Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Spring 2015 Games
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $39.95

Ubongo is a fast-paced game of puzzle-solving. Players each have a set of tetris-like pieces and race to fit them onto the grid of their game board. The fastest players win bonus gems, and all finishers within the time limit win finisher gems; the player with the most valuable gems at the end of the nine-round game, wins. With 36 puzzle boards each featuring a dozen unique puzzles (half easy, half more challenging) there are over four hundred possible puzzles to solve. A solitaire option lets individual players race the clock to finish as many puzzles as possible.

Game play is easy to learn, and success relies on speed, spatial reasoning (some younger children may be better than even adults on this, so everyone has a fairly equal chance at winning, but players can always choose to start with a short time delay to level the playing field if necessary), and a little bit of luck. The logic-puzzle fans will enjoy this most of all. This game will become a quick favorite.

Emily Crawford   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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