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Review: Gloobz

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Gloobz_BoxCover

Splickety splork! Slop and sloob!

Er… um. Gloobz. More gloobz!

What?

Now that I’ve lost all semblance of professionalism, here’s my review of the very silly, very grabby high-speed Gloobz.

How It Plays

At the center of the table sit three colorless monsters, three paint buckets (red, yellow, and blue), and one creature that combines aspects of all the others.

Someone flicks at the next card with their thumb, ready to draw it. “More gloobz,” they say.

They flip the card.

Gloobz_WholeBoard
No seriously, MORE gloobz.

Players must quickly determine which monster and which color has the most presence. Are there more cone monsters, or more spherical ones? Is it red or yellow, or are they the same? (For the above picture, that would be the blue paint can and the round/furry gloobz)

Alternatively, the card-flipper might have said “Less Gloobz” and you’d calculate just the opposite – which gloobz show up the least, or not at all?

You make a frantic snatch, trying to be the first to get your hands on the correct colors and monsters, but you lose points if you grab anything incorrectly. Don’t even try to sneak them back, you rogue!

Oh, and if the card happens to have a magnifying glass? Every item is fair game. Get a point for every single thing you grab, there is no wrong answer, regardless of what madame card-flipper said. On the other hand, if it depicts even one of the multi-colored, multi-shaped, multi-talented master Gloobz? Well, it’s that and only that one to grab, and he/she/it is worth 3 points, so there you have it.

Game ends when one player reaches a certain point total, depending on the number of players.

there are gloobz everywhere
there are gloobz everywhere

Gibbity Gorb and glop?

For some reason, I imagine the gloobz to have a Minion-esque language by which they speak to each other, perhaps mocking the players failures or expressing their fear of the giant meatbags grabbing at them. Gloobz is obviously on the sillier end of gaming experiences, from the goofball name, colorful design, and cute little creatures. It’s important to take a game like this in the spirit of which it is presented, and if you do it’s pretty hilarious, and it can be pretty fun.

This game threw me off at first, because of the visual design. Everything about it screams “kids game!” from the bright primary colors to the soft plastic pieces and cutesy monsters. It might make you think it’s something simplistic and maybe kinda dumb. But it’s not. It’s not exactly a kid’s game, either.

Oh, the rules aren’t too complicated, but the younger kids might have trouble actually keeping up with the grabbing. It’s all about counting and reacting, and it can get frustrating for a younger kid not to get anything. It may be best to keep kids games with similar ages. Or, maybe just make them practice a whole lot.  When I played with kids that had too much of an age gap, it was awkward, and there was some frustration on the part of the youngest player; fortunately, she was a good sport, and she even said she had fun. The cute little monsters go a long way, at least. Your mileage may vary depending on your kids and how you play the game.

Paint by numbers
Paint by numbers

Once you get a bit older, though, you’ll have quite the competition on your hands.

This game is best played with a lighthearted atmosphere. Too serious, and people will get frustrated. It is a goofy game – you’re trying to grab these squishy monsters based on bizarre criteria that hurt your brain because they make you think weirdly, especially when you’re just getting used to it. You kinda have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, but if you’ve got a bunch of people looking for a long night of strategy games it might be tough to get them into it.

Anyway, you’ve got a group, it’s late, people are tired, maybe getting a little slap happy, and that’s when you pull out Gloobz. The game has some remarkable similarities to Ghost Blitz, and if you’ve played that you’ll definitely have a strong sense of familiarity. Ghost Blitz is actually simpler, as far as rules go – you just flip a card and determine the object to be grabbed. Gloobz has a lot more exceptions, for better or worse.

So many gloobz
So many gloobz

The biggest difference (aside from the component design) is that there are almost always multiple objects to grab. With the exception of Master Gloobz cards (or boss gloobz, or whatever you want to call it), you at least have one monster and one color. When there are ties, that adds even more to the mix. That gives more chances to score points. Sure, someone might snag all the targets in one go, but more often than not the points get split. Slower thinkers have a chance to go after the forgotten item, say if two people go for the same monster at once. The game just wants you to score some points.

The monsters are just different enough to be able to tell apart, but just similar enough that it’s often tricky and sometimes confusing. It tends to throw people off; but that’s the game. It messes with your head.

Gloobz also gives the drawing player influence over which gloobz is grabbed. Not that you know what you’re asking for ahead of time, but the chance to say More or Less gloobz keeps the game unpredictable, and you can’t memorize cards after playing a lot. You’ve got to get your head in the right mindset each time, which leaves plenty of room for mistakes.

Aren't you surprised!
Aren’t you surprised!

The magnifying glass and master gloobz cards help out as well. The magnifying glass cards are great equalizers; they give just about everyone some chance to score some points. Rarely does one person scoop up everything, and this is the chance for slower players to get something.

The Master Gloobz is another equalizer but in the opposite direction. You get used to ignoring that little dude, so when he shows up you frequently get people still trying to quickly count normal gloobz and then grabbing the wrong ones. I’ve often seen the players with the lowest points snag the Master Gloobz just because they were slower. They wouldn’t get the correct normal gloobz, but that second of extra time staring at the card often is the time they need to catch the master gloobz and snag him. Or her. Or it, whatever it is.

All of these exceptions do add a little bit to the learning curve. Everyone I’ve taught this game to has spent time in confusion over what exactly to grab and when. Your first game, you might want to just play a few rounds, or to five or ten points or something like that so people can get used to it. Then you can call it a wash and start over with everyone on more even footing.

Here comes the gloobz
Here comes the gloobz

The scoring wheels are convenient (although a bit flimsy and easy to accidentally spin off the correct number), but on the other hand it’s very easy to be aware of just how far you’re falling behind. Ghost Blitz tracks your points by the stack of cards you’ve claimed, which is easier to hide your full count. Still, at least no one can steal your points in Gloobz, even if you can lose them to the ether.

There is always hope of catching up, though. Even the best player can have a brain freeze, and at the right moment you can land a boatload of points. Anyway, it’s just a goofy game, and it’s more fun if you don’t worry so much about the points.

One thing I do feel the game’s rules are missing? Any instructions etiquette as far as the game goes. I had to create a house rule that you could only grab with one hand and that players had to stand back a little bit. Everyone’s eager to be obnoxious and stick their hands in the way to try and block other people, which felt against the spirit of the game. When I played with kids, some of them thought it was clever to flip the cards slowly facing themselves first so they got a good head start, so I had to quickly nix that practice. There’s no written rules regarding any of this stuff, so you’ll have to do what you must in your group.

Everybody gloobz!
Everybody gloobz!

All that aside, with the right group, at the right point in the game night, it’s just silly fun. Not a deep thinky game, but it does exercise your brain. Not a grand test of mastery and skill, but a goofy, gloobzy race. It’s a pretty decent diversion, whether you win or lose. I won’t always pick this game first at any game night (or at all) but for it’s size and weight and silliness, it carries some weight.

iSlaytheDragon would like to thank Gigamic for providing a review copy of Gloobz.

  • Rating 8.0
  • User Ratings (2 Votes) 8.5
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Summary

Pros

Quick set up
Adorable components
Quick and easy and silly
Only takes about 20 minutes
Pretty portable

Cons

Skill gaps can result in frustration
Somewhat flimsy scoring wheels
Lots of exceptions for this size of game makes it a little harder to explain than I'd like

8.0 Very Good

Futurewolfie loves epic games, space, and epic games set in space. You'll find him rolling fistfuls of dice, reveling in thematic goodness, and giving Farmerlenny a hard time for liking boring stuff.

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