Think of it as Scrabble with dominoes. Not Scrabble, because it has nothing to do with words, but Scrabble-like, because you play it on a board, and there are places on the board that give you extra score. Not dominoes, because you find yourself doing a lot more thinking than you’d be doing in your basic domino game, but domino-like, because it uses domino tiles, and luck is still a major factor. Better yet, think of it as an invitation to many hours of gentle, mildly competitive, genuinely absorbing family fun.
It’s easy to learn. There’s only one sheet of rules (though the rules come in a booklet, that’s because they are translated into several different languages). The only problem you might have would be if you think of the game as a variation of dominoes. It’s something quite different, and, if you enjoy thinking, much more engaging.
Note the red tiles (I decided not to call them dominoes). They’re the ones that are placed incorrectly. If we were thinking of them as dominoes, then we’d also think that the red tiles were perfectly acceptable. But as tiles, as used in the game of Double Double Dominoes, the end of one tile can only touch one other tile.
So many choices to think about, so many places you can put your domino-like tiles, that you find yourself thinking and thinking, even when it’s not your turn.
And then there’s the track that you use to keep score. Which also keeps you thinking even when it’s not your turn. Because if anyone plays a tile that has a number that matches the number your scoring piece is currently covering, you get bonus points!
And then there’s the strategic value of covering the high-scoring spaces. And the extra strategic value of covering a high-scoring space with a “double” (a tile where both numbers are the same), because you get double the score. And an extra turn. And, speaking of doubledness, you might notice that there you play with two complete domino sets (56). How doubled is that?
Your beyond school-age folk will find it a sweet filler-type game – nothing to get too serious about, but interesting enough to keep your attention all the way to the end. Your kid-like people will have just as much fun. Racing around a track will keep them focused, raking in bonus points will keep them smug, while you can concentrate your superior powers on the hunt for the highest possible score in a single play.
Double Double Dominoes is recommended for 2-4 players (with the optional purchase of an expansion set, you can play with up to 6 players) 8 and above and takes less than an hour to play. Designed by Seth Johnson an Jordan Weisman, distributed by Calliope Games, Double Double Dominoes is Major Fun.