Super Rhino Review
Probably everyone of you already know about Jenga, a game of moving blocks to the upper part of block pile. Yes it requires dexterity from players to pick a wooden block from the pile and place on top of the pile without causing the pile to collapse. When the pile is collapsed, the game ends. As simple as that and it’d been quite popular in our childhood.
So Haba published a game with the same mechanic as Jenga but without wooden blocks, instead with cards. It is this game, Super Rhino. It’s positioned as a children game and has funny and cute theme of cartoon-y Rhino who is a super hero. He likes to climb building over building (don’t ask why). As you can see Rhino is a heavy weight animal, so it’s quite dangerous for it to climb buildings, because some buildings might not strong enough to hold his weight. So that is the game all about.
As you can see the game consists of one Super Rhino wooden meeple (it has good print of the character), some wall cards, roof cards and also multilingual rules. Note that you need to bend the wall cards first before playing it the first time.
Before the game starts, players will decide which foundation / base that they will use in the game, standard or advance version. The difference between the standard and the advance version lies only in the number of walls in the ground floor to support the building. Each player then will receive 7 roof cards drawn from the draw pile. Starting from the first player clockwise each player will play one of his roof cards from their hand to the existing walls to form new floor for the building. To do this he/she place it carefully on top of the wall cards on top of the building. And then place some wall cards on top of it based on the pattern listed on the roof card.
The next player then continue to resolve the special card effect (if any) and play a card. This continue until one of the end game conditions are met. The first player to play all his cards would win the game. If the building collapse before that, the player who make the building collapse, lose the game. And the winner is the player with fewest cards, or if there’s any tie, tied player with most special symbols on his cards win the game. Or if all the wall cards used up, the game also ends and the winner is player with the fewest cards.
Cards with special symbols adding more surprise and interactive element in the game. Players can play these symbol cards to their benefit or to screw others. The timing of the special symbols really important to support player effort to win the game. But as you know, this is a dexterity game, so no matter how good your plan and cards are, you still need to depend on your hand coordination. It’s a simple game, you can teach new / casual players in 5 minutes and play it around 5-10 minutes. It’s fun and has a very cartoon-y art. The main appeal in the game is how players maintain to keep the building in balance while he/she moves Super Rhino meeple from one place to the next. It’s hilarious and children will highly love the game. And unlike Jenga, this game uses cards instead wooden blocks, which is more subtle, easy to carry, not noisy when it fell through (except the player’s hysteria). And the game is easy to store under small box. Though it is a card game, I don’t think you can sleeve the cards, because it will affecting the game play.
In short this game is way much better than Jenga. Better storage, better travel-friendly, simple components and attractive theme to children. Even the mechanic is more interesting and interactive than Jenga. What’s not to love?