Men at Work is a dexterity game for 2-5 players made by Pretzel Games. In this, players will be balancing supports, girders, builders, beams and bricks! With each move you’ll be climbing higher up the scaffolding to earn worker of the month awards.
The Building Site
In Men at Work to begin, players will set up the starting foundations of the building site. These comprise of supports and girders. Players can make this foundation as stable or unstable as they like to change the difficulty. The deck of instruction cards is then shuffled, and the Rita Boss card is added to the upper half of the deck. All players then receive 3 safety certificates.
The youngest player is given the safety hook starting piece and draws the first card.
Time to Build
In Men at Work instruction cards are double sided. When drawn, players will turn them over to reveal instructions they must complete. The top of the draw pile will dictate which instruction you have to follow. Each card will have you placing a girder or a worker. It sounds easy but believe me it’s not.
Instructions can include placing workers at the edge of girders, balancing girders on workers and precariously adding bricks and beams. What makes this harder, is you can only place items on chosen coloured girders. Meaning every placement is a dangerous one.
As the game goes on it gets tougher to place building materials and workers as the structure gets taller. At some point, the Rita Boss card will be drawn. Once this card is in play, players can start receiving worker of the month awards. If a player earns enough of these, they will win the game.
Awards are earned by placing your materials or workers at the structures highest point. This rule causes chaos as everyone starts building higher and higher. This leads to plenty of accidents and safety certificates being taken away.
There’s Been an Accident
Over the course of Men at Work, there are bound to be accidents. As each player pushes the limits, hands will tremble, and girders will fall. Whenever a player causes the building site or workers to fall, they cause an accident. As soon as this happens, they relinquish one of their safety certificates and it is the next players turn.
The next player then has to use the safety hook to remove all the fallen pieces. Once they have done this they can continue with their turn. However, if the player causes an accident during a clean-up operation, they also lose a certificate and forfeit their turn.
If a player loses all their safety certificates they are out of the game. I guess there are only so many accidents you can cause before you’re finally fired.
If you fancy mixing things up there are plenty of ways to do so in Men at Work:
The Crane –A crane is set in the middle of your build site. Players can use the crane to rest girders for extra support as the construct gets higher.
Skyscraper – It's time to build higher. This version starts with building the foundations of your site in the box!
Foreman – In this version players start the game with 2 random instruction cards. Over the course of the game, they can use one of these cards if they do not want to carry out an instruction shown on a drawn card. This version also states players have to place workers on the highest girder of the chosen colour.
All these options mix up how you play, how high you build and the difficulty.
Men at Work is a fun game! With its vibrant pieces and thematic table presence it’s a great one to share with family and friends. A quick setup and ease of play also make it accessible to all gamers. Additionally, veterans can up the stakes with tougher starting foundations and variant modes. It is a game that will have you laughing, gambling and cleaning up after building accidents.
However, if you are someone who struggles with dexterity games this may not be your cup of tea. Mainly because, the whole game is about having a steady hand and piece placement.
Now, it’s time to put Jenga back in the cupboard because there is a better building dexterity game to bring to the table.