Dobble – A Review of The Card Game
Last summer I was supposed to bungee jump from a bridge for charity. The jump was supposed to happen from the Cleddau Bridge in Pembrokeshire. This being the UK, the weather had other plans and the arrival of a storm postponed the event. The problem was that we (my family and co-blogger Gareth’s family) had booked accommodation and couldn’t cancel at the last minute. This is how we were introduced to the card game of Dobble.
As beautiful as Pembrokeshire is, there’s only so much you can do with a gang of kids in the pouring rain and howling wind. We went to the local Tesco to pick up some snacks and Gareth and I went to the games section to pick up some entertainment for the kids. There were all the usual suspects, Connect Four, Guess Who, Cluedo et al.
Fancying something new, a yellow tin grabbed my attention. The game was called Dobble and was suitable for 2-8 players and included 5 different games. It hit all the criteria and tossed it in the trolley with the rest of the shopping.
We got back to the digs unpacked the shopping and had our first game of Dobble. I think its safe to say, from that moment on we became huge fans and it provided a few hours entertainment for the kids and big kids.
What is Dobble?
It is a clever concept. You can read more on the thinking behind it here, but that’s the boring part.
There are 55 cards all with 8 symbols on each. Somehow, there is always one symbol that matches on another card, regardless of which card is shown. See the photo below for an example. Now add in six other eager kids/ adults vying to match the next card by shouting out whatever symbol matches on their card.
It equals a highly addictive way to entertain the kids. Proper old-fashioned fun. The first game was won by the youngest member of the party.
Did I mention that the youngest member of the party won? A six-year-old against older kids and two 38-year-old men. Competitive game faces on, that wasn’t going to happen to me again. A room shouting out a random item like hand, cactus, stop sign, an ice cube is a wonder to behold.
The second game was won by the then seven-year-old. That’s pretty much how it continued over the next few days. Personally, I was just glad that the one-year-old couldn’t speak genuine words otherwise it could have got very embarrassing. I blame the sea air affecting my reactions!
The end of the weekend came, and Gareth’s kids loved the game so much (plus he needed the practice) we decided that his clan should have the game. Gareth reliably informs me that they regularly play the game and sure enough when I visited over the Christmas break I was again whooped by the six-year-old.
I bought the game as a gift to my niece (age 7) and nephew (aged 10) for Christmas who challenged my parents and my eldest daughter to a game. It certainly gets the competitive side going. After a complete beating in the game, I think nan is just about speaking to her small granddaughter. Nan also secretly went out the next day to buy the game.
What Makes Dobble The Best Card Game to Entertain the Kids?
Isn’t it just a glorified game of snap? No, it’s much more than that.
It gets the brain working. As each of the logos are different on every card it isn’t a simple remembering game. This gets you to use your eyes and brain to spot the matching logo’s, but they change position and size. What sounds like a very easy game to play (and the rules are simple) is a lot harder when you are in the high-pressure environment trying to beat a six-year-old to the card.
Reactions. As you play the game you do become more aware and your reactions get faster unless you are drinking wine. Note to self, never play Dobble under the influence again. Unfortunately, everyone reactions become more in tune.
Easy to set up. Deal the cards out equally and play. It really is that easy. No million pieces and awkward bits.
Rules are simple. The age advertised on the tin is from age 6 upward. We have played Dobble with kids who are aged 5 and they pick it up easily. Also suitable for grandparents and great-grandparents, please be warned you may genuinely lose to a 5 or 6-year-old.
Can play for as little or as much time as you want. Got a couple of minutes to kill, great, this is the game for you. It is very addictive though and this may easily run for an hour or more.
Small to transport- Coming in a hand-sized tin, this game is small enough to take with you, wherever you want. If the Kids are bored in a waiting room, restaurant or wherever you can get the cards out and play.
I hope they make a World Championship of this game, as I could make a pretty penny as an agent to some superstars of this game.
Anthony’s Verdict: 5 out of 5. Stars or cacti, hands, ice cubes etc.
Side Note: I did complete the bungee jump a few weeks later when it was re-arranged in more suitable weather conditions.
Please note: We aren’t sponsored to review Dobble. It’s just we like it, a lot. In fact, it’s the best £11 we have spent to keep the kids entertained. We don’t advertise on the site, but we do incur costs in running it. By clicking on the Amazon links for Dobble, we get a small percentage of a commission which helps go to running this site.