Double Double Dominoes: A classic game with a fun new twist.

Our Recommended Age:6+
Recommended Age:8+
Players:2-4
Cost:$30.00
Play Time:50 Minutes
Company Site:www.calliopegames.com
Awards:Major Fun Award GAMES Magazine Traditional Games 100
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Double Double Dominoes takes the classic game of dominoes and adds new elements that make it even more fun. Take turns placing dominoes and earn points for putting them on certain spaces on the board. Double Dominoes are worth DOUBLE the points! Keep on eye on what everyone plays, if your point marker is on that number you get even MORE points!  Choose the right dominoes and the right spots to play them to get the most points to become the Double Double Domino champion!

Calliope is one of those companies that makes high quality games that are fun for the whole family. Double Double Dominoes is no exception to this and is a perfect game to play with those who “don’t like playing games”. It is recommended for ages 8+ but the Diva can play without much help. Everyone needs help to remember to get points on other people’s turns but aside from that the game if pretty easy to learn.

It is also made out of high quality parts. Chipboard is what the fold up game board is made out of but it also has a smooth, shiny wrap applied to it. There isn’t a lot of artwork on it but the background of the board looks textured which makes it looks nicer.

The dominoes are, well domino material. Not too heavy or light and the pips (are they called pips on dominoes?) are large and carved into the domino. This makes them easy to identify and perfect for kids and those who have a little trouble seeing tiny dots.

The only other pieces are the point markers. There are four in Red, Blue, Green and Yellow and made out of plastic. Also, they are clear and it isn’t that cheap plastic either.

The box is a typical lift top lid style with sturdy cardboard and that same shiny smooth finish. Inside there is an insert but it doesn’t make sense. The middle is a vertical area where you can neatly stack the dominoes but they don’t stay there. There is a sort of a space that looks like it holds something in the middle of the insert horizontally and at the top of the insert but nothing goes there and the instructions are too big for it although barely.  Not the worst thing ever and since the actual game pieces are such good quality it isn’t an issue.

Now let’s see how to play!

Objective:

Be the first to reach the Victory Goal (a certain spot on the score track) or have the most points at the end of the game. The Victory Total will vary depending on how many people are playing and you can always scale it for younger players if you want…we don’t have to anymore with either the Gentleman or the Diva…and they still win.

If you are playing with 2 Players you go to 100, 3 or 5 goes to 75 and 4 or 6 goes to 50. If playing with more than 4 you will need 2 more point markers…we’ve used flat marbles…and mini figures…from legos.

Setup:

First put the board where everyone can reach. Put the markers for each player on the Start position. We usually all play this together with me getting Red, Diva is Yellow, Comedian is Green and the Gentleman is of course Blue…his favorite color for now.

Put all the Dominoes face down on the table and mix them all up. This is a fun part as well because you basically get to shuffle all the dominoes around like crazy and the kids make fun noises…or the adults do…someone always does…which makes everyone giggle. Once they are good and mixed up everyone takes 3 and doesn’t show anyone.

The rest make up the Boneyard or draw pile if you prefer and you can leave them or stack them into neat piles which cause people like me to knock over…I can’t help it…Now everyone shows their domino (from their hand) that as the lowest number on it..that person goes first. If there is a tie then the instructions say the oldest goes first but we grab a die and roll…rolling a die solves many a problem. Now let’s play!

Play:

On every turn you will draw a domino from the Boneyard and then play a domino from your hand on the board. If you can’t place a domino, which does happen, then you have to discard a domino into the pit where it will live for the rest of the game…you can’t use it again for this game. Put it face down though so no one knows what you got rid of.

The very first domino placed must go on a space with the Star in the middle of the board. After that every domino placed just has to be placed next to a match for one side of your domino. If you are playing a domino with a 5 and a 3 then one of those two have to be placed next to a domino already on the board with either a 3 or 5.

Only ONE side of the domino can touch another domino when placed. The other side cannot be touching any other domino on the board. Unless of course it matches another domino. It IS possible to put one domino so both sides match two dominoes nearby.

If you CAN play a domino you HAVE to play…no bluffing. Double Dominoes are worth double points AND you get to take another turn BUT there is a catch. You can choose to take this extra turn but you HAVE to play the next domino next to the one you just placed…so play doubles carefully. Yes, you can do this a second time even if you have the right dominoes…I’ve seen it happen though it isn’t common.

You can only play a domino from your hand and you can only draw ONE domino at the beginning of your turn. When you are done placing dominoes you get to draw back up to 3 dominoes though. You should always end a turn with 3.

You score points as you play so pay attention. The score track is out side the main game board area and you move your Marker as soon as you score points…like I said pay attention or designate a score keeper. You get points by playing a domino on a diamond on the board. They have numbers 1-5 and those are the points you get if you play on them. Remember, Double Dominoes are worth DOUBLE points!

You can also get 3 points every time another player plays a domino that matches the number your score marker is on. It doesn’t even have to be the side that connects to another domino. It just has to have that number on the domino played. Easy 3 points…so pay attention.

Winning:

The game ends when someone gets to the agreed upon Victory Total. We usually go 50 or 100. Or rather 50 for kids and 100 for adults…although now we do 50 and 75 cause they are starting to win more…So the game ends at the end of that person’s turn OR if someone draws the last domino from the Boneyard OR if there are no spaces to play dominoes left.

If the latter two happen you have to go with whoever has the most points wins. If there is a tie then you count up your remaining domino dots…yes the dots ON the dominoes and whoever has the most wins! I kind of like that.

It doesn’t travel well but it IS a great game to take on vacations, camping or to other game nights with friends. There is also some educational value. As with all games kids learn taking turns, good sportsmanship but with Double Double Dominoes younger kids can learn or reinforce counting, reading dice (domino pips are the same as dice pips), planning ahead and strategy skills.

This is a great addition to our Family Game Nights. The kids love playing it and the adults love playing it with or without the kids!

Show us your Victory! @MyGeeklings #DoubleDoubleDominoes @CalliopeGames

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”
~ Fred Rogers

Author: sandyz

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