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October 30th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

When I reviewed “Concept” earlier this year I stated that it was extremely visual intensive.  “Dohdles!” operates on a similar theme, though instead of placing pawns on various pictures to give clues, you’ll be sculpting the solution out of dough.  Folks who lack artistic ability (like myself) will be pleased to know that players will be able to ask questions to help overcome this “all-thumbs” barrier.  Before we get into all of that though, I’d like to quickly thank Sarah from Southard Inc. (a representative for Thames and Kosmos) for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.



Dohdles!: 3-6 Players, Ages 10+, Average Play Time = 40 Minutes



The game includes 1 game board, 6 suggestion boards, 1 guess funnel, 1 pad of solution sheets, 1 “Dohdle” master placard, 6 modeling dough bars in different colors, 6 player tokens in different colors, 6 guess cubes in different colors, 18 clue chips (6 colors, 3 of each), and 6 storage bags.  Pencils are required but not included.

Setup & Gameplay

For your first game only, the guess funnel will need assembled.  After that, it can stay assembled and will fit in the box that way.  During setup, it goes in the center of the board. Each player gets a random suggestion board, sample-questions side up.  Each player chooses a color and gets all of the components of that color, placing their player token on the starting space and their guess cube on their board.

Each player will sculpt two Dohdles (three in a three player game) and place them on their free Dohdle spaces.  Each Dohdle space is surrounded by a clue ring of spaces…a player chip is placed on the starting space for each Dohdle in play.  Players also write the secret solution word on the blank side of a solution sheet for each Dohdle, sliding it word-side down underneath the board near its respective Dohdle so that the numbers 1-5 are visible.  The oldest player gets the master placard card and goes first.

On a player’s turn, they’ll choose another player’s Dohdle and move the clue chip to the next space.  Then, depending on where the clue chip is, the player will be able to ask for a specific clue.  The white ?? space, for example, allows the player to ask yes/no questions.  The gray ABC space allows the player to ask for one of the first five letters (to which the player being asked writes the letter onto the appropriate 1-5 space on the matching secret solution sheet).

Once a player’s clue chip has moved away from its starting space, anyone can make a guess on it.  To do that, simply shout “Dohdles!” and throw a cube into the guess funnel.  Guesses are resolved in the order the cubes come out, though the active player does have priority when the clue chip is on the first clue space.  Guessing incorrectly results in your player token being moved back spaces along the track, while guessing correctly allows you to move forward.  The creator of the Dohdle may also move their player token forward a number of spaces equal to the number shown by the clue chip.

The game ends when someone’s player token reaches the last space (in which case they win) or when a player goes to take their turn but all of their opponent’s Dohdles have been solved (in which case the player further ahead on the track wins).

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.




The Review

At first glance the game seemed more complicated than it actually is, what with how busy the board looks when it’s all set up.  Someone looking at this game online might think to themselves, “Charades with play-doh, sounds easy enough” and then do a double-take when they open the box and see all of the components.  Speaking of which, I found it odd that the guess funnel couldn’t come pre-assembled seeing as how there’s a space for it in the box.  Perhaps the developers/publishers save money this way during manufacturing.  While a neat idea, I found the guess funnel to be unnecessary.  Whoever yells “Dohdles first can simply guess first…throwing cubes into a funnel is just extra flair that we didn’t need.

Anywho, the game isn’t all that difficult to play.  I found myself at ends when sculpting my creations…I didn’t want to make it too easy on my opponents as they’d climb the scoring track without much effort, but I also wanted to make it easy enough for them to get after 2-3 clues so that I could rake in on some bonus points.  You see, the owner of the Dohdle will sometimes get points when someone else guesses their creation successfully, but only around the midpoint of the clue tracker.  In other words, if someone only needs one clue to guess your creation, you’re getting zilch.  Likewise, if someone needs seven clues to guess what it is, you’re also getting nothing.  The trick is to aim for a creation that could be guessed in about three clues, netting you a maximum of three bonus points.  Finding this sweet spot can be one of the most challenging things about the game, especially if your artistic talent is as bad as mine.

Luckily, players will have more flexibility toward the end of the clue tracker when it comes to what questions they’re able to ask.  In the beginning, you’re limited to asking yes/no questions and asking for one of the first five letters.  Toward the mid/end-point, players can opt for either-or.  While players are encouraged to use the suggested words/ideas on the reverse side of their solution sheet, they’re free to come up with anything that suits their level of artistic talent.  If you’re a master sculptor, for example, then crafting a “baseball” might not be in your best interest if you’re trying to get your clue tracker to around the midpoint.  Then again, you could go for something simple and purposely leave out details to keep them guessing for a few more turns.  The more refined your artistic talent, the better you’ll be at this game.

“Dohdles!” makes for an excellent party game assuming that your group is both imaginative and creative.  If you own games like “Concept” and enjoy playing them, then this one should be right up your alley as well.  Being artsy craftsy is definitely recommended, though you can play without this skill so as long as you keep things light and casual.

Final Verdict: 7/10

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