16th Aug2015

‘Dobble’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Everyone loves a good board game right? Although these days it seems more are likely to play board games on their tablets – myself included. After all who doesn’t love a good game of Carcassone on the iPad? It’s great time-filler and it’s a lot easier than cracking out all the pieces for ‘one quick game’ – although it never is just one game, right? But then again there’s nothing quiet like getting a few like-minded friends round for a few drinks and a board game. Especially one as fast, furious and fun as Dobble.

Dobble-box

Essentially a more complex party-game version of Snap!, Dobble is, like that game, one for all the family. Besides playing the game with a few mates, I also sat down with my 7-year old niece and her family to play a game (or five) – and she adored it. So much so she hounded me every night for an entire week to play it again!

Dobble consists of 55 cards, each featuring 8 out of a possible 50 symbols; and only one identical symbol between any two cards. The symbols may change size, but the colour and shape will always be the same. Symbols include the likes of a snowflake, maple leaf, igloo, snowman, light bulb, dinosaur or exclamation point, but any two cards may only share one symbol . The object of the game is two find and match the two identical symbols a la Snap. That’s the basic game – and one which it’s good to play to get experience with spotting and shouting out the matching symbols.

Thankfully makers Asmodee also provide a handy little rule book that outlines five mini-games you can play with Dobble – and for the more hardcore of board gamers they also provide tournament rules, points scoring system and all! Each mini-game is a varation on the last, including:

“The Towering Inferno” – in which players must match his or her card to one from the draw pile, taking the matched card from the pile if they are the first to shout out. The object of the first game is to match as many cards as possible the winner being the player who has gained the most cards. “The Well” – which sees players satring with a draw pile, flipping their cards at the same time, matching them to one central card. The first to get RID of all their cards the fastest (by shouting out the two identical symbols) wins; and my personal favourite: ” Hot Potato”. The most manic of the 5 Dobble mini-games, this particular game sees players match cards with other players, the aim to match your card to someone else’s so you can get rid of your card by passing it to the opponent you’ve matched with. Who must then try and match to someone else before he or she ends up with all the cards in that round. Play can continue for as long as there are enough cards left in the deck. It’s “Hot Potato” which REALLY brings out the true competitive nature of Dobble – it’s safe to say this mini-game caused a few arguements, and some sulking – and not just from my 7-year old niece, from some of ths “adults” I played with too!

Both the epitome of great party game AND great family game, Dobble is easy to pick up and fantastic fun to play. Plus it’s completly portable (the game is supplied in a travel tin), which means you can set-up and play the game just about anywhere – you could even play Dobble on a plane to pass the time if you were so inclined! Plus it’s a fab introduction to less-traditional board games for school-age kids.

***** 5/5

Dobble is availabe now from Esdevium Games. You can buy the game from Waterstones for  £12.99, or online from WHSmith, Argos or Tesco

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