SNAP Review – CABO
CABO is for 2-4 players, ages 8 and up. A full game takes about 45 minutes, but it’s played in rounds, so you can easily make the game shorter.
How to Play
Deal each player four cards face-down. Players may look at only two of their own cards.
On your turn, you may draw a card from the deck or from the discard pile. When drawing from the deck, you peek at its value, then choose whether to use its ability, discard it, or replace one (or more) of your own cards. When drawing from the discard pile, you may only use it to replace your own card(s). Cards drawn from the discard pile will stay face-up.
The goal of CABO is to have the lowest score (sum of the values of all your cards) when someone calls “CABO”. After calling “CABO”, each other player gets one more turn, then scores are calculated.
If you’ve ever played the classic card game Golf, CABO might sound familiar. The numbers on the cards range from 0-13, and the art is very cute in an art-deco, cell-shaded style.
The higher numbered cards (7-12) have abilities: PEEK, SPY, or SWAP. Using these abilities is simple: Peek lets you take a look at one of your own face-down cards, Spy allows you to look at a card belonging to another player, and Swap causes you to swap a card with another player of your choice.
We mentioned exchanging a single card for multiple cards from your hand. If you know you have multiple cards of the same value, you may announce it when taking a new card. Reveal the cards that match each other, then discard all of them and gain the card you chose from the deck or discard pile. (Get it wrong? Take the card you chose, but don’t discard any of your revealed cards.)
The round ends when someone calls “CABO”. Everyone gets one last turn, then all players reveal their cards.
If the player who called “CABO” had the lowest score, they score ZERO points for the round. If they’re not the lowest, they take the sum of their cards and add 10.
Play until someone reaches or exceeds 100 points; then the player with the lowest score is the winner.
We love the cute and almost abstract art and the adorable little white monster on many of the cards.. CABO himself is the “elusive unicorn” on the zero cards.
CABO is fast, easy to teach, and very portable. It’s only a deck of cards, and needs a very small surface to play.
We agree that the recommended age range of 8+ is right on. There’s very little reading required, but players do need some idea of probability and logical deduction. And because the point of the game is to keep your cards secret, it’s not a game that lends itself to parents helping their younger kids.
We rate CABO 3.5 out of 5. It’s fun and a great filler game, but it has limited use. There are other card games we have that are more flexible and accommodate a wider audience; but the simplicity of CABO makes it a game that we’ll keep on hand anyway.
Bezier Games also makes a game called Silver, which plays similarly to CABO but with a werewolf theme. In that one, every card has a special power. So if CABO seems just a little too cute and simple for you, you might want to check that one out instead.
SNAP review music is Magellan, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
The Family Gamers received a review copy of CABO from Bezier Games for this review.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
Number of Players: 2-4
Age Range: 8+
Playtime: 45 minutes (play fewer rounds for a faster game)