12 February 2023
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Hopefully, wibbling and wobbling
The egg wibbles and wobbles. That, if you saw the game at UK Games Expo earlier in the year, is probably all you need to know about whether Dodo is a game for the youngest person at your gaming tables. Dodo is a cooperative memory game – roll a dice, find the matching materials amongst a bunch of face down tokens, and, if you find the right one, use it to build.
But what are we building? The path for a wibbly-wobbly egg that is slowly, in real time, wandering down the mountain out of the dodo’s nest and toward a boat at the bottom of the mountain. It’s not entirely clear what you, the players, are planning to do with this egg now you’ve got it, and it might be best not to probe this question too hard in front of children who have just become very engaged with saving the egg from falling.
Each turn is a race to find the piece you need to fill in that plank, and then place it on the side of the mountain just in time to ferry the egg on its way to the next corner and certain doom – unless you find the right piece.
The set up for the game is a simple and sturdy mountain with plastic rocky outcrops for you to place your planks. The instructions for putting this together are clear, but it certainly isn’t something very young players should be attempting, as it does actually matter which sides of the mountain go where. This doesn’t matter too much, or at least didn’t matter in this reviewer’s house as the mountain has stayed up pretty much consistently since its first outing.
You see it’s less a game and mostly a toy with game elements. While Dodo is aimed at children six and over, it’s entirely playable by younger children with a little bit of help. What’s great here is that there is a sense of danger and a timer that really motivates and focuses kids to the game. And of course, the egg. The egg (a little plastic ball) moves with these small wiggles at increasingly fast rates as the pitch of the planks increase.
We (me and my daughter) play the game regularly and now we’re taking turns properly, following the rules (sort of) and carefully putting the new planks in place. It’s the perfect game to buy for a slightly too young child (assuming they’re safe enough with the parts) to introduce them into playing games. There’s danger, time pressure, and amusing mechanisms – one of the minor pieces of genius is that used tokens can be slotted into the top of the mountain to fall into the cove beneath.
So, if you were wondering what you should be buying for the youngest nearly-gamers in your life – this is it. Dodo is charming as it is engaging, and what you’ll get out of it is a very pleased child.
Christopher John Eggett
PLAY IT? YES
A wonderful, whimsical first (wibbly-wobbly) step into the world of gaming.
TRY THIS IF YOU LIKED Orchard…
If this classic has started to wane in popularity in your household, then Dodo might be the high octane next step.
Designer: Marco Teubner & Frank Bebnroth
Time: 10 minutes
What’s in the box?
- Wibbly-wobbly egg
- 6 Bridges
- Cliff edge
- 58 Building material tiles
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