Dobble’s back again, and this time it’s brought the wizarding world of Harry Potter along with it. If you haven’t read one of our previous Dobble reviews then I’d suggest you head there first, with the most useful one likely to be our first Dobble review, so take a quick look if you need to brush up on the basics. I point you there for one big reason: the new Harry Potter version of Dobble is pretty much the same, just with new pictures, some nice ways to play and a different tin. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
The images are great on this though, with a gorgeous cartoon style clearly showing various characters, locations and paraphernalia linked to the Harry Potter saga. It certainly helps if you know the films or books quite well; myself and my 6 year old aren’t overly familiar so were shouting things like “hat”, “elf thing” and “stick”, while my wife went for the slightly more official sounding “sorting hat”, “Dobbie” and “wand”. Same thing though, right? It made for a few confusing moments, but nothing that ruined the game. It even made it quite funny at times as one of us tried desperately to work out how to describe the match without giving another player the chance to steal the card.
The game modes here are fairly standard for Dobble, but are clearly explained for those who haven’t tried them in one of the other numerous versions. The Tower mode is what we tend to gravitate towards, where each player has a card and one is turned over from a central pile. Find the match, you win the card and replace yours with the one you just won. The always-amazing concept of every single card having a single match on every other card in the deck still baffles me, but means that you can carry on with every player having a fair chance of winning the next card.
Elsewhere you can go for the Well option, dividing the cards up between all the players and letting people find their own match from their hands. Poisoned Gift and Hot Potato rely on you interacting with cards that other players are currently holding, and Triplet will see you desperately trying to find three cards with matching symbols against one that you’re holding. To be honest, with such a young player at the table we generally kept to the first two modes and left the trickier rules of the others alone, but it was nice to know there were other options available if we needed them.
So this is a pretty easy one to wrap up in a final paragraph. If you’ve played and enjoyed Dobble, this is yet another set to add to what is likely an already growing collection. If you’ve yet to experience it but have a real interest in Harry Potter, then that alone is probably a reason to give it a shot. In fact, the only real reason not to give this a good look is if you’ve already tried Dobble and not really enjoyed it. This won’t change your mind, but it’ll certainly give everyone else a great half hour or so.