How to play Sobek - Board Games Rules & Instructions | Happy Piranha

How to Play Sobek | Board Games Rules & Instructions

How to play Sobek, the tactical tile collecting game.

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Read the Rules

The aim of the game

To win, you’ll need to amass the most wealth from the market, whilst avoiding corruption.


  • Lay out the market board.
  • Take the ten light grey starting tiles, give 2 face down to each player, place 4 face up in the centre square and put the rest in the box.
  • Place the remaining tiles into a face down pile and use this to fill the market, beginning on the squares marked with an icon and moving outwards from the centre ring in a clockwise direction, placing goods tiles face up, and orange character tiles face down.
  • Pick 5 pirogue tokens at random and place these face down in the slots on the board.
  • Place the deben coin tokens in the bag.
  • Give each player a corruption board and decide who starts, they get the ankh.


To start the game, the first player chooses 1 of the 4 central tiles, puts it in their hand and places the ankh in the space left behind, orientating it so that the ankh’s points face in the direction of the brown lines on the tile.

Now, players take it in turns to perform one of 3 actions:

Take a tile from the market, sell a set of tiles or play a character from your hand.

To take a tile from the market: pick a tile along the line the ankh is facing, replace the tile with the ankh in the direction the tile indicates and add the tile to your hand. 

  • If you choose a character tile, you can orientate the ankh as you wish, pointing towards a tile if possible.

  • If you take a tile with a deben coin icon you may choose to keep it OR discard it and take a deben token from the bag instead.

After moving, remove any tiles the ankh passed over and put them face down on your corruption board.

If you choose to take a tile, but there aren’t any along the ankh's line, it’s time to refill the market. Using tiles from the draw pile, fill in any gaps, starting from the inside and working outwards in a clockwise direction.

To sell a set of tiles: Choose 3 or more tiles of the same type from your hand and place them face up in front of you. Character tiles count as whatever icon is depicted on the tile. Sobek statues can be used as any type.

If you sell a set of goods that is the same type as you sold earlier, add it to the set already in front of you.

When you sell goods, you must also take a pirogue token from the side of the board if available. Secretly look at each, choose one and apply its effect instantly before discarding it. Do not replace it.

To play a character: simply discard the character tile from your hand and apply its ability. Once discarded characters can no longer be used.

Game End & Scoring

The game ends immediately as soon as a single player has no valid action to perform on their turn.

  • Discard sets of 3 or more tiles in your hand and place the remainder in your corruption pile.

  • Count the number of tiles in your corruption pile, the player with the least takes a deben coin from the bag, plus one extra for every 3 less tiles they have than their opponent.

Now total your points.

  • For each type of goods you have sold, times the number of tiles of that good, by the number of scarabs depicted on it, to work out the points for that good.

  • Deben coins and pirogue tokens score the values shown on them.

The player with the most points wins!

In case of a tie, whoever is the least corrupted wins 

That’s Sobek - tactical, tile-driven 2 player fun.


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 Sobek from the Happy Piranha store!

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