Publisher: Asmodee, Blue Orange Games
Designer: Denis Blanchot, Jacques Cottereau, Guillaume Gille-Naves, Igor Polouchine
Artist: Denis Blanchot, Ingrid Vang Nyman, Peyo, Igor Polouchine
Release date: 2009
2 -8 Players (or more in teams)
Favouritefoe #favouritefoefunlearning score: 8.5/10
Dobble - Spot the…….. Same?!
Mini meeple has “super lenses”. I know this because he tells me so. Whenever we are out walking together, sometimes miles away from home, he says he can see our house. In truth, I’m glad he can because I can’t. And so I am eternally grateful that he appears to have developed super sight, but also inherited his father’s internal compass.
I also know this fact because he beats me at pattern recognition games. Every. Single. Time. (Strangely he never manages to “see” his socks, tie, and homework when it comes to getting dressed before school, however- funny that!).
Anyway, Mini-meeple is a hunter, and his iPad and shelves are full of spot the difference games and Where’s Wally books. Needless to say, when my gal pal, Saggyhead, kindly offered to lend us the children’s game, Difference Jr, he jumped at the chance. And he loved it. In fact, he smashed it! Beating three adults hands down with his super lenses!
But the inimitable Saggyhead has already written a fab review of that here as part of her super SaggyShorts series, so no need for me to go there.
So, in my first piece in the “#Favouritefoefunlearning Series (where we explore the pedagogical value of games which aren’t solely designed with children in mind), I am delving into the world of Dobble and I can’t wait to get stuck in!
Click below to watch my Dobble Classic Rapid Review Video
What a lot of Dobble!
And, although I say Dobble, there are many versions out there. Animals, numbers, Harry Potter, Paw Patrol, Jr, Kids, XL, even one that spins round like a possessed whirligig washing line (and I am liable to lose an eye trying to pick cards from that one!). But the game play generally stays the same regardless of theme, so we will stick with the classic.
DobbleClassic aka Spot it! has been a big hit with Mini-meeple. But, whereas Difference Jr is all about calling out the differences between your card and the pool card, Dobble flips this idea.
Plus there is not just one way to play Dobble – the tin contains the rules for 5 different mini-games.
The basic symbol matching mechanic doesn’t change whichever style of play you choose, but you could be tasked with matching the single common symbol on your card and the one in the centre. If you do it first, you get the card, and when the stack of 55 cards runs out, the player with the most cards wins (Tower).
Alternatively, you can exercise your spotting skills in The Well, Hot Potato, Triplet (a Mini-meeple favourite), and The Poisoned Gift!
To try and confuse your eyes and your mind, the 8 symbols printed on each card are different sizes and orientations. But there will only ever be one symbol that repeats – which, given that there are 57 to choose from, is pretty clever from a mathematical perspective (and way above my mental pay grade)!
And confused you will be! Which surprises, delights, and frustrates in equal measure, because it sounds so easy, but it’s not!
Being able to recognise patterns is essential in life and forms the basis of so many other skills; sequencing, logic, perception, problem solving….the list goes on. And DobbleClassic’s simple, accessible, fun mechanism of matching focuses on developing this visual skill in younger players as well as exercising it for us more, ahem, mature, gamers!
Plus age doesn’t seem to give us any advantage or require grown-ups to make allowances for younger players – in fact, the younger you are, the better your skills!
The game is also colour independent, and by that I mean matching will never be based on a sneaky change in hue – the specific symbols stay the same colour across the cards (no sudden red ice cubes or green lips!). But we do find that the different shades help break up the visual displays.
Furthermore, DobbleClassic is super portable, pretty robust, and plays within that golden zone; 10/15 minutes where adults can knock out a quick game or two over a coffee or at a gathering, and/or where little ones are completely absorbed in the game play. And they will be. Because, with just one rule and a 30 second explanation, everyone wants to flex their matching muscles in The Dobble Zone!
If you like Dobble Classic, why not try Difference, or any of the many, many, many different themed Dobbles out there!