Star Wars has some pretty iconic imagery. X-Wings, TIE Fighters, AT-ATs and men in their pyjamas waving glowing swords are all distinctive images that when you see you immediately know you are in a Galaxy far far away.
But do you know your X-Wing from your Y-Wing? Can you spot the difference between Count Dooku and Anakin Skywalker? And, more importantly, can you do this before anyone else?
Dobble (also known as Spot it!) is a really simple game of matching pairs. Each card is a circular disc about the size of a beer mat covered with different imagery. Between any two cards there is one, and only one, item that appears on both cards and your goal is to spot those matching items as quickly as possible.
Several different game modes are provided in Dobble Star Wars but each boil down to the same basic concept, spot the matching pair, announce it and then move one of those cards thereby revealing a new card. In the most basic games you will either be taking cards from the centre, or discarding cards to the centre.
To say Dobble is a manic game is an understatement. Being able to spot a matching pair isn't enough, you need to spot that pair before your opponents and move a card as quickly as possible, therefore changing the game state and forcing everyone to reset their brain.
Playing Dobble is like trying to play snap after eating a particularly sugar laden cake washed down with 10 espressos. The volume starts to increase, eyes start to widen and cards get thrust back and forth while those people on the other side of the room trying to play a nice intellectual game of terraforming Mars raise their eyebrows in disgust at a table shouting AT-AT, SITH, DEATH STAR, THAT POINTY SPACESHIP!
And this is where Star Wars Dobble reveals an interesting conundrum. The original Dobble and Spot It! Was made up of everyday items and it made it a great game for kids. It encourages quick thinking and helps aid vocabulary but Star Wars Dobble presents a different challenge.
I sometimes forget how much of a Star Wars geek I am, and proudly know the difference between a T 65 and T 70 X-Wing, but many people don't have this encyclopaedic knowledge, and don't even know that the Empires 'space planes' are TIE Fighters, never mind the difference between a standard TIE and Vader's TIE Advanced. So how far do you go in forcing players to shout the correct name or can you let them off on just spotting a pair of icons?
It can be a little frustrating playing Star Wars Dobble with players who think the Millennium Falcon is piloted by Captain Picard but play this with a group of Star Wars nuts and it really shines, especially as some of the icons can be a little obscure and pedantry reigns.
Quite frankly Dobble Star Wars is a lot more fun that it deserves to be. On paper the game is just a jacked up version of snap but its far more manic and quick thinking than that. For gamers with kids, or those that aren’t too au fait with their make believe mystic monks but still want a game that is frenzied, engaging and keeps your brain on edge then I recommend picking up the basic Dobble. But if you are a Star Wars fan, which if you’re visiting this website there is a good chance you are, then go get hold of Dobble Star Wars and amuse yourself with some fast thinking fun.
This review is based on a full retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.