Jack's Friends review header
Card Games Casual Board Games Family Board Games Fantasy Board Games Party Games

Jack’s Friends Game Review

We All Know the Story, Now Live the Adventure!

Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum! We all know the story. But what if before the giant chased Jack down the beanstalk, he told his friends of the Giant’s riches? Read our review of Jack's Friends, a one vs. many card game which tells this story.

Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum! We all know the story. But what if before the giant chased Jack down the beanstalk, he told his friends of the Giant’s riches? Jack’s Friends is a one vs. many card game which tells this story.

Jack has spread the word of the Giant’s fantastical treasures. Now, his friends have gathered, building a village with the hopes of overpowering the Giant. At the same time, Jack’s friends are making visits to the clouds to collect resources from the Giant’s estate. But he is on to them and in pursuit!

Overview

Jack’s Friends is a family-friendly simultaneous card selection game for 2 to 6 players from Piggy Bank Games and designer Matt Greenleaf. This one vs. many experience pits the Giant against Jack’s friends in a game of cat and mouse. With fun, colorful artwork from Lisa Riedl, Jack’s Friends is quick to play (about 15 minutes) and even faster to teach.

Gameplay

In Jack’s Friends, each player has a hand of matching cards reflecting the four spaces in the center of the board. On each of the game’s ten turns, all players simultaneously select a card from their hand deciding where their character will go. If ever the giant chooses a location that matches that of any of the other players, those players will be “caught” and must forfeit their next turn unless they can return resources to the board.

If, however, a character is not captured they pillage the giant’s stores. If in the garden – they steal a vegetable, in the kitchen – some steak, or the henhouse – a golden egg. If they safely visit the village they can, through the payment of golden eggs, build additional homes.

If the friends can deplete two stores within the game’s ten rounds, they will claim victory. Alternatively, if they are able to build up a large enough village, they can overtake the giant and win. The giant wins by capturing a certain number of Jack’s friends throughout the game, number dependent on player count, or if the friends are unable to pull off a victory in the game’s ten rounds.

What I Like About Jack’s Friends

This game is quick to play and incredibly easy to teach. It has art which is playful and colorful. I love that the game has a diverse cast of characters including characters of color and a near even split of male and female friends. It is a family-friendly party game which offers some interesting choices but stays light and fun. I also should point out that the game has quality components and has a good look on the table.

What I Dislike About Jack’s Friends

The game is fun and engaging. This, however, meant that it was easy to forget to flip the round marker. This leads to what I think was the game’s most prominent downfall. Although it often came down to the final-round, in all the games I played the giant never pulled out a win. In those final-round moments, though it was still possible to for the giant to win, the odds were solidly against her. Every friend would have had to select the same location as the giant for the giant to come out victorious. The game is quick so losing never hurts too badly, but after a few games people did not want to play the giant, and eventually, the interest wore off in the group because we felt we already knew the outcome before the start of every game.

Final Thoughts

The game is entertaining. When I pulled it out with newer, more casual gamers it was a hit. Jack’s Friends is simple to learn, light-hearted, and super quick. I found it to be a fantastic game to play at the start of a game night as you await all the players to arrive. In that context, I played it multiple times with 3, 4, or 5 players but it certainly shines at its higher player counts. Because it is so quick to play and easy to teach it is easy to bring new players in with each game.

It’s incredibly uncommon, at least in my experience, to see a light one vs. many game; especially a quick card game like this one. I do have concerns with balance since our giants kept losing but it may have been a string of bad luck. I plan to keep it in my collection for those times I need a simple filler game. I expect I will only play it, moving forward, at its higher player counts (4-6) as these seem to produce the closest matches. If you too are looking for a unique, light party filler, check out Jack’s Friends; the first game from the indie publisher Piggy Bank Games.

Jack's Friends details

Disclosure: Meeple Mountain received a free copy of this product in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. This review is not intended to be an endorsement.

Disclosure: Meeple Mountain was provided a pre-production copy of the game. It is this copy of the game that this review is based upon. As such, this review is not necessarily representative of the final product. All photographs, components, and rules described herein are subject to change.

About the author

Philip Chen

I am one of the odd few who enjoys both deep, involved Euro and immersive, thematic Amerithrash. I rarely turn down a play of any game. When not gaming I can often be found nerding-out about plants or in my day job where I work as a Vegetation Consultant for the Utility Industry. I can be found on most forms of social media @philcplaysgames or by email at philcplaysgames@gmail.com.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Subscribe to Meeple Mountain!

Resources for Board Gamers

  • 50+ Killer Board Game Gifts for 2021

    Our EPIC board game gift guide has over 50 recommendations for every kind of board gamer! There are wallet-sized games and wallet-friendly games. There are games for the first timer and for friends who have been playing for years. From lightweight stocking stuffer games you can play in minutes to multi-hour games your gamer will love. Read more…

  • Board Game Giveaways

    Enter a Board Game Giveaway! Enter each board game giveaway and you could win free board games from some of… Read more…

  • Tennessee Meeple T-Shirt

    Now you too can show pride in your state, and more importantly your love of board gaming. The Tennessee Meeple t-shirt is printed on soft and comfortable 100% ring-spun Anvil 980 t-shirts and is available in sizes S through XXXL. Read more…

  • The 2021 & 2022 Guide To Board Game Conventions

    The Board Gamer’s Guide to Board Game Conventions headerLooking to attend a board game convention? Our guide to board game conventions can help you decide what to pack, play, and pass on! Read more…

Board Game Categories