Reviewed by Jenny Bray
The Gruffalo Dobble comes with the cards and instructions within a tin with the Gruffalo on and inside a box with plastic encasing the tin so that you can see the product before you open the box.
This is a Gruffalo version of the popular Dobble game, by Asmodée which involves spotting the matching symbol between different cards. It is based on the popular characters and items in Julia Donaldson’s best selling Gruffalo book. There is only ever one matching picture between two different cards. There are 30 round game cards which each have 6 different symbols on, out of a choice of 31. The game also comes with an instruction manual, which shows 5 different games that can be played, alongside a leaflet about the history of the original Dobble game. The symbols are different sizes on different cards so your eye is always drawn to a different image on the card, making the matching ones harder to spot. The symbols are all Gruffalo story related including knobbly knees, terrible claws, mouse, owl, mushroom etc. The other side of the card is a picture of the Gruffalo popping up in his wood, with the mouse in the background.
The game is suitable for all the family, from ages 4 and up and is for between 2 and 5 players. It is one of only a few games where age makes no difference to how good you are as it is just about having a keen eye to spot the matching symbol between the cards. My youngest is 5 and often disadvantaged when it comes to playing board games with the rest of us. However, this one is both in a theme that he knows and likes and he is able to play on a par with his siblings. We’ve been playing more games during the lockdown and it’s nice to have a different option that all the family enjoy, particularly where everyone starts on an even footing in terms of skill level. Board games have been a welcome break from home schooling, when trying to keep my children away from screens!
We had a few entertaining moments when naming the symbols before I looked them up in the instruction manual to check their ‘official’ names. There are a few along the same theme, including ‘terrible claws’ and ‘turned out toes’ which we had to learn as otherwise those and some of the face ones, like ‘terrible teeth’ and ‘poisonous wart’, which both show teeth on were causing arguments. Some of these were called out as a match but then discovered to be different symbols, which each child who realised took great joy in telling their siblings.
I like that, even though there are only 30 cards, there are 5 different games that can be played with them. Obviously they’re all of a similar theme but they’re different enough to get more out of the cards.
As it is a game suitable for ages 4 and up I would have liked for the cards to be slightly thicker so they’re more durable. My children can be a little over zealous with cards when it involves taking them if you win them so I think they’d last a bit longer if a little thicker.
This is a great little game suitable for all ages that’s compact enough in its tin to be able to travel with it and a good option to keep all members of the family entertained. It’s also good value at £9.99.
This product can be purchased from Zatu here.