I picked up Ubongo Extrem from the post office today. It’s rather neat! The basic idea remains, but the puzzles are now much harder! The tiles are made of small hexagons, three to five per tile on most tiles. Three-tile puzzles are still fairly simple, but the four-tile puzzles are now downright fiendish. Even the most experienced Ubongo players should find them hard enough!
The scoring is simplified and I think it’s better than before. There are four kinds of gems, worth 1, 2, 3 and 4 points. Each player who finishes in time gets a random gem from the bag. The fastest solver gets an additional gem worth 3 points and the second fastest solver gets a 1-point gem. That way in a close game anybody can win, but someone who can consistently solve the puzzles fast will get a big advantage in the scoring. I find the scoring simple and efficient.
I’m definitely looking forward to playing this game. I noticed Ted Alspach says on the Geek he’s not going back to basic Ubongo — that’s some praise.