If you are a regular reader you will probably recall that cribbage is a favoured game of this writer. It would easily be in the top-10-15 games for passing away a rainy or cold afternoon, or evening.
Now when you find a popular game such as cribbage — it is certainly popular when you realize it is one of only about three card games which hold annual tourneys locally, the others being whist and bridge that I know of — you are going to have those trying to improve on it.
It might be argued that it isn’t possible to improve on cribbage, a game that has depth, and great mechanics, yet is very easy to learn. I would have to say I am among those. Classics are rarely made better by modern age game designers.
That all said Ken S. Slaker took a pretty good shot at upgrading cribbage with his 1988 release CribbGolf. It’s not so much that Slaker made the game better, but he overlaid a theme which simply adds a layer of fun to the game that is a nice change of pace from standard cribbage.
The game is rather ingenious in its approach, which is basically to combine cribbage with elements of golf.
As far as the card playing aspect of the game it is cribbage as normal, which is nice since there are no new rules regarding how one plays cards to learn and adapt too.
Where the game is different is in the board players peg on. The board displays an 18-hole golf course.
The golf-course board changes the strategy of the game because you are no longer pegging to reach the final hole, but instead are pegging to record a golf score on each hole.
Therefore taking points that you would normally take without thinking in regular cribbage must now be weighed carefully since taking points at certain times can land you in a sand trap, or water hazard, costing you a stroke to your game.
In that respect it does help a bit if you understand golf scoring, although you can pick up that aspect of the game very easily.
The board in the version I have, a Yuletide gift from my daughter, from JK Games, is well made, but it is large. It measures 10 X 22-inches, so it doesn’t store real conveniently. It would help if it folded, but that is a minor complaint.
The golf course design is well-done with greens, sand and water features, and trees. It looks a lot like the design one might see of a course on a website promoting the facility.
The game comes with a thick pad of scoresheets. A little hint, put one in a plastic wrap and save it so you can run copies when needed. They aren’t available in stores that I know of.
There is a well-detailed rulebook, and a large reference sheet, including larger type, which is an excellent tool for people learning the game.
As an alternative to cribbage, this is about as good as I’ve found so far, and I have tried several. The excellent board and combining of cribbage and golf make it a winner in my books. One to add to any cribbage lover’s game collection.
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Mar 17, 2010 - Yorkton, SK. Canada