I am a fan of dexterity games despite possessing woefully poor coordination skills. So I was excited when I received this game as a gift (along with Gigamons) even though I had never previously heard of it. Instantly, I could tell the theme was kind of pasted on, but that usually would not be such a big deal for a game like this…right?
Brief Game Synopsis
Each turn a card is revealed showing three vials that contain some combination of marbles, two each in the colors of purple, green, and red. Players then race to be the first to match the tableau pictured by mixing marbles in their own set of three test tubes. Whoever matches the picture first wins the round, first to win five rounds wins the game.
Toys With Rules
Like most Dexterity, there is an elegant simplicity in Dr. Eureka. The rules are super easy to follow and the rulebook does an efficient job of walking you through the game. There might be one or two more rules then in the synopsis but that is pretty much it. It is a real quick game to teach.
Boards ‘N Bits
The cards themselves seem a little thinner then I would like and could possibly wear down faster then would be ideal, but I have a hard time seeing that happening as the cards aren’t shuffled but once at the beginning of the game and then not heavily handled.
The clear test tubes are surprisingly durable and the marbles that are supposed to represent molecules aren’t as cheap as they look. My two year old doesn’t really follow the game but he likes mixing the marbles around with the tubes and is very rough on them and none of them have broken yet. So that’s a good sign, right?
To be honest, I forgot what the game theme was supposed to be almost instantly; that did not prove to really matter though as the mad dash to be first to make your vials match the card without spilling them generates enough laughter and frenzied scampering to win that no one I have played with thus far has really noticed. I like the game, even with just two players (although I do wish you could play up to six or eight…I guess I could buy a 2nd set…).
I will say, the vial openings are not much bigger then the marbles itself, which can be an issue for younger hands. Of course, the box says ages eight and up so that may be a moot point. Regardless, my six year old likes it enough. I got him into it slowly, saying he only had to match two of the three vials pictured and spilling didn’t matter. After a few games he graduated to matching all three but spilling still didn’t mean he lost that round…but I do make him count to five as a penalty before he continues the turn….and he still usually wins…because I am awful at dexterity based anything.
Here is what my six year old boy, Judah, wanted to share about his experience:
I know you said the game is about science, but it must be weird science because it just seems like a game to me But what I really like about this game, Doctor…Doctor…Euie….Whatever it is called is that it has all these different colored balls that if you spill them they fall down and go everywhere and your turn ends and that makes it hard and fun. And it has cool patterns that sometimes complement each other and make it easy and sometimes they do not go together very well and make it harder. That is really fun. And frustrating. I also dislike that daddy can beat me at it because he should not be able to do that. But only cause he is better at flipping the vials over then I am. I spill the balls when I do that.
+ Sturdy, quality pieces
+ Cheap MSRP
+ Easy to teach
- Thin cards
- Low player count
- Vials might be slightly to narrow
Purchase, Play, or Pass
If you like dexterity games then I vote Purchase. I have played this a few times with some adult gamers and they all like it, but it never gets more than two games in (with each game being playable in about 10-15 minutes) so it is very much a silly filler.