Make ‘n’ Break Challenge

Why won't these pieces do what I want!!!Make n Break Challenge extends the popular Ravenburger series of games into the realm of head-to-head block-stacking death-match, where every move could be your last…

Until the next round.

The game is essentially a stacking race. There are 80 building cards that show what is to be constructed. Each card has a number that indicates the level of difficulty and the points to be earned (1-4). There is a card holder so that the opponents may both see the card. Each player is provided 10 colorful wooden blocks (2 red triangles, 2 blue cubes, 2 red cylinders, 2 green rectangles, 1 blue crescent, and 1 orange “bridge”) and a pair of wooden tongs.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment. A pair of wooden tongs, similar to those with which you would serve salad.

When a challenge card is revealed, the players race to build the structure on the card using only the tongs in one hand. And that hand? It has to stay behind a mark on the tongs so your fleshy, sensitive digits are almost 5 inches removed from the blocks you are attempting to stack. The first to complete the pictured challenge receives the points for that card. Another great twist in this game is the fact that the building cards have a wide variety of challenges. Many show a structure that the players must construct exactly as pictured, but some challenges allow players to make any structure as long as it follows certain rules. Some cards show the pieces that the players must use and the number of pieces that may be touching the table. Some tell how many can touch the table and how tall the structure must be. Some require the players to line the pieces up in order of size.

The wooden blocks present a significant test to human manual dexterity. They have heft, and their centers of gravity find interesting ways to spin in the grip of the wooden tongs. Their painted and polished surfaces are slippery. Add in the pressure of an opponent stacking and cursing mere inches from you and the Make n Break Challenge might be referring more to your composure than to the structures you are supposed to be building.

But once your sanity returns and your pulse comes back down into double digits you’ll find that you are itching for another go. And that feeling of an impending stroke—that was really the onset of Major Fun.

Although the game purports to be for 2-4 players (and only 2 play at any one time) we found that at least 6 could easily play by forming 2 teams and rotating through the “hot seat”. The pressure of spectators adds a kick to an already intense game.

Before I sign off, I also want to express our Major Appreciation to Ravensburger for the elegant and efficient packaging of the game. The pieces are solid and durable. The box cradles the game components in much the same way a custom toolbox has formed niches for each tool. And the card holder folds flat for easy storage. We at Major Fun appreciate the thought that goes in to the storage of our favorite games, and Ravensbuger deserves our praise.

Make ‘n’ Break Challenge is © 2009 by Ravensburger Spielverlag. Challenge version by Stefan Dorra and Manfred Reindl. Design by Kinetic, Ravensburger DE, and Kniff Design. Illustrations by Walter Pepperle.

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