JENGA mode, explained + tactics

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  • The January 2016 update to v1.10.5 brought some big changes to JENGA mode.
    Jenga icon

    Jenga mode allows unlimited play. It’s basically spending ~US$10 so you can build up your coins and with the Jan-16 update, to some degree gems as well. Once you get all your bots past level 5 or so, you start needing a LOT of coins. You can earn 10 gems every other day, and pop a few pigs too, but the main benefit is gold coins.

    At the beginning of each run there is a bot selection screen. It also shows your progress towards each daily challenge, which is currently 300 points per day. Once that day’s challenge is achieved you either get 5000 bonus coins (shown) or 10 gems (not shown). So far, it appears these are either alternating (every other day you get gems or coins) or random (50/50 probability that you get gems or coins). If you do not complete the challenge, the next day your counter is reset to zero.

    Jenga selection

    You get to select the bot for each phase of the run, (1) Vehicle then (2) Walking & Shooting. When selecting these bots, only 17 of the currently available 29 free bots are an option to use in Jenga. (The count of “29” does not include Nemesis Prime, Rodimus Prime or Shockwave, which were only available for limited times.) Basically, only the “sharp-shooters” can be used, and any bot whose weapon causes widespread destruction cannot be used.

    The available bots are:
    Jenga bots 1-3
    Jenga bots 4-6
    Jenga bots 7-9
    Jenga bots 10-12
    Jenga bots 13-15
    Jenga bots 16-17

    Bots that are not currently available in Jenga include:
    – Terence variants (Sentinel Prime, Heat Wave)
    – Blues variants (Bluestreak, Prowl)
    – Sound**** variants
    – Grimlock variants
    – Exclusive bots (purchase): Nemesis Prime, Rodimus Prime (their weapons cause massive destruction of blocks)
    – Exclusive bot (competition prize): Shockwave, whose laser weapon is similar to Galvatron and thus not very destructive with blocks, is also not available

    In each round there are two phases:

    (Phase 1) A bot in vehicle form, tries to drive through and clear away blocks that are stacked in front of the main target. You long-press the accelerator button **while on the ground**, to build up speed. You need speed to blast through the blocks as well as jump over some gaps. If you don’t make the jump, you ‘die’ and phase 2 starts. If you get to the end of phase 1, you’ll have cleared blocks making phase 2 easier and adding to your score.

    Some people like to purposefully die early in phase 1. This leaves the blocks in front neatly stacked for easier targeting in phase 2, but they are “in the way” of shooting the Gold cubes which might be your preferred target. In the past, with Grimlock or Soundwave, it was easy to clear the blocks away and still get all of them behind. This is not true any more now that we only have “sharpshooter” bots to choose from.

    (1a) Initial ramp, to let you grab a few coins hanging above you. At higher bot levels, go for it. At lower levels, ignore them and save your acceleration for the upcoming gap.

    Jenga 1a

    (1b) The first gap. Not very wide, but if you’ve spent your acceleration getting the coins in the air, or wasted it by tapping the button while you’re in the air, you might fail this jump.

    Jenga 1b

    (1c) Land on first ‘island’, blast through a stack blocks. Sometimes your bot will bounce after crash landing into the blocks. This makes accelerating difficult, so try to land the jump on the first flat part of this island. Hopefully you saved some acceleration since the blocks slow you down, and use it to launch off the ramp at the end.

    Jenga 1c

    (1d) Clear the gap to land on the second larger island in front of the main tower behind you. The stack of blocks is bigger. If you made the second jump you’ll make it to the end. The goal is to disrupt this stack as much as possible, since it is blocking your line of fire in phase 2.

    Jenga 1d

    (1e) Drive off the second island into a third stack of blocks near the end. Try to ‘fall off’ the end for the most damage. Alternately, rapidly tap the accelerator to get your bot to bounce up off the island and then back down into the last stack of blocks. This is not easy and takes more luck than skill.

