Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Helmut Ast


No. of Players:
2 - 4



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Like almost every three-year old child, my youngest son loves memory games. And - parents will know this feeling - I am always fascinated how good he is in this type of game. Even if he does not really seem to follow what happens on the table (so he stands up, walks around or tells me something totally different during the game) he will know where to find the cards in his next turn, and as a result I often lose the game even if I try to beat him.

Now, why am I telling you this? The reason is Ufo Farmer, a small game by GRANNA for the whole family. Indeed Ufo Farmer is a memory game, but it is not a typical one. It can drive you incredibly crazy, because you and the other players determine how difficult it becomes and if your opponents are mean, it can become very tricky. It is more than turning two cards and checking if they match, because you have to remember what you and your opponents have hidden under their three spaceships every new round.


In the game the players take the role of Aliens who have specialized in abducting a farmer's livestock. Horses, cows, sheep and rabbits are the targets of these intergalactic thieves and are placed as tokens in the middle of the table for set-up. Then, during each round, the players first place their spaceships over animals in the central stock. All spaceships look the same, so once placed they cannot be distinguished anymore. In a stepwise fashion this placement of spaceships is continued until all players have placed all their spaceships over an animal. So, at the end of the placement phase we are confronted with 9 (3 players) or 12 (4 players) spaceships in the middle of the table, hiding the animals they were put on.

Then it is time to return the spaceships to the bases. Again this is done in a clockwise manner, but now the players are not only allowed to take back their own spaceships (if at all they still remember which ones they had played) , but they can also chose another player's spaceship, if they think that they need the kind of animal it assumedly has loaded. When all spaceships have been taken back, each player will once again have three spaceships and their freight is revealed. The players may keep two animals if they got three of a kind, or one animal if they got three different species. However, no animals may be kept if they got two of a kind and one different animal.

Basically, this is the full mechanism of the game, but there is one more thing to be taken care of. Next to the useful animals there are two tokens representing a wolf. Unlike the other animals a wolf always escapes to the table. So it is quite useless, unless a player has collected animals of three different species (one of them a wolf). But of course it is always annoying if some other player has already taken a spaceship you had in mind and all that is left is probably a wolf.


Ufo Farmer is a very simple game, but it is pure fun playing it. To my mind it is a very nice family game, especially if it is used to replace classic Memory with a much more interesting playing mechanism. I made the experience that it also works for a group of grown-ups. On the one hand it can be explained and played very fast, so it is a perfect fill-in game due to its high fun level. On the other hand the moves of the other players will become much more nasty: a lot of children will place their spaceships on three identical animals, because they hope to return their own spaceships to their base, wheras grown-ups on the other hand often choose different animals and take back spaceships of other players, raining on their parades. Especially with the advanced level of scoring, when not only the number of collected animals but their squares are added up, this results in some interesting tactical decisions.

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