Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Name of This Game Means Brain?! (Ubongo)

Maybe that piece goes there?  But that leaves you with a long piece that doesn't quite fit.  Time to clear the board, and turn some pieces.  But if that goes there, then where does the square piece go?  Or the L shape, how does it fit?  Your brain keeps spinning and grinding , solving the puzzle of Ubongo.

GAME DESCRIPTION:  Ubongo is a 2-4 player board game similar to tangram puzzles.  Each player races to be the first to complete their puzzle by combing certain pieces into their board.

PUZZLES:  Each player is given a board, and the starting player decides which side of the board to use (3 or 4 pieces). The player then rolls the die, and each player takes the pieces that match up with the symbol rolled.  The first player to fill in the white on their board completely with all their shapes calls out "UBONGO!", and players continue to do so until either all players finish, or there is only 1 player left who hasn't finished.  The players then collect their points, and are given new boards.

POINTS:  Each player takes one of 4 pawns, and places it on the long scoring board.  This board will be filled up with gems of various colors.
  • The first player to complete their board can move up to 3 spaces in any direction, and collects the 2 gems closest to their pawn on that row.  
  • The next player may move up to 2 spaces and collects their 2 gems.  
  • The third may move up to 1 space and collects their 2 gems.
  • The 4th player cannot move at all, and must take the 2 gems closest on that row.

WINNING:  The game ends if all gems have been removed, or 9 rounds have passed, depending on the players.  The player with the most gems of 1 color wins.  In the case of any ties, victory is determined by the tied players next most collected gems,

CONCLUSION:  As I mentioned, this game revolves around tangrams, or fitting various shapes into a bigger shape. Strategy and puzzle solving skills are the strongest points here.  This can easily put off a lot of players, as not being good at these kinds of puzzles can hinder your enjoyment so that there's no way to get victory.  Also, sometimes your brain just doesn't work, and certain layouts don't make sense.  I enjoy the scoring system, as it could've been easy just to give players points based on how fast they finished, but decided to change it up so even the slower players can still end up having a solid victory.  For puzzle fans everywhere, Ubongo is the way to go.

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