We have a ton of games in our house. From board games to video games, we have a bunch of them! In fact, we have an 8 foot wide closet and the top shelf is covered from shelf to ceiling with board games.
We really enjoy playing them and are always interested in new ones., in fact we were recently sent a game called Jishaku to review. Jishaku is an addictive game of strategy and skill for ages 8 and up.
From the site:
JishakuTM is a patent-pending, portable strategy game like chess or checkers that can be played anywhere – the kitchen or the beach. But unlike chess, there is an element of surprise when the magnets jump out of position, without warning. Surprise, then laughs, follow as two or more players try to beat force fields with strategic thinking plus careful and precise handling of the game’s magnetic stones. The unpredictability of the game turns any get-together into a party!
I played Jishaku with both a 4 year old and an adult and wow, is it addicting!
Here is a shot of the box before we opened it:
And here is a picture of the contents:
Our take on the game:
My first experience playing Jishaku was with my 4 1/2 year old son. The box says 8 and up, but this kid is smart and I knew he would have no trouble grasping the concept. He was enamored with the magnets for a few minutes, but once we started played, he was much interested in the actual game play.
We started out with both of us “testing” the magnets on the game board. We didn’t pay attention to the placement so much as we wanted to see if we could get the magnets next to each other without them sticking together. We didn’t do very well! But each and every time the magnets jumped up and grabbed each other, we both laughed out loud. After each subsequent game and a “let’s play again” from one of us, we got a little better at the strategy and the games got more interesting. Can you believe he beat me 2x’s out of 5?
Later, I played with my husband and at first he was a little skeptical about the concept. We played a few times, laughing out loud as the magnets jumped up and grabbed each other and by the third or fourth game has was saying “this is a great little game.”
Here’s a shot of a game in progress:
How to play:
The box says the game is for 2 or more players. I can’t actually see playing with more than 3, but to me 2 is ideal. You divide the 18 magnets by the number of players and begin placing your magnets on the game board. There are 3 ways to play, the first is to “get rid of” all of your magnets by placing them successfully on the game board. If you place a magnet, and another sticks to it you have to take them both back off the board. You continue placing magnets until you can place all of yours, including the ones you had to take back, onto the board without them sticking to each other. The second way to play is similar but involves keeping track of points and the person with the least amount of points when all the magnets are placed, wins. The third way to play is again similar but involves the person with the most points being the winner.
Where to buy:
You can buy Jishaku on their website (along with additional game pieces), through some merchants on Amazon.com, or use the store locator on the Jishaku website to find a local store. The retail price is $19.95.
The bottom line:
This is a fun game that you can play virtually anywhere and it doesn’t take a lot of time so it is very versatile. You can play with a wide age range and it can even be played on your lap, so you don’t need a lot of room. We see this game being played at our family gatherings for many years to come because everyone will say “just one more time!”
A special warning:
The makers of Jishaku have warnings on the box and in the instructions regarding the danger of the magnets use in the game play. Please pay attention to these warnings and provide careful adult supervision while playing this game. The magnets can be extremely dangerous if swallowed. You can still enjoy the game in your house, just put it away if you have children under 8 and/or those prone to putting things in their mouths.