Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Game of the Month December 2008

This month I had a lot of new games and a couple of old favorites played. Thus far this year, Medici is the only older game I've made a Game of the Month, otherwise my picks have been games that were new to me. In sticking with that, I'm going to go with Ubongo and Ubongo Extrem as my top picks for December. Why two games? Well, in many ways they are the same - everyone gets a board and a set of pieces and try to solve a puzzle the fastest. The fastest players (usually) score better and can taunt the dumber (err slower) players. There are two sides to each board, each with a different puzzle. One side takes less pieces to do than the more difficult side. There are two major differences between the two games - difficulty and the scoring (much better in Extrem). Ubongo Extrem is much harder than the original due to shapes that just aren't as intuitive to put together as the original's Tetris like shapes. For me, Extrem is the better game. However, my son can play along fairly well with the original, if he does the 3-piece puzzles and us adults do the 4-piece sides. The only problem for me with plain Ubongo is that I don't feel challenged. The speed part seems more related to dexterity than mental ability. The other reason that Extrem wins for me is that there is a Ubongo Extrem Craxy Expansion which has even crazier and harder puzzles. And the expansion is print and play. I just need to get it printed. For me, more of something I like is almost always a good thing. But again, they are still about the same.


Jaybird said...

Never played Ubongo. I can say that I love Extrem. So has anybody I have ever taught it to, including game-haters.

The only thing that bugs me about it is the scoring. For some reason, it just seems screwy.

Jaybird said...

Ever played Ricochet Robots? That is a great implementation of real-time puzzle solving. Pretty easy to learn, it can be played by as many people as can see the board. Or solo. And it is pretty cheap.