The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits


Jambo means “Hello” and “The sleepiest sleeper of last decade.” Seriously, it’s taken me years to warm up to Jambo, but it’s hot. Like other favorites (Shadowfist, Glory To Rome, Race), Jambo emphasizes good combinations over brute force cardflow. You draw one card a turn, but can spend actions to discard and redraw it; deciding when to accept fate and when to push your luck is the key (agonizing) decision. The deck provides comeback cards (which make both players pool and redivide goods or cards, or only strike a player with too many cards). You can choose to forgo two actions a turn for an extra gold, which is nice but not overwhelmingly powerful. That’s Jambo: it provides options and few obvious plays. (For a lark, read strategy guides on BGG and note vastly different ratings to each card). I still haven’t cracked my expansion, no need.

It’s taken 5 years, but I’m finally sold.


Written by taogaming

August 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Reviews

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  1. The Relic part of the Jambo expansion is pretty cool, definitely give it a try. It’s a bit like the goals in Race for the Galaxy, adding more paths to victory.

    Doug Orleans

    August 11, 2011 at 12:44 am

  2. Yeah, Jambo is a great little game. The first expansion was a bit of a mess, so if you’re going to expand it, go with 1 and 2 together (the second patches the first).

    Jon W

    August 11, 2011 at 8:40 am

  3. I started with the second expansion and then added the first. When I went back to the first I went….meh. It seemed completely unecessary, while the second adds quite a lot.


    August 11, 2011 at 10:03 am

  4. Better late than never. Jambo remains one of my all-time favorite two-player games. I can’t particularly put my finger on why, except that I really like the puzzle-type vibe of having to make the best of this hand each turn. Plus, it’s just fun to play.

    I bought the expansions and read the rules, but they just didn’t seem worth pursuing. Then again, I’m not a big fan of expansions at all.


    August 13, 2011 at 12:30 am

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