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Subject: Gulo Gulo - A Mini Review (Children's Review) rss

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Dr. Dam
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All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.

Gulo Gulo is a manual dexterity game in the same vein as pick-up sticks, except this game is all about eggs, oh and its fun! The components are beautiful and the game play is fresh and exciting for all ages. However I must highly recommend it for young families – your children will simply love it.

Each player is a Wolverine (I use Echidna in Australia) desperately trying to rescue the Junior Gulo who has wondered off and gotten captured. The game consists of a series of tiles of differing colours, 6 coloured Wolverines to represent the players and a wooden bowl filled with gorgeous coloured wooden eggs of various sizes (forming a nest).

The game is set-up with the tiles placed as a meandering path face-down, the eggs are placed in a bag and randomised before being fed into the wooden bowl and an anti-Gulo alarm (a lock stick with a ball, which acts as a weight on the end) is stuck into the nest and held in place by the eggs. The players then place their Wolverine in front of the first tile in the path. It should be noted that a further 5 tiles including the Junior Gulo tile are placed at the end of the path and act as the goal.

The game play is simple and that is exactly why the game works. This game is about the experience and not understanding the rules. Each turn allows a player to try and take an egg from the nest (Wolverines love swamp eggs and is why Junior Gulo finds himself in this predicament) without setting off the alarm (having the stick hit the side of the bowl). But they can do it in 1 of 2 ways. Option 1 is to simply turn over the next tile in the path to reveal 1 of the 4 colours (yellow, green, blue or red). This is the type of coloured egg they must retrieve without being caught. Success will see that player move their Wolverine to the next tile of that colour in the path. Setting off the alarm (stick hitting the table) will cause a player to move back to the last tile that matches the colour of the egg they were trying to steal, but don’t despair because option 2 helps get you back into the action.

The 2nd option is to not reveal a new tile but nominate any coloured tile in the path in front of your Wolverine. If they can steal an egg from the nest of this colour without setting off the alarm then they can move to the tile they nominated. Often a colour may be the first of its type at 8 or 9 tiles into the path so this is a great way to catch up in the game and allows all players to only be 1 or 2 turns away from the lead at any one time, making it perfect for kids.

It should also be noted that the rules require that a player must specify the egg they are going after. If they steal a different egg or cause any other egg to fall from the nest then they fail. I tend to ignore these rules when playing with little children and let them take any egg that matches the colour of the tile.

Once a player succeeds or fails on their turn the action moves to the next player, unless they take the last egg of a particular colour from the nest (which is rare). Doing this awards a free turn that is taken immediatly.

If a player is successful in reaching the last tile in the initial path (19 tiles long), they will be able to draw a tile from the 5 set out at the start of the game. One of these features Junior Gulo and drawing his tile requires the player to retrieve the smaller purple egg from the nest. If this is successful then the player wins the game.

The Final Word

Gulo Gulo is in my opinion a near perfect game. It is rule light, its components look and feel wonderful, it plays quickly, the players don’t have to wait long between turns and the play is fun, exciting, close and did I say FUN. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is only a kid’s game as adults love Gulo Gulo just as much. It can be played with children as young as 3 and up and because it can be enjoyed by gamers into their adulthood it makes for a good investment. Say goodbye to pick-up sticks forever. Gulo Gulo is here to stay. I also love saying Gulo Gulo in a quasi AussieSpanish accent. Gulo Gulo!
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Get up, get up, get up, get down, fall over.
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Re: Gulo Gulo - A Light Review
Great review and I feel bad about quibbling but
Quote:
setting off the alarm (having the stick hit the side of the bowl)

Common misconception. Actually, the rules say the alarm is only set off if the stick hits the table or whatever you are playing on. This makes for longer gaps between resetting the nest but does not make things any less nerve-wracking. We have quite often been in a situation where the stick is hanging precariously over the side, held in place only by the weight of a single egg which is likely to shift the next time somebody touches anything in the nest.
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Øyvind Monsen
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Re: Gulo Gulo - A Light Review
Nice review Mr. Thomson, been enjoying your "A light review" series!
This is indeed a great game for children and grown ups to enjoy together on equal terms. Just one little nit-pick about the rules you describe in the review:

Quote:
Setting off the alarm (stick hitting side of bowl) will cause a player to move back


The stick hitting the bowl does not set off the alarm, the ball on top of the stick (or the entire stick) hitting the table does.

From the rules on Zoch's website (http://www.zoch-verlag.com/de/spiele/gulo/regel/e_content.ht...)

Quote:
Egg Alarm!
If another egg falls out of the nest during a stealing attempt, or if the alarm pole falls onto the table, the EGG ALARM goes off!!



/oymo
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Dr. Dam
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Re: Gulo Gulo - A Light Review
Thanks folks for the correction. My version was how I was taught, or at least understood it.

Correction made. Glad you are enjoying the light reviews.
 
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Julian Simpson
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Re: Gulo Gulo - A Light Review
I agree with other commentators that this, and the others in the series, are great reviews. I too feel guilty about quibbling but...

Quote:
Option 1 is to simply turn over the next tile in the path to reveal 1 of the 4 colours (yellow, green, blue or red). This is the type of coloured egg they must retrieve without being caught. Success will see that player move their Wolverine to the tile they revealed.


This is not quite right - you only move as far forward as the next tile of the colour that you turned over

The rules at

http://www.zoch-verlag.com/de/spiele/gulo/regel/e_content.ht...

If you manage to steal an egg of the chosen colour without causing EGG ALARM, your Gulo can jump forward until the next open yard tile of that colour (fig. 5). This means that you are never allowed to jump over a selected colour.

Fig.5: Now it is Philip's turn. He chooses to turn over the next face down yard tile. It happens to be a yellow one. After he manages to steal a yellow egg from the nest, he is not allowed to jump onto the just turned over tile, but only as far as the next yellow yard tile.


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Larry Welborn
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Re: Gulo Gulo - A Light Review
Quote:


This is not quite right - you only move as far forward as the next tile of the colour that you turned over

The rules at

http://www.zoch-verlag.com/de/spiele/gulo/regel/e_content.ht...

If you manage to steal an egg of the chosen colour without causing EGG ALARM, your Gulo can jump forward until the next open yard tile of that colour (fig. 5). This means that you are never allowed to jump over a selected colour.

Fig.5: Now it is Philip's turn. He chooses to turn over the next face down yard tile. It happens to be a yellow one. After he manages to steal a yellow egg from the nest, he is not allowed to jump onto the just turned over tile, but only as far as the next yellow yard tile.




This is correct and an important distinction. Without this rule, it would always be in a player's best interest to flip a tile and move as far forward as possible. With this rule, a player has to look at the board and decide if it is worth the risk to flip a tile that may benefit others more due to the tiles already face up.
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Mike Windsor
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Re: Gulo Gulo - A Light Review
Now that you know how wrong you've been playing all this time, do you feel like you were having any less fun?
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Dr. Dam
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Re: Gulo Gulo - A Light Review
No. I must admit that we were playing that last rule correct and I have mis-worded the mechanic in my review.

Thanks again for your eagle eyes. Edit made.
 
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