In the original picture book, the Jumanji game is as simple as any other board game, being a folded board within a rectangular box. The game board is designed for two players that use simple playing pieces and dice, to move their token along an elongated squared path that starts in the deepest jungle and leads to the final space; Jumanji itself, a city of golden buildings and towers. Each square has a unique written message that will manifest into the real world when a token lands on it. Only when the winner lands their token on the golden city and calls out the name of Jumanji will the consequences vanish and everything become undone.

In the book's sequel, Zathura, Danny wanted to play Jumanji with his brother after he found it, but Walter was uninterested as he saw the game's jungle adventure theme as childish. Danny then discovered a second board game within Jumanji's box, an outer space / sci-fi orientated futuristic game.


Jumanji Book Back

Rear cover.


A prominent feature in all its appearances, once the player's piece lands on a square, Jumanji will begin to manifest into reality, whatever the text on the square reads, placing randomized consequences into the real world to challenge players. The animals, humans, the danger, and other characters that live in Jumanji can only be stopped by finishing the game, hence why the instructions advise players to not being unless they intend to finish by reaching the Golden City, calling out the name of Jumanji and therefore undo all the consequences and alternative timelines of the game.

Time control

Jumanji can create and manipulate timelines whenever a round of gameplay has begun. The effects can be devastating and can leave a lasting impact, hence why the instructions advise players to not begin unless they intend to finish.

In the picture book, after Judy lands on the Jumanji city and calls out the name, the consequences and elements that were transported into reality had sudden disappeared, and everything that suffered damaging had been undone.


Jumanji Book Game

Judy and Peter play the game.

Judy and Peter Shepherd discovered the Jumanji game in the local park with a notice in childish writing warning finders to read instructions before playing. They read the rules about rolling the dice in turns to move their tokens towards the center and call out the name of Jumanji; which is a city of golden buildings and towers. As they started to play, each square their tokens landed on trigger the appearances of various jungle animals and environmental hazards until Judy finally reached the golden city and called its name, undoing the effects made from the game's enchantments. The kids returned the game back to the public park, only for it to be discovered by Danny and Walker Budwing which lead into the events of Jumanji's sci-fi cousin; Zathura.