Karuba – Game of the Week
Family games have an important niche in our hobby. Gamers with children will inevitably want, or be asked, to play games with their kids. It’s only natural, the hardest part about tabletop gaming is actually getting people together. With your family, you have a captive audience in the same house.
Once kids are old enough, most parents will probably try and ween their kids off the mass market games like Monopoly and Life. There are just so many better games out there that I have no desire to even own a copy of those anymore. The key is to find a game that will be easy enough for younger people to learn, yet still have enough meat to entertain even a seasoned gamer. Our newest Game of the Week is one such game.
Karuba, published by HABA USA, is a tile laying game that is both highly accessible and also very entertaining. In fact, Karuba was nominated for the coveted Spiel des Jahres, the prestigious german game of the year award.
What is it?
Karuba is a tile laying game where players are trying to race their team of adventurers to four different temples to collect artifacts. The game play is deviously simple. One player draws a random tile, and each other player pulls the same tile from their stack. Placement follows normal tile placing rules, yet each player can place their tile on their board anywhere they see fit. So while everyone stats with the exact same layout, and places the same tiles, each player is free to devise their own strategies for tile placement and movement.
Why should you play it?
Besides the fact that it’s incredibly fun, I also liked how clever Karuba’s rules are. I love that everyone is placing the same tiles, yet in their own determined places. As the game unfolds, you can watch everyone’s strategies start to take form. It’s a perfect balance of “you get what you make of it”, as everyone has the same information, tiles, and setup. In Karuba, the person with the best strategy is the one to win.
I’ve played Karuba with gamers and non-gamers alike and everyone has enjoyed it’s accessible nature, minimal downtime, and quality components. HABA is mostly known for kids games, but every now and then they brach out and surprise us with a game we can play without the youngsters. Karuba shows that HABA is more than a one trick pony.