Kulami board game review

Kulami board game

Kulami is a fun abstract strategy and family board game.

Today we’re taking a look at a 2-player abstract game that’s been around for a number of years — Kulami by FoxMind.

With a gazillion 2-player abstract board games available, it’s great to continue to find ones that offer unique game play and strike our fancy. And Kulami is one such game.

In 2013, Kulami was also a Mensa Select Winner along with Forbidden Desert (a family board game we also highly recommend).

Take a quick look and see if Kulami may be a great fit for your family as well.

Kulami board game

Players try to capture tiles by having a majority.


How to play Kulami

As with other 2-player, abstract strategy games, Kulami is very simple to understand and play. The depth of the game comes through in the strategies of the players.

Kulami comes with 17 square and rectangular wooden tiles of different sizes. The goal is to claim as many tiles as possible by occupying the majority of spaces on a tile with your color marbles.

To set up the game, players arrange the tiles in any manner they’d like to create the game board.

The rules show one way to create and 8 x 8 square board, but players can make it as uniform or irregular as they like — adding to the variability in how the game will play out.

Kulami board game

You can set up the game board however you like. Each game will be different.

On a player’s turn, they simply place one of their marbles on the board. The first marble of the game can be placed anywhere. But subsequent marbles must be placed according to the following 3 rules:

  • It must be played either horizontally or vertically in relation to the marble just played by the opponent.
  • It cannot be placed on the same tile as the marble just played by the opponent.
  • It cannot be placed on the same tile where the active player played their previous marble.

If players would like, they can also use the little paper rings provided in the game to place over the marble just played. This way, as the game board fills up, players can keep in mind which marbles were last played so they can more easily follow the placement rules of the subsequent marbles.

Kulami board game

It may be helpful to use the rings as reminders of the previous marbles placed.

Players continue taking turns until either all marbles have been played or a player can’t play their next marble following the above rules. The game then ends and players tally their score.

To count scores, player divide up the board back into individual tiles with the marbles on them. Players collect the tiles where they have the majority. Tiles that have an equal number of opposite marbles do not score.

Kulami board game

Once the game ends, separate the tiles and see who has majority on each.

Once players have claimed their tiles, they add up the total number of spaces on all their tiles. So a 6-space tile is worth 6 points regardless of how many marbles it took the player to get a majority on it.

There are also a couple of variant ways to score that grant points for largest connected areas or diagonal lines of their colors (before dividing up the tiles).

Kulami board game

Final score: Red = 21 and Black = 29


Can the whole family enjoy Kulami?

Kulami is a great family board game because everyone in the family can enjoy playing it.

As you can see, the game play is very straightforward and easy for players of all ages to understand.

Yet as you dive into the game further, you’ll discover there’s also depth of strategy in playing.

Kulami board game

A wide open game to start will soon feel limited in options. Choose your placements wisely.

Younger kids will enjoy placing marbles and seeing how things shake out. And older players will appreciate taking a more methodical approach.

With careful placement, players can limit the options of their opponent as well as force their opponent to set themselves up for following turns.

It’s a lot of fun to look for those opportunities while also steering clear of falling into them yourself.

In addition to the great game play, Kulami also has wonderful game components. The wooden tiles and the marbles are very well made and have a great tactile feel.

Kulami board game

Every game turns out differently.


How does Kulami score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

Kulami board gameKulami scores very high on our “let’s play again” game meter for the simple reasons that it’s easy to play while also requiring some strategic thinking.

For a simple abstract game, there’s plenty of replay value because of the variable set up of the tiles themselves. You can make as crazy a playing area as you’d like and see how differently it drives your strategy on subsequent games.

If you’re looking for a quick 2-player game that offers some fun strategic choices and many future plays, we’d recommend Kulami.

We’d like to thank FoxMind for a review copy of Kulami


Comments: 2

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We, too, like Kulami. My copy did not come with the paper rings that you showed and they would be very handy to identify the last marbles played. We used another marker, but it didn’t work quite as well as that would. Thanks for the review!




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