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Subject: UMCR Ginny-Kub Review: The child of Scrabble and Rummi-Kub rss

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Nick Van Dam
United States
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I received a copy of Ginny-Kub as a gift from a friend. He had come across it and knew of my board game hobby, and suspected I might like it.
Now I like Rummikub and have had a history with Words with Friends so scrabble is an ok game too. So what is it like when the two are combined?

- The components are quite good considering the game was made in the 70s. The tiles are smaller than my Rummikub tiles from the same era, but are made of the same sturdy bake lite. Unlike Rummikub the tiles are two different shades, which suggests to me that they are meant to differentiate the two "decks of cards".
- The board is of ok quality and communicates what it needs to well. There is one exception which is the legend which describes the special marks, the text here is exceptionally small and hard to read. The overall appearance of the board really reminds me of a scrabble board.
- The game also comes with some tile stands to hold your hand of 7 tiles.

Game Play

The object of the game is to score the most points. This is accomplished through the placing of tiles. Like scrabble tiles are placed on the board in groups covering up squares which provides the player points. Instead of words the player is forming straights and sets.

Each player begins with 7 randomly drawn tiles. The player whose turn it is draws an additional tile. They then place tiles, or discard a tile. After placing any tiles they then draw back up to 7 tiles. A turn may be used to discard any number of tiles and drawing back up to 7. One thing that is different from scrabble is that there are several start spaces on the board instead of just one.

Our experience

The game starts our rather slow as the initial sets and melds can be difficult to form. The sets are drastically more valuable and helpful in laying down tiles. At about the middle of the game it picks up as there are more opportunities to lay tiles down, but toward the end it stalls a bit and ends in a crawl as the board becomes crowded.

- It is nicely made
- It is very easy to explain and understand
- Players will be familiar with the games that inspired it, and so to non-gamers it is a less intimidating option.
- The boards special spaces, and the tiles are clear and easy to read/understand.
- The choice to place extra start spaces really helps the game and was a smart choice.

- The pacing of the game isn't the best, as it is slow at the beginning and end.
- The small print on the legend of the board is difficult to read
- The look of the game is quite dated.

Response to Cons
- There are some good moments around mid game, but this is just a consequence of the board becoming crowded, and the limited ways to use tiles.
- This could be a pro for some, just not me.

Final Thoughts

Ginny-Kub is ok, but not a great game. Unfortunately I have to rate the games that inspire it higher. Scrabble allows for more variation in the use of tiles because words are infinitely more variable than runs and sets. Rummikub is a better use of the tiles because of the adjustment and readjustment which is not allowed in this game.
While I didn't hate playing this game, it just isn't as much fun as either of the other two. Because of the pacing problems, and the lack of stellar moments...

I rate this game a 4/10

An interesting idea, but just not that great.

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