Designer: Jeff Spelman
Publisher: Flying Pig Games
Playing time: 20 minutes
Two 56 card playing decks
From Flying Pig Games:
Welcome to Jukem Football!
In the way that a snack satisfies hunger in between meals, Jukem satisfies the hunger for football whenever you need it.
Jukem is the Anytime, Anywhere Football Card Game. Play it at tailgates, parties, game nights, and anytime you are on the go.
I spotted this game tucked away at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, in a little booth next to the stage. It was kind of loud, but this was no problem for Jeff Spelman, the designer of Jukem, to give me a demo of the game. I’m always on the lookout for a good sports game, and being football season it seemed a good choice.
I’ve played Jukem a few times now and I must admit that the football theme shines through this little card game.
The game comes in a nice box with a foam insert to hold the two decks of cards, which also have their own card boxes. There is a full color 20 page rulebook included that does a fine job of explaining the rookie game and the regular game (one deck for each).
The game really isn’t that complex. It is basically a set building card game. In this case though, the object is to build a set of play cards totaling 100 yards exactly, and score 7 points. You simply shuffle, deal four cards to each player, turn one card up to form the discard pile and the game is ready to begin.
On your turn, you draw cards until you have five in your hand. Most of the cards will be either a run card, a pass card, or a catch card. Each card has a certain amount of yardage it is worth. Run cards you can play right away, you play them in front of you and get the yardage shown on them. Pass and Catch cards are played together, and the yardage on each must be the same. So if you have a 10 yard pass card, you need a 10 yard catch card to be able to play them onto your “Drive”. After you successfully play a card(s) to your drive, you draw back up to five cards. You can continue playing cards and drawing until you either reach exactly 100 yards and score, or you get stuck and can’t do anymore, at which point you discard a card and end your turn.
Each turn you build your existing drive until you score. If you get stuck, you can “Punt” which wipes out your existing drive and lets you start over on your next turn.
There are also several “Field Goal” cards, which allows you to score 3 points after getting over 70 yards, no need to reach exactly 100 yards.
To keep the defensive player involved, there is a penalty card in the rookie deck, and blitz, fumble, and interception cards in the regular deck. The offense also gets the kick return and pancake block cards in the regular deck. And let’s not forget the Jukem card, which allows you to double the yardage on one play that can’t be stopped by any other card.
After you go through the deck once, it is halftime. Any existing drives are discarded, and the beginning player in the second half switches as in regular football. After the second half the game is over. Highest score wins. If there is a tie, you go into sudden death and the first player to score wins the game.
A three player game works the same way, except with three instead of two. For a four player game they suggest partners.
This game was fun. I got the football feeling out of it, the rules were easy, and it was quick. I imagine I could get in a game during half time of the Bears game easy. The rules even mention several house rules you can add, like rolling a die for the extra point. If you roll a 6 you miss. You can even go for 2 points. The defensive cards were a real pain in the regular game, after putting together a spectacular drive it can all get wiped out by the red fumble or interception cards. The game did inspire manly grunting and taunts toward the other player, which is always fun. Make sure to go right for the quick start rules on the back of the rule book. You’ll be up and playing in 5 minutes.