Ubongo! Fun-Size Edition
- Designer: Gregorz Rejchtman
- Publisher: Kosmos
- Players: 1-4
- Ages: 7+
- Time: 15 minutes
- Co-authored by W. Eric Martin and Dale Yu
Thames & Kosmos, the North American branch of KOSMOS, debuted Grzegorz Rejchtman‘s Ubongo! Fun-Size Edition, which is yet another take on the Ubongo family of games that debuted in 2003 and that has sold more than five million games according to the cover.
As in Ubongo, players of Ubongo! Fun-Size Edition compete to solve individual puzzles as quickly as they can. Each player has a set of eight polyomino pieces, each a different color and shape. Players decide before the game begins whether they’ll use the A- or B-side of the puzzle cards, with the A-side puzzles requiring exactly three pieces to complete and the B-side puzzles requiring exactly four. Which pieces? Well, you have to figure that out for yourself, with each puzzle having at least three different valid solutions. (I have found at least four valid solutions for card A1 as pictured here in less than a minute)
At the start of a round, each player receives a new puzzle card and races to fill in the blank spaces as quickly as possible. As soon as one player has done this, they start counting down from twenty to zero and everyone else must complete their puzzle before time is up. Whoever completes their puzzle card in time keeps the card for a point; the player who started the countdown keeps both their card and also earns a gemstone worth one point. After eight rounds, the player with the most points (cards plus gems) wins.
To even the playing field between adults and children in Ubongo! Fun-Size Edition, the adults can play without the yellow piece — a straight line that covers three spaces. All of the puzzles can be solved without this piece, but doing so will be more difficult than normal… The game can further be handicapped by having the more advanced players playing on the B side while the other can use the easier A side.
Thoughts from the Opinionated Gamers:
Dale Y: The game plays quickly, with each round only taking a minute or so. Like Ubongo, sometimes you simply see the solution and you solve the puzzle in seconds. I like the fact that each puzzle has a number of different solutions – so it’s not like you have to find the one trick that unlocks the puzzle. I will say that counting backwards from 20 seems a bit long for our group. We have settled on 5-mississippi as the right amount of time for us. The puzzles are small, and not overly challenging, but there’s enough here to pull out as a filler, and definitely enough here to play with kids. For the size and the price, it’s just right. It would also make a great stocking stuffer given the small size.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it. Dale Y
- Not for me…