Hoa Kaua

Hoa Kaua is a two player game of brutal combat. Easy to learn and hard to master. 

Our side project?

Hoa Kaua started out as a summer project and to our amazement turn out to be one of our most well received game.

We partner with Hawaii based organizations year after year. The purpose of these partnership is to articulate the aim of the organization or foster learning through game design and game play. From creating a game about school depression to creating a birthing game. the games we make solve Hawaiian environmental issues, and Hawaii social concerns all without resorting to violent or aggressive gameplay

In the summer of 2022 we had an idea to make a game we would like to play. An easy to learn, meaning you do one or two things on a turn and hard to master. Meaning  infinite scaling and complexity.

We also gave ourselves design constraints that this would have to be a card game, minimal cards that could be played without a table.

We also wanted it to be BRUTAL.

We involved ours students are got their input and as you can imagine they were very excited to make a game for us.

We are excited to get this game into your hands and hear your feedback. We have all-ready experienced and heard so many “war stories”  from our community. 


The game we created was Hoa Kaua or intimacy of War. In Hawaiian there is no word for enemy. In war the combatants enter a relationship. Much akin to love. Once the war is over, the battle is done and no animosity should remain in your heart. For the hostility is over.

In Hoa Kaua each player will take on the role of an Alii Nui or Chief. The goal is to kill your opponents chief by playing one card a turn after turn until you kill your opponents warriors and/or Alii.

You accomplish this by using a deck of cards.  We wanted the deck to represent the players hit points and also the Alii Nui as the heart of the player. 

The other cards are the warriors of the Ali’i and are represented by two factions.

Ka’akaua or the yellow deck. Ka’akaua is the more strategic of the two decks and represents deceptive tactics in combat.

Lele Kaua or the red deck. Is brutal aggression. Their strategy is based on momentum.

Play close attention to the weapons and how they look. We tried our best to thematically match the weapon type with the mechanics and abilities they represent.


Mechanically the game was designed after the traditional card game of war. 

The origins of the card game War are unclear, as the game has been played in various forms for centuries. It is believed to have evolved from simpler card games played in Europe during the Renaissance era, such as “Trick-taking” games. The modern version of the game, in which two players each flip over a card and the player with the higher card takes both, is thought to have originated in the United States in the late 19th century. However, the exact inventor or inventors of the game are unknown.

In Hoa Kaua you will be flipping over a card on your turn activating an ability if present and comparing the top of the card values. This is called a clash. 

The winner of the clash is the player with the highest number. The winner of round replaces the card he just clashed and looks at the top three cards of his deck and puts them back in any order.

The looser rotates his deck. 

Play continues.


Card Art

We are proud to show you the card art from Alika Naihe

From our Kaimale Academy Demo
Kaʻa Kaua Aliʻi Nui
Kahuna Nui
Kaʻa ʻIhe
Lele Pololū
From our Kaimaile Academy Demo
Kaʻa Koʻi
Lele Leiomanō
Kaʻa Pīkoi
Kaʻa Maʻa

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