Disney Jungle Cruise Adventure Game: A review

Ages: 8+ / Players: 2-4 / Playing Time: 45-60 minutes / MSRP: $29.99

Designed by Prospero Hall and illustrated by Jacob McAlister and Eric Hibbeler

On sale at Amazon: click here

Ravensburger just came out with a fun Disney Jungle Cruise Adventure Game this month, and I had a great time playing it and reminiscing on the great times I had on the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland here in Southern California. The quality and print of this game is amazing, and the pieces are good quality. Because of social distancing, I only got to play this with one other person; but I played it a couple times to try different strategies for this review. 

This is definitely a lighter game to play with kids, and I love that it does not take that long. We were always able to take our time and play it under an hour. It has a simple river path to follow and a boat for each person. There is a deck of cards that we all share which have locations and animals from the Jungle Cruise with punny dad jokes on each card that you can read out loud before performing that action on the card. 

“And now we’re on the Congo River. Let’s see how far we con-go!”

There are four families with their corresponding symbols touring the jungle: DeNyle, Lyons, Temple, and Cruz. Only one of these families will be deemed the caretakers at the end, and each of those family members will be worth 5 points instead of 3. You are the skipper navigating them along the river, telling punny jokes along the way. Try to figure out who the caretakers will be early on and build up to only have that one type of family on your boat. 

There are clue points along the cruise, which secretly shows which of the four family groups are not the final caretakers. In this way, slight deduction is used. You can also figure out what families the other players are ditching if they are ahead of you, giving you a head start on what to keep and what to toss! 

There are also three different cargo types, and you will get points depending on how many sets you have. You can collect cargo at Outposts or pick up Lost & Found tiles along the way.

“Look, a python! This snake is so sweet, he may get a crush on you! It could be a constricting relationship, so don’t get too wrapped up.”

Each turn, you will encounter dangerous perils that you have to roll for to figure out how many passengers or cargo gets lost off your boat. You may always rearrange your tiles on your boat before your turn, putting more precious tiles in the center of your boat (less chance of falling out!). Losing cargo or passengers is not always a bad thing, since this is the only way you can make room on your boat for the best combos or types of family members. 

Strategies:

One strategy I noticed is that you may race forward through the river as quickly as possible to see the clues first and eliminate families that are not caretakers and get the most tips at the end, but you will not have as much time to fill your boat. You can fill your boat more and edit when you stop at more spaces. It could be a good or bad thing, depending on how the other players do. 

Another strategy is only going for cargo combos, or having no cargo at all.

One thing I did was keep one side of my boat empty until the very end, so whenever I saw a peril card to lose passengers for that side of the boat I chose it–ultimately never losing passengers or cargo. I could rearrange the ones I wanted to toss on that side, so I could constantly edit and move my boat around. 

“Don’t worry if you can’t swim. If we capsize, I’ll throw you a bar of soap and you can wash ashore.”

My Pros: 

  • Great design and quality, punny. 
  • Played the Jungle Cruise Radio (click here) while playing it and had a great time! 
  • Quick game, didn’t feel like I was waiting for it to be over.

My Cons: 

  • SUPER LIGHT. Better with kids. 

Due to it being very light for a strategic boardgamer, my rating is a 6.5/10.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10.

For a family game, though, I would have given it a higher rating but did not get the chance to play it with kids. Due to current situations (like a pandemic) it was harder to get people together.

“Hey look, a baboon Family! Let’s move along; monkey business can get hairy.”

I had a great time with this game, and have found myself wanting to go back on this ride when I can finally go back to Disneyland. I might even memorize all the puns–and outdo the skipper there. We will see who is laughing then! Mwahaha! 

Check it out on Amazon: click here

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