Game Review: Jenga

by Julia DeKorte | 28 Sep 2023

Book Reviews

Jenga Review



Jenga can be played with any number of people, and is a game of precision, strategy, and physical skill. Wooden blocks are stacked into a tower of 18 layers, with three blocks per layer. Within each layer, the three blocks are arranged with their long sides touching, and are perpendicular to the ones in the layer immediately above and below.


Players take turns removing one block from the tower. Players may only use one hand throughout their turn, and if they successfully remove a block from the tower, they then place it on top of the tower, perpendicular to the layer of blocks below. The game ends when any portion of the tower falls, and the last player to complete a turn before the collapse is crowned the winner.



Jenga was created by Leslie Scott based on a game that she played with her siblings as a child. She introduced the game to everyone she met – friends, family, colleagues – and everyone fell in love with the game. Scott created her own company, Leslie Scott Associates, trademarked the name “Jenga,” and went to the London Toy Fair in January of 1983. She found slow but considerable success, and eventually she sold the exclusive rights to Jenga to Robert Grebler, who imported and distributed the game in Canada and the United States. Jenga’s rights were passed through many hands, ultimately ending up at Hasbro, where it was launched under the Milton Bradley name in 1987, and remains today.



There are a number of variations of Jenga games:

  • Throw ‘n Go Jenga
  • Jenga Truth or Dare
  • Jenga Xtreme
  • Casino Jenga
  • Jenga XXL
  • Jenga Giant
  • Jenga Pass Challenge

There are also many collector editions of Jenga games with the logos and colors of the New York Yankees, Las Vegas Raiders, John Deere, and many others. Additionally, there are licensed variations of Jenga, including Hello Kitty Jenga, Transformers Jenga, National Parks Jenga, Harry Potter Jenga, The Nightmare Before Christmas Jenga, and many more.


Reception & Awards

In November of 2020, Jenga was inducted into the national Toy Hall of Fame. People love the game of Jenga, for a simple reason: it’s so much fun to play. In 2019, over 80 million Jenga games had been sold worldwide, with the number climbing each year. Jenga tournaments are hosted all over the United States, it’s studied in classrooms, played at family gatherings, and found in the homes of people across the world. It is one of the world’s most beloved games, and for good reason.


To learn more about Jenga and its history, visit Leslie Scott’s POP profile, Jenga’s POP profile, and Leslie Scott’s memoir: About Jenga: The Remarkable Business of Creating a Game that Became a Household Name.

jenga Jenga leslie scott

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