And now, from the makers of the Major Fun award-winning Anomia, we have Duple, a party game, using game play that is similar in many significant aspects to the aforementioned Major Fun award-winning Anomia, but different in a non-categorized, word-finding, vocabulary-searching kid of way – a difference of profound enough significance to make Duple a game that deserves its own review, as if it were an unprecedented invitation to fun, which, as a matter of fact, it is.
There are many cards.
Sixty-four of them are letter cards. Letter cards have, as you probably already conjectured, letters on them. One letter each. They also have symbols on them – one of eight different kinds. After you’ve set everything up and started actually playing, taking turns picking and turning over cards from the draw decks, the moment you notice that your card bears the same symbol as someone else’s card, you find yourself in a head-to-head race to be the first to utter, mention, or shout out a word of five or more letters that has both your letter and the letter on your opponent’s card. Thus catalyzing great attention-paying and moments of death and transfiguration.
But wait, there’s more. In addition to the letter cards, there are the category cards. Categorically speaking, this impact of these cards is to excruciate the intellect by forcing you not only to race to find a word of five or more letters containing both of the letters on the cards of matching symbol, but also restricting acceptability to words of that particular category. Also note, there are two kinds of category cards: thirteen have categories on them, and four cards don’t. These four are known as “blank” cards. Should you draw a blank card, you get to assert your strategic creativity and make your own category for that particular nonce, until another category card appears. There is also a category card that says “no category,” in which event there is as you would assume, no category at all, at all.
But wait again for the more: the wild cards. The wildness of these cards is indicated by each of them having a combination of two different symbols. No letters. No categories. No blankness. Just symbols. Two, as I said, different symbols. Thus, instead of looking for two letter cards with matching symbols, should you happen to notice that one of the symbols on a wild card is the same as that on your letter card, you must, with out further ado at all, seek out a player whose card bears the other symbol on the wild card – not the symbol that matches the symbol on your letter card, mind you. No, not at all that symbol.
And then there’s that particularly pernicious, and more than mildly exacerbating wild card bearing the words “All Play,” indicating that all players, not just those whose symbols match, must race to be the first to announce a word containing all the letters currently displayed.
There’s more. But the most more is the joyous intensity you will be experiencing, the constant engagement, the challenge, the, perhaps, yelling, the sheer Majorness of fun.
3-6 players, 10 or older. OK, maybe 7 if that guy absolutely has to play.