As we come to the end of our reviews of board games, donated to us for the NHS and Evelina Childrens Hospital, we thank everyone involved in our venture. We will launch a dedicated game site shortly! 

Bulging animal muscles, wicked killer combos, being able to play as the beasts of the land, air and well…Australia! All sounds fun enough. So it is up to us to play KOMBO KLASH, a game of wild animals fighting out to see who is the ultimate victor! It is brand, spanking new. So new in fact that its sheen is still visible on the box and on the intra web! So we can truly ask the questions that matter. Is it more than just a tile placement game for those who like there animals super charged? Or is it a kids game, easier than need be and boring by that very indication? Let us find out!


The box work for KOMBO gains a lot from being both bright and strenuously engaged in its executed. They know their audience and I for one think the A and R team have created a coup. It has used the action film format from the 00s to perfection. It reminded me of the game KING OF TOKYO. That had an equally clever box, inspired by Godzilla. Inside the box is a manual, overly detailed and sucks the fun out of the game. Then a heap of tiles. These become your playing tools and as such they are a little simple but that’s the key often. A small yellow mat is the play areana. Good quality. Then under this is the small score marker tokens. Cool as they are different shapes. Praise the lord they get this is so helpful!


Shuffle the tiles. SHUFFLE THEM WELL!!!! You will understand as a key component, they need to be well shuffled. Kombo Klash is a tactical tile-laying and combo-scoring game that uses the tiles only to denote this. Now there are no differing rules from 2-4 players, so this covers all variations. Place the shuffled tiles face down in the centre of the now laid down mat. Take the top four tiles and place them face up in each corner. Deal 5 tiles to each player, everyone chooses a colour scoring icon and places it on the scoring track around the mat. Finally, before we play, choose a number that players need to reach. We suggest for beginners 60 or 50 points. Then shuffle the guide cards and deal them to each player. The one with a one in the corner starts! Players can place matching tiles to those on the board corners or add new ones to the squares near the centre. Each scores points if their are matching ones next to it or you have an appropriate tile. Each also has additional skills. Use the raven to summon extra tiles, score bonuses by adding wolves to the Klash,  shifts animals across the board with the kangaroo to replace them, Manipulate tiles with the alligators and the vulture lets you score from old tiles or steal them back into your hand by playing hypnotic snake. Though if all else fails use the gorilla to clear tiles. If you need other tiles but have none, use the chameleon, who can do anything and everything! You score by using combos (sorry Kombos!). Flip tiles over once scored and remove if too many on the board. These points add up and the game ends once you reach that goal.


Well the children among us loved the art work, the simple mechanics and the very well outlined guide cards. Step by Step by Step is detailed and simple. They also loved the illustrations, that are both cartoonish in an anime style but also serve the energy of the game many battles. For others, like say the adults, well they enjoyed the memory tests of what was there and here and there and anywhere. You find that this becomes a game of memory more than a combat game if you are like me, past 30.


So the chief problem is the simplicity of the game. After a few games, play is dull and less rewarding. The kids enjoyed it but as the adults mustered up the energy to battle again, they become more and more disengaged with the process. I suspected and voiced that we were not its target audience but other players suggested that kids would tire after a short while of the games visible lack of cut and thrust.


It is unfair to suggest that KOMBO KLASH is style over substance or a marketing ploy gone extreme. “Nero” Ondrej Sova game is energetic, has mechanical intelligence and visual appeal. It is however let down by that frankly weak play and replay ability. Revisits are rare after the initial burst of excitement and I fear that those who buy now, seduced by the art work and dreams of combat glory, will come to regret the games purchase and that shiny orange box cartoon conflict characters.





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