Tuesday 17 November 2015

Christmas stocking filler #2: Dobble card game review

Publisher: Asmodee
Players: 2 - 8
Age: 6+
Cost: Around £10

Continuing the Christmas stocking filler series, this time I've picked Dobble, another great observation-based card game.

At its heart essentially hardcore 'snap', Dobble has players competing in one of five mini-games, reliant on being the first person to find (and shout out) the one matching symbol between one card and another.

The game comes in a cute little tin containing 55 round cards.  Each card has eight symbols on it picked from a possible pool of 57, and the symbols have been chosen such that each card has one, and only one, symbol in common with any other card. If you look at the photograph below, for instance, both cards show an igloo symbol:

I'm fascinated by how the cards only have one match - it must be something magical or maths based! Perhaps someone can explain it to my simple brain...

The symbols are bright, clear and easy to identify for younger players.

Each of the five games included in the tiny little rulebook is a variation on the matching theme, with players trying to win the most cards, lose all their cards, or force other players to take cards.

The rules for all of the games are all really simple, taking moments to explain once you have got the main 'match spotting' concept. Being able to spot the matching symbols before everyone else, though, can be really tough. See how quickly you can spot the matches between each of the corner cards and the central card in the photo below:

Now imagine doing it against other people, in a rush - it can get quite frustrating! I've spent a lot of time myself staring at two cards saying 'there's just not a match!' only to be beaten to the spot by someone younger and more quick witted.

I've played this with a wide range of ages and everyone has enjoyed the game, with some even buying their own copies afterwards. It's a really good family game and would provide a great alternative to my previous stocking filler suggestion, Jungle Speed, if you're looking for something a bit calmer or for younger kids. 

If you're looking for a fun opportunity to have a lot of laughs and be frustrated by the workings of your own brain, then Dobble is just the game for you. The small size of the game makes it a perfect stocking filler, and the little tin and minimal setup space makes it ideal for travel. 

If you love the game too or are just trying it for the first time, let me know in the comments or on the new Facebook page. I'll be back with more stocking filler suggestions soon - only five weeks to go!