Ugg-Tect Board Game Review (Fantasy Flight Games)

7

Some games are elegant, complex, and sophisticated. Other games are just fun. In Ugg-Tect, players need to communicate through a set of gutteral noises and motions. One team is describing a photo, while the other attempts to buid it. With brightly colored shapes and inflatable clubs, it seems like just a kid's game. It's actually extremely challenging and leads to some incredibly beautiful moments. Ugg-Tect requires that players get in sync with one another and begin to think alike, and towards the end of the game solid communication is (usually) achieved. 

Game Details

Players: 2 to 8

Time: 30 Minutes

Age: 12+

Genre: Team / Building

How is Ugg-Tect Played?

In Ugg-Tect, players have a set of words they need to use to describe how an object needs to be manipulated. They also have a set of motions that describes the object itself. For example, "ugungu (head tilt)" would mean to take the yellow piece. "Karungu karungu (shrug)" would mean to tilt the grey piece.

In Ugg-Tect, first released as Aargh!Tect, players work in teams to construct fabulous well, let's say 'functional' structures out of materials lying around them. All the players are cavemen, however, so you have only rough blocks with which to build and you can communicate only through primitive gestures and sounds.

Every team gets a card which shows the building they need to construct. These can actually be very challenging. Some pieces need to be angled or laid on their side. Some  pieces have to be precisely positioned between other pieces. And all of this in a language that (at the beginning) no one knows. 

A team-based game, players take turns describing the actions and completing the actions, and when a team builds their monument successfully, they score the points on the card. The first past the post (usually 10 points) wins.

How Does Ugg-Tect Look?

With its bright, primary-colored shapes and inflatable clubs, Ugg-Tect looks like a game for preschoolers -- and that's just fine. Here's where the game can be deceptively difficult, as nearly everyone will mess up a card at some point. The card will be created backwards, or won't be correct back-to-front, or a piece will be tilted the wrong way. This isn't because of ambiguity in the art; it's just part of the challenge of the game.

We particularly liked the smirking Ugg foreman on the box, standing around while all the others continued working.

What's in the Box?
2 inflatable clubs * 8 large wooden blocks * 24 project cards * 2 standing language cards

How Does Ugg-Tect Feel?

Ugg-Tect is just fun. Everyone is skeptical when the game comes out, but they love it once they start playing. There are moments of sheer frustration, when someone clearly can't understand what you're saying. Then there are moments of synchronous harmony, where everything just falls into place. 

But it isn't a game that you want to play if you're particulary self-conscious. You will need to get up and wiggle your hips or stomp your feet on the ground. It's also not a game you can replay infinitely; it only comes with about 20 cards, which can get repetitive, and which have a tremendous leap of difficulty once you get into the higher end of the point scale. 

Ugg-Tect Board Game Review
  • PRO: An exceptionally silly game for those who don't take themselves too seriously.
  • CON: A bit limited in replayability; more an ice breaker game.