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Kabuto Sumo is a dexterity game about beetle wrestling inspired by coin-pusher machines

Clash of the Carapaces.

Slide discs onto a wrestling ring to push opponents out in Kabuto Sumo, a dexterity game that combines coin-pusher machines with bugs doing battle.

An upcoming board game for two to four players, Kabuto Sumo takes place in a world where the strongest insects gather together to test their strength. The World Insect Wrestling Championships are held during the springtime in Japan, with bugs ranging from fearsome rhinoceros beetles to poisonous blister beetles that come from across the globe to face one another in the arena. Each player controls one of these critters as they attempt to remove their opponents from the wrestling ring.

As a dexterity game, Kabuto Sumo sees the players manipulating pieces across the board by placing discs from their inventory every turn. In a similar manner to the classic coin-pushing machines found in many arcades and casinos, the addition of the pieces causes the rest of the tokens on the board to be moved further towards the edge. Should any tokens fall off the game board, the currently active player takes them and adds them to their inventory.

Depending on the beetle character players choose, they’ll have the option of using their signature move, which can dramatically alter how pieces are placed and pushed. If a player successfully pushes an opponent’s wrestler piece out of the arena, they automatically win the game. However, if they accidentally remove their own piece they are eliminated and play continues.

Kabuto Sumo supports two-player games, as well as a three-player free-for-all and a four-player team match. Games with team matches have players competing in an alternating set of turns, with each side having one of their players take their turns until the opposing team is defeated.

Tony Miller is the designer behind Kabuto Sumo, with their very first release being a board game called Fire in the Library that saw players trying to rescue as many books as they could from a steadily burning building, co-created with John Prather.

Kabuto Sumo board game layout

BoardGameTables.com, the company responsible for publishing Kabuto Sumo, previously released beloved roll-and-write game On Tour - where players control a band’s bus as they gig across the USA - and inventive auction board game Q.E.

The Kickstarter campaign for Kabuto Sumo is live until November 13th, with a pledge of $29 (£23) getting backers a copy of the game set to be released in June 2021.


Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Staff Writer

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.