Updated: Nov 24, 2020
#Karuba is a fun little racing game with one annoying problem… It’s only 4 Player! My regular gaming group is five or on occasion six strong, which means that Karuba, a perfect weight tile laying game for them cannot hit the table. And the only reason Karuba can’t be played 5 player is component limitation. Please #Haba, please make a 5 or 5 - 6 player expansion so I can play with my friends…
Erm… That was a little unexpected.
Right, on with the show. Karuba then is a tile laying game where the object of the game is for the players to get their adventurers, which come in four different colours to the corresponding coloured temple and claim the treasure. The first player to get to a temple gets a bigger treasure. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
The fun of Karuba is that each player has the same adventures and temples in the same places so they are all trying to solve the same puzzle.
Each turn the lead player draws a tile and the other players all find that same tile in their piles. They can then either place the tile into their tableau, connecting their adventures to their temples or they can use it to move their adventurers along the paths on their tableau.
Because each player is drawing the same tile they are each trying to solve the same puzzle in what ends up being wildly different ways. Your first few draws will definitely be placed into your tableau, but then do you start moving your adventurer? Do you stop to pick up gold and crystals along the way or race home for the big treasure.
Soon everyone’s boards will look entirely different despite the fact that we’ve all been offered the exact same set of choices. And that is what appeals to me most about Karuba. It’s like completing a crossword puzzle but you can write the answers down in any order you want. We all get to the same place at the end of the puzzle but how we got there is completely different.
Karuba then is a gorgeous little production, with simple rules and simple strategies that plays well with children and adults. It just wish it went up to 5!