Review – Sabobatage (3rd Edition)

I'm tellin' all y'all, I didn't miss-spell sabotage...

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Designer Eric Chen

Artist Jesus de Ubaidis

Publisher Eric Chen

Category Card Game

Length 15-30 minutes

Release Date 2021 (1st Edition)

Player Count 2-5

Sabobatage is a 2-5 player card game where each player is running their own Boba shop and trying to make 5 drinks before anyone else. Players can play ingredients or use action cards to help themselves or hinder opponents’ progress. It ends up feeling like a cross between Exploding Kittens and Monopoly Deal, both fun card games in their own rights. But is it fun to sling boba and mess with rival shops? Read on for the review!

Review

On each turn, players draw 2 cards (3 if they’ve finished 2 or more drink sets) and play 3 cards. The action cards almost all either steal cards or remove them from your opponent’s play area, or add more cards to your hand (or both). The ingredients come in 3 types: Teas, Flavors, and Toppings, which can be placed down in any order. There are a couple specific combos that will or won’t work based on if you’re making a milk or fruit-based drink, but for the most part, if you have one of each kind, you’ll be okay. There’s also a special drink that can be made with just 2 cards: Taro and a Milk card, which can also be a Wild ingredient instead of Milk. Players can also only have 7 active drink sets in front of them, so as players make and finish drinks they are forced to decide what’s worth putting down in front of them. 

That’s all there is to it, which makes Sabobatage a great game to pull out when playing with kids or “non” gamer types, or if you just need an in-between game to kill 10-20 minutes. You can even lower the game time by making it 4 drinks to win instead of 5, as per the rulebook. The strategy is simple enough to grasp but still be fun for everyone, and the cute art makes it so even when you’re losing ingredients or getting destroyed by a 7-year -old it’s hard to be mad about. 

I still don’t know if I understand giving players more cards once they get 2 drinks done; it feels a bit like giving someone the Super Star when they’re in 1st on MarioKart. I haven’t experimented with this yet, but it almost feels like maybe the people who haven’t made 2 or more drinks should be drawing more cards than the people winning. Also, the game oddly only includes 2 drink menus to explain everything, even though it’s a 2-5 player game and not cooperative. Minor annoyance overall, but usually you include enough player aids to go around to all the players without forcing anyone to share. 

In the end, Sabobatage is a game I’ll definitely be reaching for the next time I need to fill a small amount of time or introduce someone new to the hobby. The cute art, low entry for rules and setup, and easy-to-understand rules make it a prime candidate for new players. Just… stay away from my Peach Black tea, okay? 

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

The Bottom Line

A cute, light strategy card game that is great for playing with either non-gamers, kids, or filling time between big games.

 

6.5

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Author: Andrew Borck

Christian/Husband/Dad/Gamer/Writer/Master Builder. Jesus saves and Han shot first.