Ubongo Duel first impressions

Ubongo Duel box

My brother was visiting, so of course I got him to play something with me. Ubongo Duel was an excellent choice, as I hadn’t played it before. Always a good idea to shorten the list of “owned, not played”.

My brother had never played any Ubongo, but got the gist of it very quickly. It was very close game, too, as I won 5-4. We tried the five-tile side once, but afterwards stuck to the easier side, to keep the game short and simple. It was pretty quick, with each of us getting one instant win round. There was were one or two very difficult rounds, where the correct solution evaded both of us, but we were able to find all solutions in reasonable time.

Ubongo Duel is a good game, one of the better in the family. The two-player game has no need for complicated scoring rules, but there’s an interesting handicap variant (player in the lead must solve two puzzles) to balance things out if necessary. The difficulty of the puzzles is good, too, I’d guess most four-tile puzzles offer enough challenge and the five-tile puzzles are diabolical at best.

So, a good one. I think this might be the Ubongo I’ll keep in my collection — I’ve so far sold all others away, because I don’t play them. This combines the easy portability of the Mini with solid difficulty of the Extreme, which sounds like a winning combo.

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