Published on December 2nd, 2014 | by Duke Of Havoc0
Dobble – Review
Average time per game: 5 mini-games x 4 minutes (varies depending on amount of players involved)
Suitable for ages: 6+
Number of players: 2-8
“What on Earth is a Dobble?”, many of you may ask. In all honesty, I’m not too sure what one actually is, but what I can tell you, is that it makes for one very addictive and fun card game. Think Snap but with multiple big and bold images. You have 55 circular cards with 8 images from a possible 50 on each of them. The rather cool thing about Dobble is the fact that there is only 1 matching symbol between any 2 cards. This can make for some very tense moments when facing off against someone who is spotting a matching pair quicker than you!
I picked this game up as I wanted something which I could take with me to cons or just have in my bag if I was going to see friends. It is a perfect time-filler. It has a lovely little tin which is only slightly larger than the cards themselves. So you have absolutely no wasted space. It does however come in what I consider some rather pointless cardboard and plastic packaging which you discard once you get Dobble home. This might just be my personal dislike of wasted packaging but it is certainly something that Asmodee could think about and improve on in further iterations. It’s a minor nitpick and doesn’t have any impact on my enjoyment of the game.
There are 5 mini games which revolve around either getting as many cards as you can or getting rid of them. I’m not going to go through all them as half the fun is learning with friends and family when you play. The first game is called “The Towering Inferno” and is a very nice way to ease new players in. Each player is dealt a card face down and the rest are put in the middle with the top card turned over to reveal the 8 symbols. Then the players turn over and frantically try to find that elusive pair. When you spot them, you have to call it out loud for all to hear. You then claim the card and put it on top of your first. This means you now have a new card to choose from and a new card to try and match with. When others start to get on a bit of a roll, you really start to feel the pressure. You try desperately to match but no, your opponents are spotting them quicker than you. Don’t worry, you will most likely get your moment to shine and suddenly they are the ones frantically trying to call out a matching pair! Once all the cards in the middle are gone, the players total up their stack and are awarded 1 point per card and 5 points if they had the most overall. This carries forward into the other 4 games with an overall winner being decided at the end.
One great thing about Dobble is that you can expand and invent your own mini-games. Whilst at MCM Expo this Autumn, I paid a visit to the tabletop section run by Esdevium Games. The demonstrator took me through the 5 games and then showed me one which isn’t in the rules. As a treat, I thought I would include the rough outline so should anyone pick Dobble up and happen to visit Need To Consume’s review, they have a new mini-game to play!
The dealer makes a 3 x 3 grid with the cards. It is then down to the players to find 3 cards or more with a shared symbol and then call out how many and what it is, i.e “four lightning bolts!”. They then collect the cards and the dealer replaces them with more from the stack. This keeps going until all the cards are used and the players then add up their haul. The player with the most wins!
The game’s rules states it suitable for 6+ but I’ve tried this out with my own 4 year old daughter and she got it, and absolutely loved it. I was naturally a good sport and went slower but the actual concept of the game was easy enough for her to grasp. Even with the 5 different variations of play.
Dobble is a relatively inexpensive and quick game which could be suitable for that post Christmas dinner lull or if you are chilling out for 20 minutes or so at a comic convention. You can pick up Dobble from most shops stocking tabletop games or online.