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Cobra Paw

Players: 2-6

Age: 6+

Teaching Time: 2 mins

Playing Time: 5-15 mins

Setup Time: 0

Value For Money: Mid

Luck: High

Complexity: Low

Strategy: Low

Price: £15

Recommended: No


The problem with Cobra Paw is, frankly, the same problem with being able to review it in that if I describe how its played there would be little or no point in you ever buying it. Players take turns rolling two dice then trying to snatch whichever domino matches those two dice, including those previously snatched by other players, first to have 5 dominoes wins.

The game's production values are extremely high, the dominoes are beautiful looking and feel satisfyingly chunky and nicely shaped, its dice are huge and nice to roll and the designs are distinct and colourful. The box and rules are full of fun references to the games supposed Cat-Kung-Fu background and are packed with jolly if silly cat and kung-fu puns and comments. Which is all good because there is pretty much no reason to buy the game aside from these production values.

In the unlikely event you don't own two dice and a set of dominoes already you should be able to pick them up for a couple of units of local currency, so your paying £10 for the production value alone. Its not £50 and if you're ok with that there are more unreasonable price tags around for less. My problem is that you might be unaware what it is that you're spending your money on until after it is spent.

Its quite ironic that this was made by the Bananagrams people given that that game is so portable and consists of a set of simple, unique components when a lot of what you're paying for here is the game's un-portability. I've read one review of Cobra Paw that suggested they do away with the odd and tricky to store hexagonal box in favour of a fabric bag or hard plastic carry case for what is clearly a quick travel game. Which would make the game better but would make for a tough decision to sell. On a side note the fact that the size and complexity of a box these days is usually chosen as an advert to claim shelf space I always feel embittered to open a box and find it 60% inlay as though I've just spent £10 advertising the game to myself.

Cobra Paw is simple and fun for a half hour or so. It has a few game variations but they don't significantly extend the playing time and while it comes with a price tag that isn't huge it does seem hard to justify given the actual game play content.

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