Spot it: Dobble Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on August 19th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Spot it: Dobble is a really fun and challenging game for kids as well as adults. Based on the popular party game, known both as "Dobble" or "Spot It," this app consists of two cards that include 6-10 shapes, based on the level of difficulty. These cards must be compared to find the single object that is found on both cards. Easy to understand, this game is actually quite challenging, even for adults and is simply a lot of fun to play. Sometimes these corresponding objects that one is seeking will pop off the cards easily; other times players will feel quite stumped indeed. This is because these shapes, although the same, will be in varied sizes and angles, making them hard to pick out from the other choices given. There is a point system in this game as well, adding an incentive to find these objects as fast as possible - hopefully before the timer that encircles these cards makes a full rotation, and note that a mistake will cost you.

I really appreciate the music used here; it is jazzy and upbeat, adding an element of urgency and reminding me of background music from a 1960’s spy or crime thriller without adding undo stress to the game play - a balancing act that these developers get just right. Sound effects are included as well, adding to the fun as each item found sounds an associated sound effect - a bit of whimsy to this addictive game application. It is also nice that the music or sound effects can be silenced independently from each other, always a nice touch.

Players can play by themselves, or “duel” with a friend to see who can spot 15 common objects first. It would be good if in the future, this app could become universal because an iPhone is a little small to share between two people, working best sitting side-by-side, but will play fine from across one another as well. I have blown this app up 2X on the iPad, and I really like the extra elbow room this affords the players, but in so doing, the resolution becomes somewhat lacking, although two could play this way without any problems.

I really enjoy this game as I love the way it gets my mind working. I do wish, however, that the choosing of specific game modes were more intuitive. As of now my game play consists of “Time attack” where I find 15 objects, one per hand, as quickly as possible, but I am locked out of the other game modes. “Checkpoint," as I understand, has players makes as many matches as possible within a time limit. I have also not been able to gain access to “Hot Potato” - a mode for two players where one steals cards from the opponent, winning after one collects 10 cards. Three levels of difficulty are included as well, and I thought I would be able to move on after finishing the difficult level which includes 10 symbols per card, but with no such luck.

This application is a very pleasant surprise, as I am often not great at speed-based games, but being locked out of these other modes does frustrate me. In the future, I would like to see specific information about when these modes are available, and honestly, an option to have basic access to these sections without doing anything special would make me happy.

I do hope this note does not persuade others from downloading this game, as even if this app only contained the single and double player games that I have been able to play, it would be well worth the price tag of $0.99 and it is quite possible that others will figure out the locking system even if I have not, as I don’t pretend to be good at that sort of thing.

This will be a great application to play with my son as he gets a little older. I would love to play it with my husband as well, but his work schedule makes this difficult.

This app has made me very curious about the related party game, something I will be on the lookout for when my son shows interest and aptitude for this application. Like books, I find value in both the classic presentation of a game like this as well as its application counterpart. Although far into the future, I see myself buying this card game as a standard gift in grade school if my son allows this. I highly recommend this app!

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Spot it : Dobble! screenshot 1 Spot it : Dobble! screenshot 2 Spot it : Dobble! screenshot 3 Spot it : Dobble! screenshot 4 Spot it : Dobble! screenshot 5
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