UbiUbi
Selchow & Righter, 1986

Now for a blast from the past. Ubi came out in 1986 during the trivia craze from Selchow & Righter, makers of Trivial Pursuit. Today, trivia games are pretty “so-last-year”. They are the kitchy game that gets put out periodically for whatever hot tv/movie commodity is “in” at the time.

Reticle
Reticle

But Ubi was a little different. I picked it up at a second hand store and fell in love with it. I am a history buff, and am not too bad with my geography, and for Ubi, you need both. You are asked a trivia question, usually historically based. Then, using a “Reticle” (see picture), you must locate to a degree of precision, where that answer occurred. Get it correct, and you get a section of your Ubi Pyramid. First person to complete their pyramid wins the game. It comes with a cool map with no names, although it does have city/town/landmark denoations like you would find on any normal map.

I’ll admit, it’s from 1986, so questions may be a bit dated, but since most of them are historical in nature anyway, to me it isn’t a problem. My biggest problem with the game is that no one will play it with me. Like history and geography and have a talent for triva? Give Ubi a whirl. If you can find it.

CastlesMadKingLudwigCastles of Mad King Ludwig
Bezier Games, 2014

Once upon a time, there lived a prince in a fairytale castle. He loved fairytale castles so he built several of them, but the prince became obsessed with his castles, bankrupted himself, was declared insane and was most likely killed. True story. Moral of the story, don’t build crazy cool castles.

Unless, of course you are playing the new game “Castles of Mad King Ludwig” from bezier games. In this case, build the craziest, coolest, wildest castle you can build, attempting to please Mad King Ludwig in his quest for the “fairest castle of them all”.

In “Castles of Mad King Ludwig”, players take turns being the Master Builder. The Master Builder draws a series of rooms that will be avaialable to purchase from them during the round. They price the rooms strategically in order to make sure that players are paying them premium prices for the rooms they would like to add to their castle. Each player has goals publicly set by the king as well as private goals. The goals may consist of types or sizes of rooms, as well as amount of cash.

Players score their rooms as they go, and rooms can get synergy bonuses or negatives from other rooms placed near them, and by having all their exits matched up with other rooms/hallways/staircases. Strategically purchasing staircases or hallways can give you room to expand as well as buy you time to wait for a room that better matches your goals. Everyone can see what you are building, so watch out for telegraphing your bonus moves, because other players might try to buy the piece you want to stall you.

This is a very fun game with lots of ways to strategize in order to gain victory. Note though that the room pricing phase can be tricky and for people with analysis paralysis issues, this could be a sticking point for you. I very much enjoy this game with it’s historical connections and wildly creative castle building. Although the game has a single player option, I don’t recommend it, as it is essentially a beat-your-best-score deal, and I would think it would become boring very quickly.

If you like history and creative castle building, and aren’t given to analysis paralysis, give “Castles of Mad King Ludwig” a try.

TrailerParkWarsTrailer Park Wars
Gut Bustin’ Games, 2007

Trailer Park Wars is a lighthearted, irreverent game about trailer park ownership. You are the owner of a trailer park. You start the game with a circle of trailers. You spend the game attracting people to live in the trailers, and adding sweet amenities to your park while causing destruction and misfortune on the parks belonging to your opponents. As you add to your park, you will augment your park with lovely pink flamingos. Once all 100 included flamingos have been played, the player with the most flamingos wins.

This is an easy to learn, hilarious game. The thing I find most amusing is the trailers in the game are pictures of actual trailers that exist somewhere. You just can’t make up this stuff. Reality is so much funnier. The people in the games are pastiches of common stereotypes and may offend some players. Be warned, a good sense of humor and a will to make fun of everyone and everything is essential to enjoyment.

Toy value: Who doesn’t want a bag of plastic pink flamingos?¬†This game has more strategy than it’s compatriot “Redneck Life”. Overall, it’s a lot of fun, and a good game for a nice light relaxing evening full of laughs. Give it a try.

GeekOutGeek Out!
Playroom, 2013

Want to find out how geeky you are? Think you are the geekiest of them all. Find out with Geek Out! This is a trivia party game for individuals or teams. Simply put, you roll the die to determine the category to be played. Categories are: Games, Comics, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Miscellaneous. There is a blank side on the die, if that is rolled, then the player/team chooses the category they wish to play. There no “correct” answers on the card. Each player/team must bid on how many correct answers they think they can come up with. The highest bidder must then give that many answers to get the card, which is worth one point. If they do not answer the question to the satisfaction of the group, then they receive a -2 penalty chip. The first player or team to 5 points wins.

That is the way the game is officially played. To be honest, every time we play it we start playing the game, but end up reading the question and then everyone answers and discusses until we decide to move on to the next question. We rarely, if ever play for points and don’t usually declare a winner. Does that make our game play a cooperative variant?

The questions are great. This is a great game when you are sitting around and want to start conversations or get a group of people talking about things. It would be great for a convention panel. I’m thinking of reading the question, having attendees bid, and if they complete their quest giving out candy. Fun.

Example question: (This is on the back of the box, so I shouldn’t get in trouble for this…) Four Video Game Companies. How many can you list?

This is a lot of fun, and a great “get-to-know-you” or “party” game. Recommended.