Designed by Niklas Gestrin and Markus Tangring, Duos is a pairs matching game and deduction for 2-6 players. It comes in two versions: 'Sports & Fairy Tales' and 'Things & Animals'. Shown here on Board's Eye View is the 'Sports & Fairy Tales' edition but both editions play the same way. Both editions cover two themes and the 116 double-sided cards show line drawings of one of the themes on one side with the other theme on their reverse.
Players take turns as the 'narrator'. 12 cards are laid out in a 4 x 4 gridline drawings with the same theme side face up. Behind their screen, the 'narrator' picks out four pairs, marking them on their hidden individual grid using coloured wooden cubes. The other players are trying to guess, or deduce, which pairs the narrator has picked. There are likely to be a plethora of possible links, so players will be trying to work out the narrator's thought processes. Players score for correctly identifying pairs, and the narrator scores for each player's success. The narrator then flips all the cards to their reverse side and they repeat; this time finding pairs in the game's other theme. Everyone takes a turn as narrator and then you tot up the scores to find the winner.
For us, Duos is at its best at the higher player counts. Of course, it's longer (as a two-player game, Duos really only takes around 10-15 minutes). With more players, Duos becomes a potentially quite lively party game, as it almost inevitably prompts banter as players voice their joy or surprise at the narrator's choices and their justification for the pairings they've picked.
The line drawings by Beata Batorska are clear, so players won't have any trouble with seeing them when seated around the table. Granna have done a good job too in the production of the game, with indicators on the cards that help ensure that all the players have their individual grids in the same orientation. We also welcomed the inclusion in the box of storage cartons for the wooden cubes and scoring tokens.
Duos is a very accessible game that can be enjoyed by all the family - so it's a great candidate for multi-generational gatherings in the festive season. It's super-simple rules mean that it requires little or no teaching so you can break it out for almost immediate play.
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