Jenga and WarioWare collide in this free game

A Jenga tower falling
(Image credit: Buried Things)
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The first thing I need you to know about Jingoku is that I'm bad at Jingoku. The second thing is that I'm still going to be playing a lot of Jenga and the accompanying minigames, because it’s that impressive. And because it has a leaderboard, which will help me prove when I’m improving. Eventually. Hopefully.

Jingoku was developed in only 72 hours by indie developer Buried Things for the Ludum Dare 49 game jam, resulting in a bunch of surprisingly polished minigames. In it, you're playing a solo game of virtual Jenga. For each brick you remove, you’ll have a few seconds to complete a WarioWare-style minigame. Your goal is to win as many minigames as possible before your Jenga tower topples. It's a goal I've been reattempting a lot.

All of Jingoku's minigames are played with mouse controls, and they offer a good amount of variety—you'll be firing foam darts at targets, playing tug of war and digging through the menus of fake software. Not only are the minigames fun to play, Buried Things somehow found time in those 72 hours to include in-game achievements, as well as stats and a global leaderboard ranking, all wrapped up in a stylish presentation. The difficulty level swings pretty wildly from game to game, however, and I feel a sense of dread whenever I pull a brick for the symbol-matching or spam text minigames.

Jingoku is available for free in a browser and for download on Itch.io (opens in new tab), or at its Ludum Dare 49 entry page (opens in new tab) where you can even watch the livestream of its complete development process. And you can also check out any of the nearly 3,000 other games (opens in new tab) developed for the game jam, which I intend to do once I've mastered placing this hat.

Lincoln spent his formative years in World of Warcraft, and hopes to someday recover from the experience. Having earned a Creative Writing degree by convincing professors to accept his papers about Dwarf Fortress, he leverages that expertise in his most important work: judging a video game’s lore purely on the quality of its proper nouns. With writing at Waypoint and Fanbyte, Lincoln started freelancing for PC Gamer in Fall of 2021, and will take any excuse to insist that games are storytelling toolkits—whether we’re shaping those stories for ourselves, or sharing them with others. Or to gush about Monster Hunter.