“Kooba” is an interesting new game which will quickly get the attention of both kids and adults. It has similarities to a game of darts, but it is so much more. “Kooba” arrives in a specially designed game box, that also serves as a carrying case, including a built in handle (using two of the game pieces). The game includes a large magnetic game board measuring approximately 23″ square that easily attaches to any flat surface, either indoors or outdoors. There are also 2 black metal sticks, used for launching, each about 22″ in length with a diameter just under ⅜”. The other game pieces include 3 Aeros, which are the triangular magnetic devices used to send a Kooba shot towards the game board, 4 magnetic markers and 1 magnetic Kooba.
Before taking a Kooba shot, players must first hang the game board. The designers have placed a sturdy rubberized hole in the center top of the game board, and we used a 3M Command™ general purpose hook to attach it to a wooden cabinet door in a garage. Next, we measured 4 “stick” lengths back from the game board and marked the spot on the floor, which approximated a distance of about 7′ 4″ from the board. With the game now in place, it was time to try a few Kooba shots. To do this, we faced the target from the marked spot, placed one of the Aeros inside both sticks (red side facing shooter), extended both arms straight out with elbows locked, and then by pulling the sticks toward us in opposite directions the Aero was launched directly at the game board. Or at least it would be after a few practice shots. Once we got the hang of launching the aeros, they stuck to the magnetic game board, and we were ready to play an actual game.
The game board is black and yellow and includes a huge yellow center “eye” and four runs leading out of the eye, one for each of 4 players (2-4 can play). Each of the runs contains 5 black circular spaces and a larger round home space. To play the basic game of “Kooba,” players first place one of the magnetic markers on their home space, and the magnetic Kooba directly in the center of the eye. Next, players alternate turns launching all three Aeros, one at a time, trying to tag the eye and score. To tag the eye, the Aero must overlap the eye. When this occurs, that player can move his marker up one space on his run. Once a player successfully reaches the end of his run, he is in a locked position and moves his marker to a specially marked locked space. Once locked, the player must tag the “Kooba” to be declared the winner. During the game, players can attack another player’s run (until that player is locked) and send markers back toward home. If at any time, a player is lucky enough to ring the Kooba (cover it perfectly with an Aero), he automatically wins the game.
The Toys Bulletin staff played “Kooba” for 5-10 hours over a two week period. It did take a bit of practice to gain confidence and improve one’s accuracy, but once we did, the games became quite competitive and loads of fun. We generally played with 4 players, but the 2 player contests were equally challenging. Once we got our act together, we generally completed a game in less than 30 minutes. There are also several other alternative games that can be played with the same board and game pieces, including “Kooba Baseball,” and “Kooba Derby.” We especially enjoyed the baseball game, which can be played by as many as 20 players at the same time, and includes hits, outs and even home runs. “Kooba Derby” was a challenging “around the world” type of contest with players having to complete specific tags before moving on.
It should be noted that the “Kooba” game components are each made of the finest materials and this game certainly qualifies as one of the highest quality products we have reviewed in some time. Couple that with the unique and fun nature of “Kooba,” and this will have broad appeal across all age groups, likely becoming a real family favorite. The retail price of “Kooba” is $69.00 and it can be purchased directly from the Kooba website. While there, be sure to watch the “how to” videos to see “Kooba” in action.