Solve Puzzles and Beat the Clock in Ubongo | Casual Game Revolution

Solve Puzzles and Beat the Clock in Ubongo


Fan of puzzles? Enjoying racing other players against the clock? You have nine rounds to solve the most puzzles, collect the most gems, and win Ubongo.

With over 400 puzzles in the game, you’re unlikely to solve the same one twice.


Each player takes a set of 12 differently shaped and colored puzzle pieces. A stack of puzzle boards are set on the table and the game begins.

There are nine rounds in the game. At the beginning of each round all players take a different puzzle board, and then a player rolls the die and starts the timer.

When the timer starts, you look at the symbol on the die and match it to one of the six symbols on your puzzle board. This shows you which puzzle pieces you will be working with. Each puzzle board has an easy side and a difficult side, which include either three or four puzzle pieces. Players agree at the start of the game which side to use.

Your puzzle board has an empty white space. You take the pieces you need to work with and must fit them onto this white space so that it’s completely covered and none of the puzzle pieces overlap or cover a space that is not white.

When you complete the puzzle you shout ‘Ubongo!’. All players who complete their puzzle before the time runs out, draw a colored gem out of the gem bag. Red gems are worth four points at the end of the game, blue gems are worth three points, green gems are worth two points, and brown gems are worth one point. The first player to complete their puzzle each round earns an additional blue gem, and the second player to complete their puzzle earns an additional brown gem.

At the beginning of each round you always draw a new puzzle board. At the end of all nine rounds, the player with the most points wins.

Ubongo Components


Ubongo has much the same feel that a jigsaw puzzle does as you try to fit the pieces onto the board, turning them around, looking for how to make them work together. The timer adds an extra layer and makes it feel more like a game than just a puzzle. You want to move fast, but the faster you go the more silly mistakes you’re likely to make and you want to beat the other players to claim the bonus for finishing first.

The game itself is bright and colorful, with enjoyable animal decorations. The whole aesthetic is just fun to look at and gives the game a cheerful and unique identity.

Ubongo is a game that can be equally enjoyable for both kids and adults as both groups will find it challenging, and the game has two different difficulties. However, it’s not the best game for adults and children to play together, as older players will have a distinct advantage while solving the puzzles — to remedy this, you may want to give the difficult side to the adults and the easy side to the younger players.

If you enjoy puzzles or games of speed, Ubongo feels unique and fresh. It offers something new and with 432 different puzzles to solve, it won’t get old any time soon.

Pros: Great blend of puzzles and speed, enjoyable for both kids and adults, two different difficulties

Cons: Not ideal for a group of mixed skill levels

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.