    Jenga 1d

    (1f) At the end, at the Jenga banner, your vehicle bot transforms and waves at the next one to start.

    Jenga 1e

    In phase 1, a big enemy called a Mortar Tower walks along side you, the kind that in the normal levels shoots magma balls. It doesn’t shoot at you in Jenga mode. When you die it scratches its head and keeps walking. At one point in the evolution of this game, you could blow up this mortar tower, but it is now invincible!


    (Phase 2) A different bot in normal/walking form tries to shoot blocks, pigs and most importantly Gold cubes. They are stacked inside a big frame, that looks like the physical toy ABT-Jenga game you can buy. Buying that toy includes an unlock code for Jenga mode. You get coins for shooting everything as well as “points” for your score. Once you are in front of the main area, the game switches to super-slow-motion, which let’s you blast away a little easier.

    Jenga 2a

    Jenga 2b

    Jenga 2c

    Jenga 2d


    There are at least a couple of YouTube videos for Jenga mode:

    At the end of each Jenga run you get 3 things:
    – Points (no value except towards the daily challenge of 300)
    – Pigs popped (only a few are in each run, and sometimes none)
    – Coins (up to a max ~3000, before using a 2X video)

    Jenga finish

    The configurations for the main blocks are not random nor game generated. I have observed 7 of them so far. The blocks are sometimes stacked in 2 walls, one in front of the other, with the Energon Cubes in the second/rear wall, partially or completely hidden behind the first wall.

    Config #1
    JENGA 1

    Behind Config #1
    JENGA 1, behind

    Config #2
    JENGA 2

    Config #3
    JENGA 3

    Config #4
    JENGA 4

    Config #5
    JENGA 5

    Config #6
    JENGA 6

    Behind Config #6
    JENGA 6, behind

    Config #7
    JENGA 7

    In the early days, the coin-haul from each run was pretty low: about 300-600 per run, (not doubled with a video). In various updates, they made the Energon Cubes stronger but yielding more coins, introduced squad bonuses, and added the Daily Challenge. The video double has gone back & forth between being virtually unlimited vs. only having a few available to watch each day. Obviously when they are limited, you might want to save them for your better runs, probably at least 2,000 coins.

    The maximum yields with very high level bots are now as follows:
    Jenga Coin Table

    This table was created with data collected when Soundwave and Grimlock were still available as the shooter. So, the maximums still apply but don’t feel bad if you are not achieving the max. No one will with “sharpshooter” bots.

    Configurations #5 and #7 you can see the many Energon Cubes. Configurations #1 and #6 are also very nice, with several Cubes hidden behind the glass blocks in front. As one person posted, if they see #2 (no Gold cubes) they ‘abort’ to the map and start again.

    Once you get your bots to level 7-ish, all of the upgrades are over 100,000 coins, and levels 10+ are over 200,000 each. The total cost of upgrading from level 1 to 15 is 1,666,000 coins. Since there are presently 29 bots to unlock and upgrade, that’s over 48 million coins needed to progress to the limit of the game. And since the highest levels also force you to wait >1 to 3 days each for the upgrade to finish, you will be spending many months playing this game without spending $ on gems.

    If you decide to pay ~US$10 to unlock Jenga, you might wish to choose 2 “go to bots” to play, and then preferentially upgrade those two. Having them at at least level 8, you will reap more coins from Jenga making the $10 spent more worthwhile.

    Good luck !!

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 83 total)
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  • Bird Leader

    @avip2u Indeed! Awesome job. Maybe we should turn this into a full fledged guide?


    @birdleader that would be a great idea! Maybe add a paragraph on the main Transformers Gameplay, Walkthroughs & Strategy Guides page with a link to this guide.


    @sal9 @birdleader Thank you much for the kind feedback. I just wanted others to know more about whether to spend their $10.

