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This could almost be the game of the classic Judy Garland song. In Kobito, you're not just chasing rainbows, you're creating them: 'painting' them using coloured cards. However, this is no mere aesthetic exercise. You're really after those pots of gold that Leprechauns plant at the end of every rainbow.

In Robert Brouwer's Kobito, with art by James Churchill, players have a hand of five cards that refills to five at the end of each turn. Tho' the theme is about colouring rainbows, you're actually only really interested in the numbers on the cards rather than their Pantone colours. The cards need to be played in sequence on the rainbows by each of the three pots of gold on the table. However, each rainbow can only be of a certain length (number of cards) and it's the player who plays the card that completes that length who wins the pot of gold.

As well as or instead of playing cards to a rainbow, you can choose to play a run of at least two cards in front of you to create, in effect, 'personal rainbow' reserves. Do this and you can set yourself to snatch a pot of gold on maybe your next turn. There's a push-your-luck risk tho' in building 'personal rainbows': on every turn you must play at least one card from your hand plus a card from your hand for every 'personal rainbow' you have on the table. If you cannot play the number of cards due, then you must add cards to create a negative score pile that'll deduct points from the total value of the pots of gold with which you end the game. Every colour card you have in your score pile at the end of the game will take 3 points off your score.

Kobito takes 2-6 players - tho' we much preferred it at the higher player counts (4+). Tho' it's certainly very playable as a two-player game, the end-game condition of exhausting almost the entire deck of pot-of-gold cards may make the game seem overlong for some. There are some special cards, including leprechauns that act as wild cards, and a lucky draw of a leprechaun can be a very valuable aid - swingy to the extent that you might want to try a variant where you fillet them out of the deck to make those 'personal rainbows' that much more risky.

There's a lot to enjoy in this push-your-luck open drafting card game. The mechanics reminded us of Coloretto (Abacusspiele) but Kobito has its own distinctive feel and appeal. In fact it's reminiscent too of Patience, the traditional solitaire game played with conventional playing cards, so much so that we were surprised that publishers Jolly Dutch haven't included a solo option in the rules. Who will be the first to devise some solo rules to add to BoardGameGeek?

#Kobito #rainbows #leprechauns #Coloretto #JollyDutch #opendrafting #cardgame

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