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Sobek, originally subtitled "Temptation of the Nile," is a fast-paced card game from designer Bruno Cathala (Cyclades, MOW). Loads of goods are arriving by ship at the construction site of the temple of Sobek, and players must compete to pick up the best goods in order to eke out the best profit. Not everything is legal, though, and players search for any advantage they can get.
Your goal in Sobek is to acquire groups of goods in order to claim sets of three or more cards and score. Players start each of the three rounds with a couple of cards in hand, then nine cards are laid out on the dock. The deck includes six types of goods – with 6-10 cards in each type – six amulets (which count as any type of good), and nine special characters (which can be played for their special power or grouped with goods cards of the matching type). Some of the goods cards bear 1-3 scarabs to show their trade value, while other goods cards have no scarabs. Character cards, which have a different back, are kept face-down when the cards are laid out on the deck, while goods cards are revealed. Five event tokens out of 12 are randomly chosen and stacked face-down.
* Claim one card from the dock. You can claim one of the first four cards in the row, but each card that you pass over will be added to your corruption stash. The player with the most corruption at the end of the round will lose points. * Lay down a set of three or more goods cards of the same type, either alone or on top of an already existing set of the same type. If any event tokens are still available, look through the stack and choose one of them to enact immediately. The tokens give you points, let you take another turn, turn your corruption into an asset, curse an opponent or boost the value of a played set. * Use a character's special power. While a character can be played as part of a set of goods and count only as a good, it can also be discarded for its power: draw extra cards, add up to two cards to a set of goods on the table, steal cards, force opponents to discard to a hand of six (with excess cards becoming corruption), and so on.
When the final card is taken from the dock, that player immediately lays out nine new cards from the deck as a new delivery of goods. After five or six deliveries, the round ends, with unmatched cards in hand becoming corruption and sets of goods in hand still scoring, but for fewer points. Sets played earlier in the round are worth points equal to the product of the number of scarabs on the cards and the number of cards in the set; sets played at the end of the round are worth only the sum of the scarabs on the cards.
The player with the most corruption moves back on the scoring track, losing one "symbol" on the track for every ten points she scored during that round. (For each symbol move backward, a player will lose 2-8 points.) The board is then reset as at the start of the game, and the player who has the most points after the third round wins.
Players: 2 - 4
Time: 40 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Weight: 305 grams