Dobble review: A perfect quick-fire card game for the whole family

Are you looking for the perfect family game for the summer holidays (or indeed any other occasion) that’s suitable for both 6-year-olds and 66-year-olds? Then Dobble is just the thing for you.

I was provided with a copy of this game for review purposes.

There aren’t many games where young children can genuinely compete on the same level as adults. Dobble is one such game, as a result of which it has been a favourite in our family for the past couple of years.

Players compete to be the first to identify matching pairs of symbols between a card placed in the middle of the table and their own card. Each of the 55 circular cards in the deck contains eight symbols, with each forming one (and only one) matching pair with every other card.

And that’s pretty much it as far as game-play rules go. It only takes a couple of minutes to learn each of the five variants on offer – and about as long to complete each game.

It’s like Snap on steroids and it’s terrifyingly addictive and competitive.

Dobble card game

The game is designed for ages six and up – there is also a Dobble Kids version suitable for four-year-olds – although we found that Kara was perfectly capable of playing the grown-up version at 3½. As long as a child can recognise and name each of the 50 different symbols, they can join in and play – and win on merit. As Dobble is a game of speed and observation rather than requiring any strategy, we have found that both Kara and her older brothers can more than hold their own with Heather and me. Sometimes a little too well.

Even if one player isn’t as able as the rest, one of the standard variants of the game – where the aim is to be the first to dispose of all the cards in your hand – allows you to implement a handicap system whereby players can start with different numbers of cards to level the playing field.

It really is that simple. Dobble is a fast-moving game that caters for anywhere between two and eight people. It’s simple to learn, quick to play and doesn’t require adults to play down to a child’s level.

Dobble card game

We have owned a wide variety of card games over the years and Dobble remains a firm favourite because it’s so accessible for the kids. We’ve had our copy for two years and still play it regularly, which is always a sign of a great game. It’s always one of the first games we pack when we’re heading off on holiday.

Dobble (and Dobble Kids) is very reasonably priced at £12.99. The entire game comes packaged up in a robust circular tin which, at just 10cm in diameter, can easily be carried in a day-pack or a coat pocket – ideal for family trips.

For smartphone users there is also a digital version of the game available for both iOS and Android. Titled Spot it! (Dobble‘s US brand name), players can compete in individual or online challenges to earn new characters and power-ups. It’s free to download, with in-app purchases.

I’ve been playing the iPhone version since it was launched earlier this month. Like the analogue version, it’s frighteningly addictive.

If you haven’t tried Dobble before, give it a go. It’s perfect for family holidays, for getting a games evening started or for keeping you entertained when you only have a few minutes to spare.

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