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Jambo Game

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2 new from £85.00
  • English language edition
  • Age range: 12 and up / Number of players: 2 / Play time: 40
  • Manufacturer: Rio Grande Games
  • 112 cards, 36 ware tiles, 52 gold chips, 5 action markers, 1 rule booklet
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Product Information

Technical Details
Item Weight454 g
Product Dimensions20 x 3.2 x 20 cm
Manufacturer recommended age:12 years and up
Item model number251RGG
Main Language(s)English
Number of Game Players2
Assembly RequiredNo
Batteries Required?No
Batteries Included?No
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank 239,788 in Toys & Games (See top 100)
Shipping Weight907 g
Delivery Destinations:Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
Date First Available10 Jan 2008

Product Description

Jambo! is the friendly greeting Swahili traders offered their customers in Central Africa before colonization. The players are traders in this day, competing to be the first to earn 60 gold by selling tea, hide, fruits, salt, silk, and trinkets. The game is played with cards which represent goods, people (which can help you or hinder your opponent), and animals (which add a bit of spice to the game). Players take turns with up to 5 actions per turn until one player reaches the goal and wins the game.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Block on 26 Feb 2009
I had read a lot of reviews for this game before I bought it so was worried it might not live up to my expectations but it did! The only annoying thing is that I can't beat my husband at it... he thinks it is more of a men's game... grrr! I will have to change that.

It is a card game, and you have to play the most valuable cards at the right time. Some of the utility cards if you can get them will help immensely.

The aim of the game is to get 60 gold first, by using cards, and buying and selling African goods. It takes about 30 minutes per game, and it is a nice small little box so great to take with you on a holiday. It is rated as a 12years plus game, but I would immagine anyone from 9 or 10 would pick this game up ok. It is just for 2 players.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Green on 11 Jun 2010
This is my favorite of the Kosmos 2 Player 'Square Box' games. The designer is Rudiger Dorn, who also designed Goa, Genoa and Arkadia amongst others.

Jambo is a trading game where players start with a small amount of money to invest in wares to display on there stalls to sell at a profit. The player with the most money at the end of a round when one player has reached 60 gold is the winner; so if Player 1 ends there turn on 60 gold, then Player 2 has a turn in which to exceed that total if they can.

Players have 5 actions per turn in which to draw cards from a central deck and use action from equipment cards in front of them or to play cards from their hands to add goods to their market stalls or fulfil orders by playing cards and removing goods from their market stalls. What sounds like a grind is made tactical and highly interactive by the cards drawn from the deck that could be equipment for your own use, people cards who interact with both players to animals that have negative effects that can be played to your advantage if you are canny. This game is really interactive and tense in ways that a lot of card games promise but fail to deliver.
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By galaxygirl on 25 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase
It's okay, not riverting or a bundle of laughs just ok as a very occasional game on a very rainy day.
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By Sandra Woods on 2 April 2013
Verified Purchase
Would recommend this game to any games player...it is always different, always well balanced. it is purely a two player game. Games are quite short, box is compact..the ideal holiday takeaway game for a wet afternoon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Jambo - a great game for 2 people 28 Aug 2008
By juicebox - Published on Amazon.com
Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
It's often difficult to find a good board game that can be played with just 2 people. Rio Grande Games has done a great job with Jambo, a board game that uses cards and "tokens" (for wares and gold) to depict a market competition between two merchants. Basically you and your opponent are two merchants competing to buy and sell wares, and the first person to reach 60 gold effectively triggers the ending of the game (but his or her opponent then has one last turn to try to catch up to win). The game play is not difficult to pick up but is still complex enough to be slightly strategic, particularly given the wide array of utility cards, people cards, and animal cards that you can play to help yourself and/or hinder your opponent. I wouldn't recommend this for extremely young children, but anyone 12+ should enjoy it.

Compared to other games we've tried, Jambo stands out because it has more replay value than games like Gloom or Guillotine (both games which are fairly dependent on luck, and have low replay value because the fun lies largely with the novelty of the cards and the game concept).

If you're interested in Jambo but want to consider a few other 2-player games, I'd also recommend "Lost Cities" (another card game by Rio Grande that offers a good mix of fun and strategy) or "Set" (this card game is a pure thinking game, sort of like Memory, no luck involved, so I'd recommend it if you're looking for an educational game that can be played with a flexible number of people).
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Jambo...The Best 2 Player Game Out 27 Sep 2010
By Cory W. Yates - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
Jambo is an amazing game!!! I purchased this game so my newly wedded wife and I could have some fun at home and pass the time without spending much money. This was a perfect purchase for us. I can honestly say this is one of my favorite games of all time. Jambo is a game that involves strategy, but is not difficult to learn. Here are my main points:

1. The goal of the game is to be the first "merchant" to gain 60 gold selling "wares" which are basically goods that you sell. What make this game so much fun are all of the animal cards, people cards, and utility cards. You use these three types of cards for your strategy and they all have different attributes. Animal and people cards are diverse and attack and defend in many different ways. Utility cards are cards that are kept in play and have special abilities that you can use during multiple rounds.

