Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gulo Gulo Gono Gono

After several months of role playing games, our little group has decided to take a short break from the play acting and bust out some board games. Mind you we are not talking about the more traditional games like Monopoly or Life here but something with a little more depth to them (Yeah, I admit that I'm a board game snob) so I thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of them.

Gulo Gulo
published by Zoch Verlag and Rio Grande Games

Okay, so maybe Gulo Gulo doesn't necessarily have more "depth" than you typical mainstream board game you can buy from Wally World but I would be willing to say that it's more fun. This is a dexterity game which might turn some people off but in my opinion it makes a great game for kids and adults. The fluff behind this game is that the baby gulo (aka a wolverine) was caught by a swamp vulture whose eggs it was trying to steal. Now the grown up gulos are trying to save him and grab a few eggs for themselves along the way.

The game "board" is constructed of a number of hexagonal tiles that are laid out face down on the table. During a player's turn, they can either try to move to tile further along the track by doing one of two things. They can either flip over one of the face down tiles and trying to take the wooden egg of the same color out of the "nest" without setting off the alarm or they can try to move to further along to a tile that has already been flipped by attempting the same thing. The catch is that you can only move to the next closest space of that color so if you flip over a yellow tile, you can only move to the next closest yellow tile in the path. This adds a little bit of strategy to the game as you try to decide whether to chance the random tile flip or go with what you can already see. To win the game you have to move the length of the track, find the baby gulo and take the purple egg out of the nest, thus saving the poor little baby who was just looking for a good omelet.

Of the kids games out there on the market I really think that Gulo Gulo was one of the best ones at crossing the lines between the something mindless like Mousetrap and something more advanced, making it an ideal game for families. Or at least it would be if it was still in print. As I was writing this I hoped over to Board Game Geek only to find out that the game sadly went out of print at the end of last year. Truly a shame as this is great children/family game. That said I'm sure that there are still a few copies floating around out there that have yet to find a home. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones to find it hidden away on a shelf in your LGS be sure to snatch that sucker up before it disappears forever.

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