Gaming the Globe – Ubi

ASSIGNMENT: Answer cryptic geography/history questions

As part of this series, I will also be focusing on games that cover the entire globe. Aside from games inspired from real locations, there are also some great trivia games that help teach general geography, and are great for all ages. Oh yeah, they’re fun too.

“Ubi how to ubi”…Make sense? In this quirky trivia game, players try to provide locational answers to riddle-like questions in order to be the first to complete their pyramid of knowledge. The game comes with a reticle which you move over the map to answer the questions in a number/letter format. The map has a hexagonal grid that is numbered and the reticle breaks it even further into lettered triangles so you can answer with “Triangular Precision”. Each time you are able to answer down to the correct triangular letter for the 4 areas of the map, you can build a piece of your pyramid. Once you have all 4 sides, you try to answer a final question for the win.

Check it out. Below is an example of how the questions are phrased. See how many you can get, then check the bottom of this post for the answers.

Here is the humongous map:

Talk about a quirky game! Ubi is so weird, even if I disliked it, I might keep it around for the novelty factor. There are thousands of trivia games out there, but this is the only one I’m aware of where you first have to solve the riddle of what the question is even asking. They range from fairly straightforward to cryptic. This and the weird component design is what sets it apart for me. It’s not an amazing game, but the unique questions that you must answer by manually sliding the reticle to geographic precision really appeals to me as a geographer. It’s a good challenge.

Here is the Reticle viewer that you slide over the map. So you can see, for a normal question, you must simply get the larger hexagonal area correct, but for “Triangular Precision”, you must get it correct down to the letter! Can be pretty tough.

Completing your ubi pyramid:

Now here’s the part of the game that befuddles me. So it’s hard enough already, then they attempt to screw you with these occasional random “Caesar’s Ghost” cards that wipe out all your progress. We have house-ruled this out of the game. Ridiculous.

OK, how do you feel about your answers from above? I would say just getting 1 of them correct is a win, and no shame even if you knew 0!

Ubi was released in 1986, so it’s been Out of Print for many years, but check it out on Amazon (click below):

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