2. Every game will last around 45 minutes which is a big plus because I didn't want a game that ended too fast but I also didn't want a game that took forever. I can honestly tell you that the 45 minutes is a pretty spot on estimate for every Jambo game that you play. As you and your partner become more experienced, it will take around 30 minutes to play.

3. One thing I will say is that if you don't like card games that involved reading some text, you will probably not enjoy this game. The cards that you play have text that explains what the card "does" once you play it. The first three games you are getting used to learning what each card means. For instance, the "crocodile" animal card takes one your opponents utility cards and discards it in the discard pile. It actually says that on the card. The "throne" utility card allows you to take one ware (good) from your ware stand and trade it for any one ware on your opponent's stand. It tells you that on the "throne" card. After three games you will have learned almost all of the cards by heart. It is worth the minimal amount of reading to be able to play this game! I assure you of that!

4.Next, in this game, there is some luck, but hardly any. It takes mostly strategy on your part to win the game. I would say 90% strategy and 10% luck because there are so many ways of getting to 60+ gold that there are really very few "bad" cards in the deck. Depending on how you look at it.

5.Anyone can win! My wife is a nurse and I am a teacher. We are both pretty good at strategy games. So far, I have won 3 games and she won 2, and every game was VERY close. A solid strategy will guide you to victory and every game feels new and fresh.

6.Also, I enjoyed how on every turn you get five actions: take a card, play a card from your hand, buy wares, sell wares, play a utility card. You get to take up to five actions on each turn which really helps you to form a strategy and its not the same, "I move....you move....I move...you move" type of game.

7.Other great features include: Easy Easy Easy to understand directions, great art design, wonderful price (I honestly would pay more than double for this game), durable cards, and the fact that once you have played this 100 times there are expansions for the game that make it fresh and new.

In conclusion, if you are looking for an incredibly fun, addicting, simple, but yet strategic game that sucks you in and never has a down moment, you will LOVE Jambo! I give it my highest praise and recommendation!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 2-player Game 30 Jan 2008
By Angela F. - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
I purchased this game as a gift for my boyfriend at Christmas. Although the instructions were initially a bit overwhelming, this game is extremely easy to learn and fun to play. The game is only for two players and takes maybe an hour to play.

It's basically a buying and selling game, wherein you have gold pieces and you purchase and sell goods with the goal of making the most money. Each turn you get five actions, and so the game moves pretty quickly and is never dull, because you can keep track of how many actions your opponent is using or be planning out your next turn in the downtime. What I like best about the game is the end, because it's "not over til it's over" in that the game ends when a player reaches a certain number of points, but the opponent gets one last turn to try to equal or beat that number for the win.

I would highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys Settlers of Catan or Puerto Rico or San Juan, and if you haven't played those games, I'd recommend them as well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lots of fun and high replay value 17 Aug 2010
By Tactitles - Published on Amazon.com
Here is a great little card game for 2, complete with plenty of durable counters/markers, and beautifully designed cards. The game is based on actions. Each player has 5 available every turn. You may use them to draw cards, play cards, use items that you acquire during the game, and to buy/sell goods. You have a small amount of money to start with, and you must manage it carefully. You may play less than 5 actions if you wish, and you gain money each turn by not using them all. The goal is to reach 60 gold nuggets, at which time the other player will have 1 final turn to try to tie with you or pass your total. If they do, they win. If not, you can begin bragging. This rule makes for some interesting strategy decisions.

The game is fun and strategies are quite versatile. This is due to the great variety of cards, which may be played in many different combinations to accomplish whatever your needs are. There are goods cards, which you buy and sell. There are market cards, which you will want to get to create more room for goods, beyond what you start with. There are also character cards, which may help you or hurt your opponent. There are animal cards, which may hurt or help either of you if played. There is a protection card against the animals, which you may hold until needed. And there are utility cards, which are basically objects that when played, are owned by you for the rest of the game and will help you to earn additional money or cards. This is important, because you usually only have a few cards in your hand at a given time. Again, you must manage all of your available actions carefully, because time is an important factor to out-earn your opponent.

You will need some patience to learn the various cards, but they all have clear text on them, as to what they do. The rule book is written clearly and simply, and contains only a few pages. Learning to play the game well will require practice, and it is an enjoyable process. Overall, this is a well designed game, with good quality cards, in small box, for a reasonable price. The time for a game will probably be more than the supposed 30 minutes advertised, but it will speed up after repeated plays. I've played many, many games of this, and still enjoy it. What more could you ask?
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The whole family loves this game! 13 April 2008
By M. LaGrandeur - Published on Amazon.com
Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
We purchased this game 2 years ago after reading a review on it. Our family has two adults and two teenagers, and we all enjoy this game.

The scenario is that you compete against another trader (opponent) to see who can buy/sell enough wares; the first person to have sixty gold pieces wins the game.

But the game doesn't just consist of buying and selling; there are animals that can help/hinder you and utility cards that can help you achieve your goal. It all depends on what cards you get, and how expertly you play your hand.

When we first played this game it took us an hour and a half, because each card has a description of what it does, so it took a while to read all of the cards. Now we can play this game in about 20 minutes.

I just found out there is an expansion pack, so I just ordered that. I am excited to add to the fun!
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