- Designers: Fridtjof Buvarp, Eilif Svensson, Maija Buvarp, Pauline Buvarp, Asmund Svensson
- Publisher: Chilifox Games
- Players: 3-7
- Age: 10+
- Time: 20 minutes
- Played 4 times with copy from publisher
The first game of Elilf Svensson’s I ever played was Doodle City. That started my pretty close relationship with the great guys at Aporta Games, and I think that I’ve reviewed all of their releases since that maiden game. The Svenssons have started their own company this year, and Doodle Dash was one of their initial titles. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, thinking that this might still be a roll-and-write (as this seems to be a forte of the Norwegians), but it is not that – it is instead a hysterical game of drawing things as fast as possible and then fervently hoping that your friends can guess what you managed to draw.
To set up the game, shuffle the card deck and draw out two cards per player in the game. Each player gets a drawing board and a dry erase marker. The wooden dowel and the die are placed in the center of the table.
In this game, players will try to draw items as quick as possible. One player per round is designated as the guesser. They close their eyes, and then to top card from the deck is flipped over. The guesser shouts out a number from 1 to 7, and all the drawers look at the card to figure out what it is that they are supposed to draw. Flip the card back over, and then when the Guesser says “go!”, all drawers then rush to draw the word from the card.
When you finish your drawing, flip your card over. If you are first, grab the dowel in the center of the table. The second fastest player grabs the die and starts to roll it. Whenever the Stop symbol is rolled (1 out of 6 chance), everyone else must immediately stop drawing and flip their board over.
Now, the Guesser opens their eyes and sees who has the dowel. That player flips over their board and the guesser makes a single guess at what the illustration is. If the guess is correct, the guesser and that drawer each earn a point. If the guess is wrong, now we look at the second fastest player (the person who was rolling the die). Again, if the guess is correct, the guesser and the 2nd fastest player get a victory point. If the guess is wrong, now is the time for ALL other players to flip over their boards, and the guesser now gets to look at all of them – if the guess is correct, then all those remaining drawers and the guesser get a point.
The guesser moves to the next player around the table, everyone erases their boards and the process is repeated. When all the cards are used (each player is the guesser twice), the player with the most points wins. There is no tiebreaker.
My thoughts on the game
Doodle Dash is a surprisingly fun little game – when I first saw it, I thought it was just going to be a little trifle, but so far, at each time that it’s hit the table, we’ve ended up rolling in our seats laughing at the results of the drawing (and the impossibly bad guessing). There are times when it is simply ridiculous to see how all four of the drawers managed to make the exact same drawing for “soap”!
From my standpoint, this is less a game about winning and losing, and more about being creative and going along for the ride. As one of the regular gamers in my group noticed; if you were playing this “seriously” – that is, trying to specifically win the game – the scoring system can be gamed a bit. When you’re the guesser, if your direct competition was the quickest drawer – you could simply make an erroneous guess to prevent that person from getting a victory point. As long as you have the right answer by the end of the round, you’ll still get your point…
But – that’s totally not what this game is about. It’s all about the fun in trying to draw the thing as fast as possible. How many corners can you cut in order to get the right idea across? If you are a straggler, now you can push your luck a bit, and take the time to embellish your art as much as possible – but make sure you get the big details done first because you have to stop when the die roll hits the stop sign.
The components are great, and the markers write and erase well. As a nice touch, the game even includes an extra set of eraser pads in the box! The words on the cards are quite varied, but yet most of them seem reasonable for a game that wants you to draw things in 3 to 5 second intervals. There is a decent safety valve in that the more difficult words are denoted with a star, and if you’re playing with younger gamers, you can simply ask the guesser to choose a different number if they randomly announce one with a star next to it.
So, this game is totally not what I usually want to play. I tend to dislike party games. But, after the first few plays, we’ve had some much fun and laughter with this one that it might get a slot in the opener rotation. The other nice thing we’ve discovered with the game is that it’s easy to just add someone in if they show up late. Even if the game is halfway thru, just throw a marker and a board at the latecomer, and they can join in. Sure, they won’t be able to get enough VPs to ever win, but honestly, like I said earlier, this isn’t the sort of thing that I would even care what my score was. I’m just trying to make sure that my clown is 5% faster drawn than yours :)
Thoughts from other Opinionated Gamers
Mark Jackson: Over time, I’ve come to dislike most party games… but we had a lot of fun with Doodle Dash. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and the frenetic nature of the drawing keeps everything ripping right along.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it. Dale Y, Mark Jackson
- Not for me…