There’s a reason why gem or fruit matching, combo-based games are so popular on our digital devices. Creating combos and seeing the board change does something in our brain as we look for more opportunities to create combos. Kombo Klash is an animal themed, tile-laying game that brings a combo-tastic good time to your table.
Bring on the Combos
Kombo Klash is a new release from Hub Games that struck a cord with our family. This small square box contains a cloth game mat along with tiles that represent 8 different animal fighters. Each animal has a unique ability and a point value. Understanding each of these fighters abilities and when to play them is a big part of Kombo Klash.
Players will always start with a hand of 5 animal tiles. On your turn you can play some or all of the tiles in your hand, one at a time laying the new tile adjacent to another tile already in the play area. Ultimately during your turn you want to create and claim a combo to score points. Combos are created when 3 or more of the same animal tiles are adjacently connected. You can only claim one combo on your turn so it’s important not to leave combos on the board for other players to claim.
When you claim a combo, you’ll add the total value of all the tiles in the combo. Creating a combo with 4 Kangaroo’s (3 points a piece) will give you a 12 point score. You’re able to claim a single combo at any point during your turn which allows you to continue playing cards if it works in your favor.
When a combo is scored, those tiles are flipped face down. When the board is filled, the facedown tiles are swept away and play continues. Kombo Klash allows you to play a short game (60 points), medium length game (75 points) or a long game (100 points). The round ends once a player reaches the point threshold and the player with the most points wins.
The variety of abilities that the animal tiles have are excellent. Fighters usually have an optimum time to utilize their ability. Playing the wolf fighter will allows you to score a point for each tile you’re holding. Playing this tile first gives you 4 points immediately! The eagle fighter will let you flip a face down tile face up so it can be used in another combo. This is a great strategy for the player who remembers where specific tiles were placed on other players turns.
I love using the kangaroo fighter to move a tile to an adjacent space. The gorilla fighter allows you discard the tiles in your hand and redraw the same number of tiles you discarded. The chameleon fighter is super versatile since it can be part of any combo. The chameleon takes on the tile value of the other fighters in the combo. Each fighter has strategic value and finding the best combination on the board is really fun.
Kombo Klash really succeeds in making you think tactically as you place these tiles around the board. You feel like an absolute beast when you can use tiles to add more fighters to your hand and move the right fighters into place to score a big combo. While teaching a friend how to play, they immediately understood the gameplay because of games like Candy Crush that they’ve played on their phone.
A Rumble in the Jungle
The artwork is fun and cartoonish, perfect for playing with kids. The tiles are thick enough that they’ll hold up to lots of play but are slightly annoying to shuffle. We usually end up dumping the used tiles on the table and mixing them around the best we can. You’ll ultimately end up refilling the tile pool 4 to 6 times during the game.
I really appreciate the small box which means that Kombo Klash is going to travel with our family. Having a cloth mat as the game board allows it to be folded up into the small box and works really well as the play area for the tiles. The only issue is that I can never get it to lay flat. The creases in the cloth mat can make it frustrating as you move the player tokens around the board to keep score. It’s very normal to have a token slide off one of these creases and muddle the number of points that a player has. Lately we’ve been folding the mat inside out to work these creases out which seems to help.
We’ve been impressed with how quickly Kombo Klash made it into our family game time. Being able to choose the end game point value is great when playing a quick week night game or playing a longer game over a cup of coffee. The board fills up at a different pace depending on the number of players. There’s a slightly different strategy that comes with each of these player count.
If Kombo Klash sounds like it would be a good fit for your family or gaming group, do yourself a favor and pick it up today. This is another excellent release from Hub Games!
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
Unique fighter abilities all feel important
A person is rarely out of the game
Lots of replay-ability in a small box
Fun and vibrant illustrations really pop
Cloth mat is genius and frustrating at times