Wombat Kombat Card Game Preview
WBG Score: 7
Player Count: 2-5
You’ll like this if you like: Flourish, Tucano, Jaipur,
Published by: NeoTroy Games
Designed by: Arif Nezih Savi
This preview is based on a final demo copy. All material is final bar a few minor rule tweaks you can see here.
Wombat Kombat is coming to kickstarter in May 2022. The game pits you against your friends, in a set-collection game, with fighting Wombats! You job is to collect as much square shaped poo, (yes, Wombats do indeed poo in squares for reel!) to become the victor.
The game works very simply with each playing drawing three cards each turn. You can do this from the draw pile, or from the face up discard pile if there are any wombat cards there that take your fancy. You can then take one action such as laying cards down in sets, at least one more than any other player has done so for that set. Before finally discarding one card. Instead of laying sets you can also play food cards to boost your current sets, attack cards to reduce your opponents sets, or attack another player.
Attacking consists of choosing three cards from your hand and then adding up their combined attack score. You will then roll the attack dice and compare this to your chosen opponents defence score and roll from the defence dice. Players can then add bonus cards if required. The winner can choose one of their attack cards to move into the deck of glorious wombats. Your victorious fighters that earn you three points at the end of the game. The other two cards will go back into your hand. You can then choose one card from your opponents three defeated fighters to add to your hand, one to flip over and leave in their area to score them negative points at the end of the game, and then they can take the final card back into their hand. You will also then take three poo from them (if they have it) and roll the event dice.
The event dice will then trigger one of three decks to add either an end game, immediate or continuous scoring option or rule change. From these cards, you will also have already drawn one from each of the end game and continuous piles at the start of the game.
When you lay your sets, some cards have extra powers such as the 4 card above. These allow you to either take an extra card from the top of the deck, discard a card from another players sets, take a card from another players hand, get three poo; or as is the case above, take any card from the discard pile.
The game runs until either the draw pile is exhausted or one player lays enough sets to trigger the end game based on the player count. As such, games are fast, franatic, and fun!
The main engine in Wombat Kombat is the set-collection, but the twist being the set size and how this interacts with other players. If one player laid two cards of the same type, they would then score points based on the value of one of these cards at the end of the game. However, if a player later plays the same cards but in a higher card count, the first player will then need to flip their cards and add them to their burrow, which scores them negative points per card at the end of the game. This is set-collection with a sort of area-majority twist!
Each card has a different points value, which also represents the number of cards of that type in the game. So, the more points a card may be worth, the higher chance another player may have to force you to flip it buy creating a larger set of their own. Do, you go for quick sets to end the game, or larger sets to ensure the likelihood they get flipped is reduced? DO you go for higher value sets that other may be able to more easily beat you on? Or aim for lower value cards that you can defend more easily but score lower points?
The attack and food cards, like everything in this game, are brightly illustrated and clearly labelled. This game is very family friendly. I played with my children (6 and 9) and they immediately were able to play on their own afterwards. It is a very simple, but fun concept.
The fact that the game is scored in poo, and the poo is cube shaped... well, that will have every kid in stiches too! It led to a fun and educational conversation in our household about different animal poos, which I suppose was a good thing! But also created a lot of laughter! It does make the take-that a little easier to take for kids as well when they can say, "fine, have my poo!"
Playing Wombat Kombat is a lot of fun! I enjoyed the simple rule set and fast nature of the games. We found a three player game typically took 20-30 minutes, and a two player a little quicker. Four player was more like 30 minutes, and we did not try the five player count.
There are also some action cards in the deck. They are all self explanatory, but some do have a lot of text so this may need some help for younger players. But other that this, and they could always be taken out, I would say this game easily plays from 5 and up.
I thought that Wombat Kombat brought a fun and fresh idea to set-collection games, that will land well with families. The card art is great fun, and my children enjoyed playing with the cards after the game, creating their own little armies and creating stories about them all. There are Wombats of both genders too, which my daughter particularly enjoyed.
I think this game will stand out due to the fun name, art, and theme. Wombat Kombat does not necessarily bring anything hugely new to the table, but what it does have in abundance is a sense of humor, simple rule set, great art, and a smooth fast gameplay your kids will enjoy.