    A bit more info:

    (1) I have exceeded 600 coins a couple of times. Closer to 700 is my personal max. My bots are level 5-6-7, so higher level bots would probably earn more. But not a LOT more. When I earned ~700 I had destroyed >90% of the blocks.

    (2) The doubling glitch: I seem to get the double when Grimlock is the FIRST bot, in vehicle form, but the end-credits don’t indicate a double. However when Grimlock is the SECOND bot, the closing screens indicate 2X but the coins are not doubled. I haven’t noticed a doubling (glitch or not) with any other bots except Grimlock. Not saying it *never* has happened with another bot though.

    (3) There are at least a couple of YouTube videos for Jenga mode:

    Being able to spam this level, lets you build up coins if you’re willing to spend the time!

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    On an unrelated note to this thread, I hope to do a time vs. coins “analysis” of farming the completed levels for coins, those that the egg-bots are not transforming. Or maybe someone else already has some thoughts on this. It takes “X” minutes for them to generate 10 coins each (they’re “blank” until then), and then eventually at “Y” minutes, they max out at 400 coins. So, once the math is done, one could “check in” to the game at a certain frequency, and maximize harvesting coins (without playing levels, which is the fun part).


    @avip2u, @Birdleader, @Sal9, @SweetP :

    Some additional information:

    – Coins are only doubled when you have Grimmlock Goldbite in 1st position (Multiplied by 4 if you have another video, keep the viewing while waiting for thus this team).
    – In 2nd position you can destroy Mortar Tower with Starscream Energon (no matter the level) and with Ultra Magnus and SoundWave (level 7).
    – From the level 7, SoundWave can destroy all the blocks of the ground as well as Mortar Tower. (Maximum reaches : 766 coins).


    Well covered @avip2u!

    Much easier to die if Grimlock is the first character. Just hit the accelerator as soon as it’s active and it will crash after collecting 18 coins. Come out firing at the walker with the second character and it should blow up in front of the wall of blocks. Always fun to blow those things up!


    Excellent guide and tips @avip2u, @dmsral and @grimmjow, thank you. I played the game up to a point when I had to wait what seemed like forever and didn’t want to purchase the Jenga Mode. But now that I see it’s well worth the $10, I guess I’ll be re-installing the game!


    The $10 was more than worth it for me. I wouldn’t be at the level I’m at (133?) if I wasn’t playing Jenga mode and earning extra coins.


    I’m on level 136 with no jenga mode bought. So it can be done without those extra coins


    As of the Dec 1 update, I haven’t (yet?) been able to blow up the walking robot. I shoot and shoot and his green life bar never changes, not even a little red.


    Yes, this is completely self gratifying, but I finally got Goldbite Grimlock to complete all the ramps and by golly I’m going to show it off. If you have as well, rock on!



    Some one speculated that you get Jenga unlocked when you fully upgrade one of the transformers. I can attest that this is NOT true. I have one of them fully upgraded and Jenga is still locked and I didn’t receive any code to unlock it.


    Once you get your bots to level 7, all of the upgrades are over 100,000, and levels 9+ are over 200,000. There are presently 20 bots to unlock. That’s many millions of coins needed to progress to the limit of the game. Not to mention that the highest levels also force you to wait 1+ days each, so you will be spending weeks and weeks, playing this game without spending $ on gems.

    Therefore, if you decide to pay $10 to unlock Jenga, I suggest preferentially upgrading the four characters that show up in Jenga. Especially Grimlock whose vehicle stinks. Level those four to at least 8, and you will reap more coins from Jenga making the $10 spent, more worthwhile.


    After the update on android last week the rewards are even better @avip2u most of the times i got 1000-5000 coins (incl. double)

    also shooting at the robot isnt possible anymore, in other words: it cant take any damage


    @josm is right. I posted an update last week but I can see now that it didn’t go through.

    After the Dec 1 update, coin yield increased due to stronger & more valuable Energon Cubes. Also the mortar tower robot is invincible.

