Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2012 Games
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Funnybone Toys
Price: $14.99

"Visual Illusion leads to confusion" is CUBU's tag line and it's apropos - this is not a game for weak eyes.

The object of CUBU is to be the one to play all of your cards first, or "go out," as in Rummy. When you go out, the other players count the points in their hand and the person who went out collects them. The first to 100 points, wins.

There are 48 regular playing cards and 12 Action cards. Each playing card is a unique arrangement of 1 to 6 colored boxes, one inside another. Cards are dealt, one is turned over, and each player plays as many cards down on the face-up card as he or she can.

The boxes are in numbered positions, like rings on a tree. The innermost box is 1, the one around it is 2, and so on. To play a card, it has to have a box that matches the color of the face card's box, and is also sequential. If the face-up card has a blue box in the 2 spot, for instance, and you have a card with a blue box in the 3 spot, you can play it. If you also have a card with a blue box in the 4 spot, you can play that, too, in the same turn.

The concept of the game is much easier than it sounds; the challenge is how quick your eyes are. Each player starts with 7 cards, and each turn can be dizzying.

CUBU requires a sharp eye. There are a lot of combinations and options to weigh at every turn. Action cards keep the game interesting, too. There are Miss a Turn, Swap, and Pickup cards. The best, though, are Interrupts. If you're holding an Interrupt card and you see a gleam in an opponent's eye as he starts to lay down a streak, you can quickly ruin his day.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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