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Rules of tumble tower

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Tumble tower is a unique game of manual dexterity, needing a steady hand and nerves of steel! Sometimes called Jenga, the tumble tower set comprises of 56 wooden blocks that is built into a tower. The size of the blocks depends on the game – giant jenga and giant tumble tower obviously have larger wooden blocks than the conventional game. The aim of the game is to dismantle the tumble tower and rebuild it without losing any of the blocks or causing the tumble tower to topple over in the process. Steady hands, steady nerves, elementary structural knowledge and luck are all qualities necessary to be a successful giant Jenga or giant tumble tower player. Tumble tower is also known as Jenga after the original tower building game.


Any number of players can join in a game of tumble tower and it can also be played alone.


First the tower has to be built. Each wooden Jenga block is three times as long as it is wide (the same for giant jenga as the normal jenga) and the tumble tower should be built to 19 stories high.


The blocks should be stacked in threes and each alternate story is laid in cross ways direction so, for example, if the blocks in the first level lie lengthwise in a north-south direction, the second level blocks should be positioned so that they lie east-west and so on, until the last block is laid on the 19th level. The tumble tower should be built by one Jenga player and this should take only a few minutes if playing a table top size game. When playing giant tumble tower this rule can be relaxed!


The top level of the tumble tower will be left incomplete owing to the number of the blocks.


Once the tumble tower has been constructed the player who built the tumble tower moves first. A Jenga move consists of taking one block from any level of the tumble tower and replacing it on the incomplete top level of the tumble tower, causing the structure to grow even higher.


Any Jenga block on any level can be used, save those from the level below the incomplete top level, which should not be moved.


Only one hand at a time should be used to remove or replace a Jenga block and it is not permitted to hold or steady the tumble tower with the other hand. Jenga blocks may be tapped or knocked in order to find a loose Jenga block that is safe to move without disturbing or bringing down the tumble tower.


The player’s turn is over once the next person touches the tumble tower or after 10 seconds has elapsed – whichever comes first.


The game of tumble tower ends once the tower falls or moves even if only one or two Jenga blocks fall. The only moving Jenga block allowed in the game is the one that is being moved or replaced during a player’s turn.


The loser is the player who causes the tower to fall – it may not be their fault but if the tumble tower falls during their turn, this player is counted as the loser. However, if only one or two Jenga blocks fall, the players can agree to put them back onto the tumble tower for play to continue, in keeping with the cooperative aspect of the game.


The game continues until the tumble tower collapses.


The aim is of tumble tower is not only to avoid being the loser but also to build the tower as high as possible.


The tallest tumble tower on record made with Jenga blocks was forty levels high!