Board Games For Families – Saboteur Card Game Review

Recently I threw my husband a surprise birthday party and decided to have a game night theme. I chose two card games to play, Bang (a wild west-themed game) and Saboteur (a dwarf/mine building game). I thought the wild west theme seemed more fun to dress up for so I made it a “western” decor party and had everyone dress accordingly. It was a blast. We had all played the game Bang before, but none of us had played Saboteur. To our surprise that game turned out to be the favorite of the night. We’ve played it a few times since and have discovered some limitations to the game and also some very fun aspects. Here is a little “Saboteur Review” for you.

Saboteur Card Game: Game Play

This game is for 3-10 players which is a big perk in my mind (great for parties). Each player assumes a role of either a regular dwarf or a saboteur. The regular dwarfs are trying to build mines to get to some gold, and the saboteurs are trying to prevent them from getting there. There are ways to block each other and cards you can lay to slow down the progress. Gold is awarded at the end of a round depending on who was successful in achieving their objective. At the end of three rounds whoever has the most gold wins.

Saboteur Card Game: Fun Factor  การเล่นบาคาร่า

One of the upsides to this game is that it is VERY easy to explain and learn. It’s light-hearted enough that you don’t have to be TOO focused to be able to play it. It’s got a sneaky aspect to it when you try to conceal your identity. So it’s a fun challenge to try to stay hidden and discover what everyone else is trying to do too. One of the frustrations in the game is that if you get an attack card played against you, it is quite possible that you will be unable to draw a “fix” card by the end of the round. This makes it very frustrating when you can’t do anything for a while round. We haven’t been able to figure out a way to balance out this problem in the game yet.

Saboteur Card Game: Contention Factor

The first few times we played this in large groups and there was very little contention. However we tried a few games with a three player group and it was disastrous. With only one or zero saboteurs in the game, basically it just becomes a race between the dwarfs. Whoever can reach the gold FIRST gets the most points. So instead of really working together with the other dwarf(s) it really is like every other player is your enemy. This makes for hostility and you can even sabotage yourselves so that you can’t reach the gold which causes a lot of frustration. I tend to enjoy the cooperation aspect of the game, so this type of aggressive behavior was a real turn off to me. I think the sweet spot would probably be about 5-6 players.

Overall I think Saboteur is a pretty good family board game. In fact, my 4 year old son always wants me to pull it out and play with him (although he doesn’t play the exact regular rules). If you have kids around 8 and up you can pull this out and let the whole family engage in a game together. This is the type of interaction we love in my household.