Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Dobble and Jungle Speed

When I attended Christmas in July, I met the people behind Esdevium games.  I was very impressed by the gorgeous wooden boxed retro edition of Monopoly they had on display. It was sheer nostalgia and would look fabulous gracing any coffee table.

Monopoly how it used to be!
Esdevium Games also make an impressive range of other great family games and I was happy to be asked to test out a couple of card games...Jungle Speed and Dobble.

Dobble is a game of speed, observation and reflexes.  There are 5 ways to play, each game having different rules.  Each card contains a series of images and the idea of the game is to spot matching images on other cards.  The images are different sizes and on different places on the cards so it isn't as easy as you'd think!

There are 55 different cards which all have an image in common with every other card in the deck.  The circular cards are sturdy and tidy away into the circular tin.  We played Towering Inferno which involved trying to match your card with the central playing card.  First person to call a match takes the card from the central pile to build their own tower or pile of cards.  The player with the biggest tower wins.  It was fast, furious and you had to be really observant to spot the matching images and symbols before the other players.

Concentrating hard!
The other mini games are variations on this theme, all involving matching your card's symbols before anyone else!  These games are The Well, Hot Potato, Catch Them All and the Poisoned Gift. Each game lasts about 15 minutes so you can play all the variations in one sitting.  The game can be played with 2-8 players ages 6 and over.  Adults and children alike can play together.  It is really fun and simple to play.  It is perfect for travelling or while on holiday and can be packed away into the tin and carried in a bag or pocket.  For just £12.99 on  it is fantastic value.  The 5 -in- 1 aspect of the game keeps it really interesting and fresh.

The Dobble Champion
Jungle Speed is another family card game which is easy to play and again relies on keen observation skills and lightning reflexes.  The game consists of  a set of cards and a wooden totem which fit neatly into a funky cloth drawstring bag.

For 3-8 (or more) players aged 7+, this game is a lot of fun.  The totem sits in the middle of the table.  The cards are dealt out.  Each card has a symbol on it.  The idea is to match the symbol on your card with an identical one on someone elses' card before they do.  Players reveal their cards simultaneously.  If you have a match, a duel is triggered and you have to grab the totem before the other player does. The fastest player gives his discarded cards to his losing adversary. The winner is the first to get rid of his cards.

Grabbing the totem.
The pack includes some special cards which if turned over change the method of play.  One such card makes everyone grab at once, another allows you to match colours instead of patterns.  If during play you grab the totem by mistake (this is easy done due to the patterns being very similar) you are penalised by having to pick up all the discarded cards on the table.  So you have to keep your wits about you!  Act quickly but be sure.

You also need a steady hand...dropping the totem carries a penalty! This game is a lot of laughs as players go to grab the totem at the same time or mistakenly grab when the cards don't match.  Kizzy ended up launching the totem off the table in her haste to grab it!

Jungle Speed sells for £14.99 on

We spent a good hour or so playing these two fun, family card games.  I really liked the fact that they were both straight forward and not overly complicated, yet were still challenging and fun.  It is nice to play a game where 8 year old Kizzy can play alongside her 15 year old sister and myself.

I can see both games being used a lot over the holidays and beyond.  They make a nice change to playing regular card games and are much quicker and less fussy than board games.  They are definitely a hit with us!!

*Esdevium Games has a Take Me Out game coming keep your eyes peeled for that...if you are a no likey, no lighty fan!!*


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