A review of Jaques of London British wooden board games

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I have vivid memories from my childhood of sitting around the dining room table, surrounded by several generations of my family, as we played an array of board games.

From chess and draughts to rummikub, monopoly and cluedo, we loved nothing more than putting away the dinner plates and pulling out a game to play. And despite the fact that we are all as competitive as each other (so the games nights could become heated at times), it's those nights above and beyond any nights we spent watching a movie that stick out in my mind.

So, it’s safe to say that I’m quite happy that my friends and I have now moved on through the teenage years of wanting to party every weekend and now we are far more content with a semi-sophisticated glass of wine over a games night.

And, as we've largely exhausted our existing game collections, it's even safer to say that I was overjoyed when Jaques London contacted me about reviewing a selection of their beautiful wooden board games.

Girl playing Jaques of London traditional wooden board games

A Review of Jaques of London's wooden board games

The packaging

The great thing about shopping with a brand that truly cares about its customers is the care that they take in packaging their products.

The games arrived beautifully packaged in cardboard boxes and tied with a ribbon, making them look like gorgeous gifts before you’ve even opened them.

And tucked away inside each box was a little hand-signed card to let me know that each package was lovingly packed by a real human (in this case Sharon and Gill, thank you both!), which was a nice touch that you just don’t get from the likes of Amazon.

Two Jaques of London board games
Jaques of London board games packaging details

The quality of the board games

The first thing you’ll notice when you open the boxes is the quality of the games inside. And with the title of being the oldest toys and games makers in the world, it’s really no surprise that the quality of their games is high.

I was very pleased to find both boards are made from wood, rather than plastic, which not only gives them a premium look but also means they’ll last for many years to come.

Handmade and hand finished, with delicately carved playing pieces it's clear from the second you open the box just how much care and attention to detail goes into making the games at Jaques of London.

Even better is that each board is double-sided, meaning I’ve not only received four games in total but doubling up in this way is a great space-saving tactic too. Win-win!

A mini review of the Chinese Checkers Board Game

Growing up we often played checkers as a family, so I was intrigued to see how Chinese Checkers differed. It turns out, they differ quite a lot! It was a game that required a little bit of strategy – which I love – without being overcomplicated like a game such as Chess (another one I have fond memories of playing with my grandad) can be.

Each player has ten coloured pegs, which begin in one point of the star. The objective is then to move to occupy the star point directly opposite. The first one to move all ten of their pegs into the opposite star, wins.

I’ve only played the Chinese Checkers as a two-person game so far but I think as you add more players you would have to become increasingly strategic with your moves.

The instructions themselves were easy enough to follow and we quickly got the hang of the game, which was great as it meant we could dive straight in without having to spend an entire round trying to make sense of the rules.

I haven’t yet had a go at playing Go Bang, the game on the reverse of the Chinese Checkers board, but having had a quick scan of the rules, I’m keen to give that one a go too.

Jaques of London Ludo Traditional Wooden Board Game

A mini review of Jaques of London's Ludo 

Snakes and Ladders is another game that I have plenty of memories of playing as a child, so when my friend and I were testing the games out, we decided to give Ludo a go instead. And I think it’s a game that will quickly become a favourite of mine.

Originally invented as a children's game in late Victorian times, but now a much-loved family game. Each player begins with four counters in the starting circle and must throw a six to be able to move a piece out onto the board. After which, the aim is to move all four pieces to the home triangle in the centre but along the way players can form blocks and play moves that will send their opponent back to the starting circle.

Ludo is a game that is simple in theory but one that you can get quite strategic with, without it becoming too confusing along the way. And, similarly to Chinese Checkers, I think it would require more and more thought as you increase the number of players.

Much like with Chinese Checkers too, we only had one quick read through of the rules before diving straight into the game, so we wasted no time trying to get our heads around how to play.

We played several rounds, getting increasingly competitive and slightly more ruthless with our moves with each game we played. It didn't take long at all before we became competitive and found ourselves making moves to send the other player back to to the start so we could advance ahead!

Chinese Checkers Jaques of London Board Game

Who are Jaques of London?

Made to stand the test of time, the company itself was established in 1795 and is still family-owned!

The company has been responsible for the invention of many well-known (and well loved) games over the years including croquet, ping-pong, snakes and ladders, ludo, tiddley winks, snap and much more. And, as much as I love trying out a new game (especially as there are so many amazing modern ones on the market now) you just can’t beat a good ole’ traditional game from time-to-time! Which is why it’s lovely to see that Jaques of London still has many of these classic games available to purchase from their website too!

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I'm Shannon. Welcome to Tales from the Country, a countryside lifestyle blog for those who dream of escaping the hustle and bustle of life and about embracing all that comes from living in the British countryside.

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