Card & Dice & Tabletops: Dobble
Mike plays Dobble and has to get reconstructive surgery on his hand
If there is one thing any boardgame collection needs it is quick play games. Wee games which are perfect for starting a gaming session or even just to bring out for a quick game off the cuff. Your collection also needs some introductory games which have the power to convert a newcomer, into one of us in the space of a round or two. This week’s game fits perfectly into each category. In fact you could say it has Dobbled up on features… – I’ll get my coat.
Joking aside, Dobble is a fast paced card game for two to eight players. The game consists of fifty five cards, each of which displays eight symbols or pictures. There are fifty different symbols in total which means that each card will only have one symbol in common. The object is to be the first person to spot the common symbol on the cards and call it out. That’s it, nice and simple. ‘Asmodee’ have then created five mini games that can be played using this game mechanic. The games all involve being the first to identify the common symbol. Depending on which mini game you are playing you would then either collect or discard a card. The Towering Inferno for instance sees all players start with one card whilst the rest of the cards are placed face up in a draw pile in the centre of the table. The player who first identifies the common symbol then takes the centre card, placing it on top of his old card. This then reveals a new card from the draw pile and play continues until all cards from the pile are gone. The player with the most cards is the winner. Another mini game included is The Well, which is the opposite of the Towering Inferno. Players rush to discard their cards into the centre pile or “well”. Hot Potato is where players hold one card in their hand and pass it to the player whose card contains a matching symbol. Each mini game takes approximately five minutes play through and you can play a mix of these mini games in a session or even just one type over and over. The player who wins the most mini games at the end of your session is the Dobble champion of the day and you move onto your next game.
For such a simple game, Dobble is extremely competitive, intense and most importantly, fun. Players normally end up huddled round the centre card, like the witches of Macbeth, as they frantically look for the matching symbol before the shouting and scrabbling commences. It is also during a round of Dobble that you will see you friends panicking and cursing their eyes as someone else spots a match and maniacally laughs as they proceed. And because each mini game is as fast and intense there is always that sense of relief and uncontrollable laughter that happens at the end.
Not only is Dobble perfect for starting a game session with a gaming group it is also a great casual game that can be brought out a dinner parties or family gatherings. We have even toyed with adding some “adult beverages” as penalties for the losing players of each mini game. This worked rather well and would go down a storm in the right party atmosphere. Dobble is also extremely compact. The game fits into a tin slightly bigger than a tin of shoe polish and will take almost no space in your collection. It will also not take a lot out of your wallet with a copy costing less than £15. It is also interesting to note that Dobble is the biggest selling card game in France and even with only a few games under my belt I can understand why. I Highly recommend this game for anyones collection, and is a great way to get into boardgames.