During a recent game-testing session here at The Toy Book, I had the opportunity to play Fandooble, from Mindtwister USA. This game took a few rounds to get the hang of, but once I did, I really liked it—so much so that I called dibs and took it home. Last weekend, I hosted my two teenage male cousins from Sweden. Needless to say, it could be a challenge at times to find activities that we all enjoyed; after all, a 13-year-old boy and a 28-year old woman don’t have a lot of common ground. Fandooble was a great solution, and we played several times during their visit. I even purchased another copy to send home with them as a reminder of our time together.
The game includes four dice and a bag of gold coins. The dice bear images of green dragons, red dragons, knights, wizards, treasure chests, and Fandooble—the money-snatcher. Each player begins the game with five coins in their “stash.” The rest of the coins are kept in the middle.
A player begins by rolling the dice. For each treasure chest rolled, the player may take one gold coin from the center pool and hold it in their “loot” until their turn ends. If the player rolls Fandooble, he or she may take a coin from another player. Any dragon that is rolled cannot be rolled again unless it is conquered by rolling a knight (to conquer a green dragon) or a wizard (to conquer a red dragon). For example, if a player rolls a knight, a red dragon, and two green dragons, he or she can decide to roll again, but can only roll the knight and one green dragon. If three dragons are rolled at any time and none are conquered, the player’s turn ends and he or she must return the loot to the center pile. If three red dragons are rolled and none are conquered, the player must return the loot and their stash to the center.
Players can roll as many times in a turn as they like (unless they roll three unconquered dragons.) The object of the game is to have the most gold coins once the center pile is gone. Fandooble is a game of strategy, luck, and willpower. If a player has a lucky streak and makes several good rolls, he or she must decide if it is worth the risk to continue rolling—even after adding many gold coins to the loot pile, it can all be gone with one unfortunate roll of, for example, three red dragons and a knight. Once a player’s turn has ended, he or she may add their loot pile to their stash.
Fandooble is a fun and engaging game for 2 to 6 players ages 8 and up.
For more commentary from Christine, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!