    After the Dec 22 update, the squad bonus further increased coin yield.

    Now per run, you get about 500 to 3000 coins, non-doubled. Save videos for at least 2000.

    Soundwave: when at a high level (7+) he yields the most coins; his energy blasts can destroy ALL the blocks and Cubes. However you still only can get a maximum useless-point total of 114. The total of coins depends on the “arrangement” of blocks/cubes. With the squad bonus I have gotten ~3200 (not doubled). His vehicle is extra bouncy so you have to carefully use the accelerator.

    Grimlock: second highest coins, on average. His “electricity beam” tracks the Cube as it falls, which increases coins. At level ~6 with luck you can finish the vehicle run. At 8+ it’s pretty repeatable.

    Optimus: his lasers/bullets must have mass, because annoyingly they push the Cubes back and they fall behind the frame out of range. His vehicle is the most stable, but so much that he’ll often just swipe the lowest level of blocks away, leaving the remaining stack to fall down “as-is” and settle in place, still in your way.

    Starscream: at higher levels his repeating laser is so fast that you have to aim for the next Cube before the first one is destroyed. Once you get this timing down his coin yield is respectable. His vehicle (plane) is the fastest, able to finish the run even at very low levels.


    Well, it should not have taken this long to notice this, but

    Soundwave and Starscream are always paired. Whichever one goes first, then you get the other. Interestingly, when Soundwave is 8+, just let Starscream die because Soundwave can destroy everything easily.

    Similarly, Grimlock and Optimus are always paired. You get the 2X coins only when Grimlock goes first (probably because he has a lousy vehicle). But level 8+ you can usually make both jumps. Don’t use up the accelerator on the first jump. Try to “barely make it” to save for the second one. Ignore the coins in the beginning to also save your boost for the jumps.


    I made it through the first stage with a level 6 Grimlock! I have now tried over a dozen more times and failed every time, but It was good to know it was possible. @avip2u is right, just barely then through the first two and save for the last. That’s now i managed to do it the single time haha.


    Noticed that after the update for IOS devices the pigs do not double at the end of play after watching the video to “Double Rewards! Watch Video” when one goes back to the main screen to view the actual increase in total pigs and coins. It appears the coins double in value.

    The initial version had this same situation where is said the pigs doubled but after watching the addition of pigs and coins on the island screen they appear to only add the initial amount of pigs obtained.

    Also noticed during game play a white solid arrow (point to the right) with a white rectangle block to the arrow’s left appears when attacking the main screen with the bird’s powers. I pressed on it and nothing happens.

    Sent Rovio a note during the initial game and they said they new about the situation and will fix it on the next update.
    Sent Rovio a second note after the latest iOS update.


    I’m new and I am glad to read this information from experienced players. Love the game but waiting to shell out the $10 until all of them are upgraded as suggested. Thanks everyone who tipped in.


    There used to be an option before the upgrade to get Jenga for 500 crystals. But after the upgrade this option is gone! It really sucks. I waited for an upgrade because the game had become unplayable and now if I want to get Jenga I have to pay!


    In my opinion, if you want to play this game and don’t want to pay for gems, this is a pretty good (relatively speaking) purchase. Since the upgrade you can really rack up the coins with Jenga Mode. It is pretty easy to get 1000-2000 coins, and I have gotten more than 4000 somewhat frequently (with doubling). If you are going to get it, I don’t see any reason to wait.


    For me, 10 dollars (which equals 37 zł in my country and that’s really high) isn’t worth it. After the update, earning coins is relatively easy. Now i nearly after each run i score around 2000 coins (non-doubled) and the runs are really enjoyable too.


    Where is the accelerator.
    Also, how do you make him jump?


    I think the best thing about Jenga is that it gives you something to do whilst the clock is ticking down elsewhere.


    Now that I’ve “invested” I agree with @lilwarrior

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