It’s not often you encounter a board game that’s hard to compare to anything else you’ve played. Kabuto Sumo is one of those games. At its simplest, this beetle sumo wrestling game is all about shoving pieces out of an arena, but those appearances can be deceiving. The game is exciting and unpredictable in just the way you’d want a wrestling match to be, and we had a fantastic time playing it with our special guest Petrana Radulovic on our latest episode of Overboard.
In a match of Kabuto Sumo, players attempt to shove their opponent’s wrestling piece out of the arena, either on their own or as a team of two. They do that by pushing pieces (in small, medium, or large varieties) into a crowded board of discs and beetles. This typically causes one or more pieces to be bumped out of the arena. If it’s a player’s beetle piece, they get knocked out, and their opponent wins! But more likely, they’ll just push out a couple of regular pieces, which get added to that player’s supply for future turns.
The closest comparisons we could think of to this “disc pushing” gameplay wasn’t even a board game. Rather, it was those coin pushing games you see at bowling alley arcades and Chuck E. Cheese locations.