Thursday, 28 July 2011

Family Fun with Dobble & Jungle Speed

The lovely folks at Esdevium Games, that impressed me so much with their Retro Monopoly at the Christmas in July Event, have kindly sent me two games to try out with my family:
  • Dobble, and
  • Jungle Speed.
Both are card games based on simple matching, both are presented in practical containers making them ideal for travel and economical on space in the games cupboard, both are a huge amount of fun.

RRP £12.99
Age: 6+

Fifty five glossy, round cards are housed in a strong tin bearing the distinctive Dobble logo. Each card is illustrated with eight symbols (and here's the clever bit) with only one symbol in common with any other card.

There are five different variations of the game explained in the rules but the general idea is to find the matching symbols.

This is not as easy as it sounds! As well as having to process the visual information from more than one card at a time, there is an added complication of scale and orientation. The images vary in size which can really confuse your mind and owing to the circular nature of the cards can be in any orientation relative to the observer. Sometimes the matches seem to jump out at you - other times you can stare blankly at your cards wondering why a seemingly simple task is beyond you!

Even if you spot a match, you still have the difficulty of shouting out the name of your object before anybody else. This resulted in much hilarity during our games with the misnaming of things and words getting stuck somewhere between brain and mouth in our haste to claim our matches.

The video shows a small taster of game play from each of the five variations.

We were able to adapt the game to include my eager three year old by allowing her a turn in which she was given time to find her match without being in competition with anyone else. Of course we gave her lots of encouragement and praise when she succeeded. It did slow down the pace of the game but remained challenging to the older players whilst giving the little one the chance to feel properly involved.

Jungle Speed
RRP £14.99
Age: 7+

Although essentially this is another card matching game it has a very different character to Dobble. It comes with a drawstring bag to store the 80 beautifully illustrated symbol cards and a wooden totem. To me, it has a very exotic feel.

All the cards are dealt out amongst the players and each player takes it in turn to turn over a card from their pile. If this card exactly matches the symbol on another player's card,  a 'duel' commences between those two players. The 'duel' consists of making a grab for the wooden  totem which is positioned centrally. The person to grab it first wins the duel and the loser must take all the cards in their discard pile. The object of the game is to be the first to rid of all their cards. 

Some of the cards have similar but not identical symbols so care must be taken when deciding whether or not a pair match. 

There are also three special cards that change the gameplay eg for one round players must match the symbol colours rather than the actual symbol. 

It is a very fast paced game with the duelling aspect creating much excitement.

In case you are still in any confusion over how this game is played, the video attempts to explain it!

Again, we were able to adapt the rules slightly so that the thee year old could be involved and feel as grown up as the rest of the family.

Dobble and Jungle Speed are both available to purchase from


  1. Your second video is set to private! Please remedy so I can laugh some more at George. :D

  2. Heh, Emily is turning her cards over the wrong way in Jungle Speed - they have to be flipped underside away from you so everyone else sees them first. In the games I've played that constitutes a foul and you end up with all the cards played on the table every time you do it. Fun game though, highly recommended.


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