isn’t the point. The point is that Click Clack Lumberjack was approved by the Child Geeks many times over.
The Parent Geeks also enjoyed the game, but not nearly at the same level as their Child Geeks. All the Parent Geeks found Click Clack Lumberjack to be an excellent family game and a fun casual game to play with their peers. It doesn’t lend itself well to parties, however, despite the game being able to accommodate up to 7 players. This is because of the downtime between turns. With a 2 to 4-player game, downtime between turns is about 20 to 45 seconds. With a 7-player game, we found that the downtime between turns could be more than a minute and a half long and a player might only be able to take 2 turns before the game was over. Regardless, the Parent Geeks all approved the game. According to one Parent Geek, “This is a fun and easy to enjoy game I can play with my family, friends, and whomever else might be sitting at my table. Great game!”
The Gamer Geeks were mixed when it came to Click Clack Lumberjack. Those Gamer Geeks who defined a “game for gamers” as hardcore, terribly complex, lengthy, and often times mind numbingly difficult scoffed at the very notion that Click Clack Lumberjack was a game worthy of being placed on their table. According to one of the most elitists of elite Gamer Geeks, “This is nothing more than Jenga with an axe. I have zero interest in this.” Well, that’s certainly one opinion, but it was not universally shared by the Gamer Geeks. A number of the Gamer Geeks rather enjoyed the game and found it to be a fun and casual light game to be played with friends and beers. Lots of beers. There were also a number of Gamer Geeks who could take it or leave it. With such a wide range of likes, dislikes, and “meh’s”, the game received a mixed approval rating from the Gamer Geeks.
Click Clack Lumberjack is one of those games you are either going to enjoy or feel neutral towards, but I highly doubt you’ll ever hate it. The few Gamer Geeks who really didn’t like it only focus on very specific games. Click Clack Lumberjack never had a chance as a result. For the average gamer and family, I think the game will be a hit. At the very least, it’ll make an appearance during the holidays and will show up from time to time at the family gaming table when the Child Geeks want to play with it. Visually, the game is very appealing. Game play wise, it’s not as easy as it looks and will quickly surprise anyone who thinks this is just a game about knocking blocks over. Do give this game a swing when you get a chance. I think you’ll find its worth the effort.
Note: If this game sounds a bit too easy to you, give Bling Bling Gemstone a try. Same game, more or less, but with different scoring rules.
This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.