Apr 16, 2010


One of my many favorite board games is a game called Ubongo. It's a 1-4 player puzzle game in which you're given some different tetris shaped pieces and have to assemble them in a provided shape. In the board game it's a race to solve the puzzle first (link to more info at Amazon.com below). Woodenigma is similar, but it's a solitaire puzzle version and there's no race and consequently no pressure.

I'm a fan of these kinds of spacial relationship puzzle games and this one promises 700 puzzles and, through April 20th it's available for just under $1 US (or .59 euros). 700 puzzles for that kind of money is a deal especially given that puzzle books cost much more than that and this one offers portability. It plays well and these kinds of games are well suited for mobile, touch screen devices. You simply select a puzzle, touch and drag the pieces until they're in position, and once the game detects that you've solved the puzzle it's checked off of your 'to do' list of puzzles. I suspect it could benefit a bit from some relaxing music as this kind of puzzle is more of a relaxation activity for me vs. a frantic game like Tetris. The previously reviewed infeCCT is a great example of music accompanying a puzzle game.

My only real gripe with the game is that the author has chosen to group puzzles in sets of 50 and it appears all 50 must be solved before moving on. I'm not sure of that as I've only solved about 20 puzzles so far, but I do know I can only see the first 50 groups in 5 x 5 screens of 25 puzzles each. Why must I be tortured and have to work through the easy puzzles to get to the hard ones... and how do I know they're hard (Hint: I don't)? Usually I lose interest well before I get a chance at puzzle 700 so how about it, devs? Will you unlock all of the puzzles so that *I* can choose how to play this game I've purchased?

But for a buck (or even when the price skyrockets to US $1.50 on April 21st) this game is well worth it, but only if you like spacial relationship puzzles. If not it'll just be 'that annoying little game'. As for me I give it 4/5... it's not stunning, but it's well done for what it sets out to do and is well worth the money.

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