Duple Is a Challenging Variation on Anomia

Geek Culture

Image: Anomia Press

I love trying out new variations of games that I already enjoy. I recently learned that the makers of Anomia created a new game called Duple. It has a very similar gameplay to the original, with an extra added challenge.

Anomia requires players to think quickly on their feet to shout out words that fit categories. All players are engaged at all times, so there is no waiting for your turn. Duple also demands that players use the two letters in play in their answers. Also, there are fewer categories.

Basic gameplay for both of these card games involves players taking turns flipping over cards in front of them. Each card has a symbol, and when two symbols match, those players have a Face Off. Whoever says a word that fits the category (and in the case of Duple, the word must also contain the two letters on the cards) wins the opponent’s card. Play continues around, with Face Offs sometimes causing cascades of more Face Offs when older cards are uncovered. The game is fast paced and frenetic, with conditions changing quickly and frequently. Stay on your toes. The more people playing, the more you’ll have to look around.

Additionally in Duple, the All Play cards bring a new challenge to the game, causing all players to think up a word during a Face Off, not just the two players with matching patterns. Also, as with Anomia, the Wild cards add another pattern combination that triggers a Face Off.

The game’s clear instructions contain specific rules for tiebreakers and other possible factors in the game. They also give six possible house rules, to make games easier for younger players, or to add strategy and variety to the gameplay. And since the game is just a deck of cards, it’s very portable and great fun for groups of people who like to think quickly and laugh readily.

The game is designed for 3-6 players, aged 10 and up. When you just have two or three people, the game is pretty slow. It’s more fun and fast-paced with more players, but also more challenging. Judge your audience accordingly. It does seem to work best with the noted age restriction, at least for mixed ages. If four eight-year-olds wanted to play together, that would probably work, too.

Duple retails for $12.99. It is great fun, and a good complement to Anomia. I still prefer the original, but Duple adds some fun new elements. My only suggestion would be for them to add more categories. The variety of categories in Anomia was a real strength.

Note: I received this game for review purposes.

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