This game is not just for puzzle enthusiasts, it is for very determined puzzle enthusiasts! Be warned!
What do you get for your money?
- 36 double-sided puzzle boards with 2 puzzles on each side
- 40 3D puzzle pieces
- 1 ten-sided dice
- 1 egg timer
- 1 bag
- 58 gems
And very importantly
- 1 solutions book
(it should probably come with a white flag too)
All pieces are excellent quality.
The aim of the game:
The aim of the game is to score the most points by completing your puzzle in the allotted time and taking the appropriate gems. Unlike the original Ubongo game each different kind of gem has a different value.
As with the original Ubongo game, it is really good fun but I find it can be a bit frustrating as I always seem to have one bit sticking out somewhere where it doesn't belong ;-). If you like a challenge all I can say is go for it, it isn't cheap but it is worth the money. You can even play it on your own to practise!
The rules are as simple as Ubongo but as there doesn't appear to be any official translation of the rules into English as yet I will try and give you a short but hopefully faithful summary:
Decide which side of the board to use - the 3 piece puzzles are (supposed) to be easier than the 4 piece ones.
9 blue and 9 brown gems are laid out in 2 lines, the rest of the gems go back in the bag.
The puzzle pieces are placed in the middle of the table where everyone can reach them
Keep the dice the egg timer and the bag within reach.
The puzzle boards are sorted according to their animal symbols. Only keep as many boards of each kind as there are players.
Each player takes a puzzle board and places it in front of him with the easy or hard side facing upwards (depending on which side you have decided to play with).
One player throws the dice - the number tells the players which puzzle they need to solve.
Players now take the puzzle pieces they need from the middle of the table and place them in front of them, making sure they really do have the same pieces in front of them as are shown next to the appropriate number on the board.
Once all players have got their pieces the egg timer is turned over and players try to fit the pieces exactly onto the space on the board before the time runs out.
The shape should be no more than 2 high and nothing should stick out.
The first player to finish within the time shouts “Ubongo” and takes a blue gem from the table another from the bag without looking. The second player to finish, takes a brown gem from the table and one from the bag. If the third and fourth players finish in time they each get to take a gem from the bag.
If no players finish in time, the egg timer is turned over and the first player to finish ends the round by shouting Ubongo and taking 1 gem from the bag (not from the table). If no one finishes this time, the round ends without anybody taking a gem.
As the 9 blue and 9 brown gems also count the number of rounds, return any gems to the bag at the end of each round, that have not be taken that round. At the end of 9 rounds there should be no more gems left on the table.
Play continues this way for 9 rounds and then the gems are counted. Each one scores different points:
Red = 4 points
Blue = 3 points
Green = 2 points
Brown = 1 point
The player with the most points wins!
If you browse a little on the internet there are more detailed unofficial translations available. Other than the rules there is no text in the game.