Out of Mine! is a tile-laying game from HUCH! & Friends. I did the Finnish translation and got a free copy because of that.
The game: Out of Mine! by Martin Nedergaard Andersen, published by HUCH! & Friends in 2014.
Elevator pitch: A tile-laying game like Ubongo where you must fill your board with tiles as fast as possible.
What’s in the box? Bunch of rectangular boards for the puzzles, lots of cardboard tiles to cover the boards with, a deck of cards and rules. Components are nice, simple and work well enough. The art is cute.
What do you do in the game? The goal is simple: a card dictates which tiles to use, and your goal is to pick the tiles from the middle of the table and cover the puzzle board with the tiles. The colours of the tiles determine their sizes, but it’s up to you to choose the shapes of the larger tiles so that you can complete the puzzle. Once the first player is done, everybody else must quit immediately.
The results are scored. Everybody gets ten points, the first one out gets a two-point bonus and everybody else loses a point for each uncovered space on their boards (boards have 20 spaces, so you need to cover half to score any points). There are also more complicated scoring rules, which add bonuses or penalties for placing particular tiles.
Repeat for a total of seven rounds, and you’re done.
Lucky or skillful? Too much skill. The fastest player will win, always. Since there’s no mercy and the round is immediately over when the first player is done, the fastest player will win.
Abstract or thematic? The game is quite abstract. The theme is just decoration. It’s a game about mining crystals, yet what do you actually do? You try to fill the mine with crystals. Go figure.
Solitaire or interactive? There’s some competition as the tiles come from a common pool, but that’s it.
Who can play? Age recommendation is 10+. From the rules, it’s too high. It’s a simple game, six-year-olds can play. However, in order to have fun, everybody needs to be equally skilled in the game. This just doesn’t work with mixed-level groups.
Length: no more than 20 minutes.
What’s to like: Simple rules; cute art; nice little puzzle.
What’s not to like: The puzzle is too easy; faster player will always win; the advanced scoring feels a bit inconsequential.
My verdict: Ubongo does this much better. Out of Mine! is not a bad game, but I’m not sure who I’d recommend it to. It looks like a family game, and the puzzles are very easy (especially compared to the more difficult Ubongo games), yet this just doesn’t work when adults try to play with children.
With just children, sure, why not – but even then you need to have children of equal skill, otherwise you’ll get tears and hurt feelings as the slower players just don’t have a chance.
I like the puzzle in the game, but I just can’t play it in a meaningful way. Ubongo is a much better game, and I can’t play it enough to justify owning it, so Out of Mine! just doesn’t have a chance.