Wednesday, 15 May 2013


A group of explorers set out into Africa to further investigate a newly discovered species. Kalimambo is a fantastic family/kids game for 3-7 players from Zoch Verlag. Playing takes 30 minutes or less, it is suggested for 8+ and is completely language neutral other than the very simple rules. Kalimambo was on the 2012 Spiel des Jahres recommendations list.

Enough about the specifications, lets talk about the actual game.


1. Each player takes a set of movement cards that match the color of her explorer.
Important to note that even Kali gets a deck of movement carsds.

2. One player places Mambo on a space on the track that circles the game board
3. Then all of the explorer tokens placed in random order in front of it
4. Kali is now placed at the head of the line, his black movement cards are shuffled and placed face down beside the board.
5. Place the dung heaps along the movement track with some space between them.


The objective of Kalimambo is very simple, its golf scoring, when the game ends you want to have the least amount of points. 

Playing the game:

Playing Kalimambo is as simple as its objective, every turn players simutaniously select one of the cards from his/her explorer's deck of movement cards, then all players turn over their cards at once. Starting with the highest number, players move to the front of the explorer line. If there is a tie, the furthest player from the front moves first. 

How do you gain Points?

Gaining points is bad, and often unavoidable because of the luck factor. There are 2 ways that you gain points, either getting rammed from behind by Mambo the Rhino, or Stepping in a big steamy pile of Rhino poo. 

Stepping into poop is as straightforward as it is in real life, it sucks but you wipe it off and keep going, stepping, falling, tripping, sliding, jumping and landing in anyway in poo scores you 3 points.
Poop is bad.

Getting bumped from a charging Rhino on the other hand is a little more of a pain...But seriously this is where  you can score many points, remember scoring points is bad in this game.


Whenever Kali or an explorer token leave the space immediately in front of Mambo, the rhino charges, moving until it rams into the token in back of the line and giving that player as many penalty points as the number of spaces Mambo ran.

There are now 4 spaces between Mambo and the back of
the explorer line, so the player who gets rammed would
score 4 points.

As you can see in the pictures above, sometimes Kali will get rammed, similarly, Kali will occasionally step in Rhino dung. When this happens, it is not Kali who scores the points, but the player who played the lowest value card. 
The lowest value card in this instance is the Red player's 0
However if you exclude his card, the Orange player is tied with
Kali, ties are always broken by whichever player started
 FURTHEST from the front of the Explorer line. 


Kalimambo is clearly aimed at kids, the silly theme, the bright cool colours, stepping in poop, the simple rules, being an explorer, but the amazing component piece included in Kalimambo is the board. The artwork is absolutely phenomenal, fun silly cartoon drawn animals that are all found in Africa make up the spaces around the board and they are awesome to look at. 

Who Would Enjoy Playing Kalimambo? 
Family Gamers: Although there is little replay value for the parents, Kalimambo is one of those games that kids can play entirely on their own, that being said it is worth a couple play throughs and if you do play Kalimambo with adults its almost like a bluffing game with lots of card counting. Every wee one I have showed Kalimambo to adores it, I would say yes to Kalimambo if you have any desire for your kids to play board games. Most importantly Kalimambo gets kids to think in an easy strategical way, do I need to play a higher or lower number right now, is it more important to avoid the poop or make certain to not get rammed, etc. Kalimambo makes a great family and kids game. 

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