How Much Wood? A Review of Click Clack Lumberjack

Click Clack Lumberjack

How much wood would a lumberjack chop if a lumberjack could chop wood? Oh, wait...a lumberjack can chop wood, and, in fact, he can chop a lot of it—but can he chop just the bark? Click Clack Lumberjack, a new dexterity game by Mayday Games, challenges players to remove the bark from a tree without toppling the trunk.

Game Play

To play the game, players first stack the 9 separate pieces of the tree trunk, each of which holds 4 pieces of bark. They then take turns hacking at the tree twice using a plastic axe, trying to move the tree pieces just enough to allow the bark to drop while keeping the core in place. Each bark piece that falls is collected by the player and is worth 1 point. Any of the core pieces that fall are worth -5 points.

Some bark pieces contain hidden grub stickers. Each time a bark piece with a grub falls off of the tree, the current player gets an extra turn. Once all of the bark has been removed from the tree, the player with the most points wins.

Click Clack Lumberjack

Review

If you like dexterity games like Jenga, you'll very much enjoy Click Clack Lumberjack. It can literally be learned in seconds, yet it is challenging and engaging enough to be appealing to adults as well as kids. The challenge of the game is in hitting the trunk with just the right amount of force. To remove all of the the bark, each piece of the trunk must be moved about 1 centimeter away from the core in each direction—but hitting it too much further will cause the trunk to be off-balance and possibly fall. Sometimes, it is necessary to play conservatively by barely tapping the tree or knocking a trunk piece back toward the center—how much risk to take is a key decision of each turn. The tension of each turn and the failure or success of each player leads to a great amount of laughter.

Click Clack Lumberjack is a re-make of Toc Toc Woodman, also produced by Mayday games. The games are nearly identical, but Click Clack Lumberjack includes a lower price point and the addition of grub stickers. The grub stickers offer a random reward to players who are lucky enough to retrieve the right bark pieces, but aren't all that essential to game play. If you already own the original, there's not much reason to go out and buy this game also.

While the game can be learned and played in a very short amount of time, setting up the tree initially requires a bit of time and patience (sometimes longer than the game itself). This is certainly not uncommon for dexterity games of this sort, and it doesn't detract from the game too much.

Pros: Learned in seconds, fun and challenging dexterity game

Cons: Requires a bit of time and patience to set up, nearly identical to its predecessor

Full disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.