Spotlight on Games > Translations
English Translation
Sat Dec 22 21:05:24 UTC 2012 added variant cards
  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Components
  4. Setting Up the Game
  5. Goal of the Game
  6. Sequence of Play
  7. Playing the Game
  1. Introduction
    Mbogo is a card game for 2-5 players originally published in 1966 by The House of Ideas. I am unable to locate the true rules for the game, so I decided to invent my own. If you have the rules to this game however, please send an e-mail.
  2. Background
    Mbogo -- the African Cape Buffalo. The most feared animal in the jungle. He is the fiercest if wounded or bothered. He charges with his head up until the last second and seldom misses his victim. He charges not from fear but from cold, calculated revenge. Watch for the Mbogo card in this fast moving game. Mbogo the terrible.
  3. Components
    Deck of 61 cards including
    • 7 Antelope
    • 7 Elephant
    • 7 Gorilla
    • 7 Lion
    • 7 Rhinoceros
    • 7 Wart Hog
    • 11 Cage
    • 7 Hunter
    • 1 Mbogo
  4. Setting Up the Game
    Set up the game as follows:
    1. One player, the dealer, shuffles and distributes all the cards but one face down equally to all the players.
    2. The remaining card is left face down at the center of the table.
    3. The dealer is the first to take a turn.

    The curse of the Mbogo lies on anyone who
    steals these images.
  5. Goal of the Game
    The game ends when there is only one player with cards remaining. The winner is the player with the most points. Points are received at the end of the game as follows:
    • 1 point for each animal the player has in a cage
    • 3 points for each type of animal that only that player has
    • 10 points (instead of 3) for each type of animal that the player has captured all seven of

    Players should play several hands, rotating the dealer clockwise, and adding points cumulatively until someone scores 50 points or more. Whoever has the most points wins.

  6. Sequence of Play
    On his turn, each player performs the following actions:
    1. Play a card or cards.
    2. Draw a card from the player immediately to the right.
    After a player has completed his turn, play passes to the player on his left.

  7. Playing the Game
    1. Play a card or cards.

      The player performs any one of the following:

      1. Play a cage and play one animal (not Mbogo) to go inside the cage.
      2. Play an animal (not Mbogo) into a cage. Note that this cage must be empty or contain only animals of the same type.
      3. Play a Hunter to capture any animal which is face up in the center of the table and place it in a cage which is either empty or contains animals of the same type. The Hunter is then discarded.
      4. If unable to do any of these, the player must release an animal (not Mbogo) to the wild, i.e. place an animal card face up in the center of the table.
      5. If the player can do none of the above, the player simply ignores this part of the turn.

    2. Draw a card from the player immediately to the right.

      The card is drawn at random and placed in the player's hand.

      The first player to run out of cards draws the card originally placed face down on the table to form a new hand of one. After this, any players who run out of cards are out of the current hand and do not draw or play any more cards.

      If the player should draw the Mbogo card, the player from whom he drew it indicates a cage of the drawing player which is attacked by Mbogo. All of the animals from this cage are released and placed face up in the center of the table. The cage remains where it is, empty and the Mbogo card remains in the drawing player's hand.

Chris Collingwood has created his own cards for this game:

larger version
Copyright 2003 Richard M. Heli
Please send any comments to Rick Heli