Tuesday, 16 July 2013


Plays: 2P practice x1.

The Game

Ugg-Tect (prehistorical architect) is a team competition game. Two teams each have one architect (well, technically ugg-tect, but it's annoying to type), and the rest of the teams are workers. The architects each hold a blueprint card that the workers don't see, and they need to direct the workers of their respective teams to build the structures depicted on the blueprints. The trick is they can't use normal language or gestures. They must use the caveman language defined in the game, caveman gestures, and a big inflatable club. You do things like shake your hips and stomp your feet to indicate which building blocks to use. You say things like Manungu, Ugungu, and Kachingu to direct your teammates to move, turn, tilt and lay down the building blocks. What further complicates things is saying a word once or twice means opposite things. E.g. Konguku means to lift up, but Konguku-Konguku means to lower. When your worker does something right, you hit him on the head once. If he does it wrong, you hit him twice. So yes, you get to hit him all the time with that club.

The inflatable club is quite large.

It's the first thing that children will play with, including those children over 30 years old.

When your team completes a structure, you call for a time-out, using caveman language of course - "Ugg-tect!". The opponents' team gets to examine your structure to make sure it meets the specifications on the blueprint. If it passes examination, your team scores points according to the blueprint card. If it fails, your team loses 1pt. The game then continues until one team reaches 10pts. At any time during the competition if any team makes any mistake (e.g. using normal language), the team loses 1pt. If the architect decides the current blueprint is too hard and wants to forfeit to draw a new blueprint card, the team loses 1pt too.

A completed structure.

The Play

I played Ugg-tect with my family at Meeples Cafe. We formed teams of one adult and one child per team. However, Chen Rui (6) found the game hard, so we ended up not playing the game afterall. I did a few practice rounds with Shee Yun (8). This is not a game for shy people. I was the architect and had to stand up and do all sorts of silly things. It was certainly an attention-grabbing game.

Without a competing team, naturally there was no time pressure. We did try to complete the structures as quickly as we could. We were quite clumsy and had to refer to the reference card all the time.

Chen Rui was not very pleased with this wilting club. There must be a leak somewhere.

This blueprint card is worth 3pts.

Shee Yun the worker starting her building work.

Mission accomplished!

The Thoughts

This is obviously a party game and is suitable for big groups. I think the game is best when everyone is new to it. As you get better at it, the game would become less funny. There would be no more struggling the commands and gestures. What is left would be just hitting friends on the head. Well, I guess that in itself can be entertaining too.

In hindsight, I think the game would be better if the players are not allowed to use the reference card, or are only allowed to use it with some penalty (e.g. a time penalty), or are allowed to use it only a limited number of times. This forces them to learn the language before the game starts, and they need to depend on their memory instead of simply gluing their eyes to the sheet all the time during the game, which I think takes out the fun. Also more mistakes is more fun. The architect gets to hit his teammates twice instead of once! But remember, players on the same team take turns to play the club-wielding architect.

I think the novelty in this game will wear out quickly, but you can still use the clubs as a punishment mechanism in many other games.

I think the reference sheet is a hindrance to fun.

When I look at my daughter I don't have the heart to hit her hard on the head. But if it were my kaki (mates), it would be a very different story.


TeOoh! said...

I leave a comment here, but you should consider this as a big "AWESOME WORK!!!" posted on your blog.

I love the way you review games during your play, the pictures that show the faces during the game and.. everything.

I also discovered meeples cafè, causing envy and sadness in me (I'm in Italy and we've nothing like that! I HAVE TO open one of those! ahahaha).

Keep on!

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

Thank you!

DWolve said...

You could also try alternative languages here.

We did Wookie. The foreman went Solo by the end of the first round XD

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

Indeed there can be many interesting variants. :-) You can even have each player decide the word / gesture for a different action / colour.