Pros: gorgeous dominoes I can't stop raving about
Cons: directions confusing enough to befuddle the hardest-core domino fan
My mother always tries to get all her grandchildren a few games each year at Christmas, and this year she really outdid herself. I think that each family netted something like four games. Some were duds, some were great, but we are still having trouble with our Cardinal Industries Double Nine Collectors Dominoes with Color Jumbo Dot.
::: I Just Can't Stop Touching Them :::
Cardinal Industries somehow got in bed with Target, because this identical set was repackaged in a logo-less tin that says nothing other than "redistributed by Target." How nice that they redistribute. The directions, however, are Cardinal, and there is no mistaking the gorgeous jumbo color dot dominoes.
It may sound a bit neurotic to be raving about how beautiful dominoes are, but as someone who grew up with cheapy plastic dominoes, the Cardinal Industries Double Nine Collectors Dominoes with Color Jumbo Dot really are something to rave about. Each domino is 2 inches long by 1 inch high,and ¼ inch deep, and made of a heavy, glossy plastic that feels almost like marble in your hands, and gives a satisfying "click" when up against other dominoes. The colors for the dots are vibrant, and the black bar between the sides is clear and distinct. Fifty-five dominoes are included in a double-nine set, which includes dominoes with possible dots on each side from 1 to 9.
A paper fold-out is included that describes several variations of dominoes, which is essentially a matching game; the player with the highest "double" (meaning both sides of the domino are the same number of dots) begins, and each player plays out of their hand trying to match one side of a domino to one already played, taking another domino from the "boneyard" if no matches are possible. The first player to go out wins the session, and points are given to the other players based on the total number of dots still in their hands. Games then end when a player hits a set number of total points (decided upon by all players at the beginning of the game), and the player with the lowest number of points is the winner.
::: Um, How Was That Again? :::
You know, writing up the game description seemed easy enough, but I'm a newcomer to double nines, having grown up playing double sixes, so thought the game might go differently. My daughter Beanie was the recipient of the Cardinal Industries Double Nine Collectors Dominoes with Color Jumbo Dot, and couldn't wait to break them out to play. I assumed that my husband, the son of one of the all-time most competitive family dominoes players of all time, would be able to lead us, but he was clueless, having blocked all memories of what I'm sure were traumatic game nights with his mother from his recall.
I sat down with the directions and was promptly stumped. This was DOMINOES, and I couldn't figure out how to play the game! The directions for the first game listed were so convoluted that the way we understood them, it was possible to go out before the other players even got a chance to make a play, which stumped us. Other variations were even more confusing, and finally all three of us (one five-year-old and two adults who should have known better) agreed to give it up until the adults could go online and refresh their memories on the rules of a simple game.
Confusing directions aside, at under $10.00, the Cardinal Industries Double Nine Collectors Dominoes with Color Jumbo Dot should be a must-have set. The dominoes just beg to be played with, and this is a fun game recommended for ages four and up, but could probably be played with any child from toddler on up who can identify either colors or numbers (since each number has its own assigned color).