GAME REVIEW: Dr. Eureka

I got a review copy of this several months ago.  I’ve played this several times now, but keep forgetting to post my review.  I apologize to Blue Orange for the late review, but better late than never.  Thought it might be good to pump this one up for the holidays.  It’s a quick dexterity game with balls, literally.  Dexterity games have never been my favorite, so…… How is it?  Let’s find out.

DR. EUREKA (2016) Designed by Roberto Fraga; Published by Blue Orange – For 2-4 players and takes about 10-15 minutes. 

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Each player will take on the role of an apprentice to Dr. Eureka.  Players will be racing to transfer the correct materials to the correct test tubes, in the right order.  Whoever is the fastest, and most efficient scientist will win.

Each player will take 3 test tubes, and six balls.  They will place the 2 balls in each tube in this exact order from left to right: 2 purple, 2 red and 2 green.  Every player starts the same way.

There are challenge cards that the players must complete.  At the start of a round, one of the player’s will flip the challenge card.  Then players will simultaneously try to complete the card first.

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A challenge card will show a combination that the players must get correctly, from left to right.

For example, you might have to have red on bottom and a purple on top in the left tube, a red on bottom and a green on top in the middle tube, and a purple on bottom and a green on top in the right tube.

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Here are the rules for transferring.

  • You can’t touch the balls.
  • You can’t switch test tubes (The left is always on the left, the middle is always in the middle, etc.)
  • If a player touches or drops a ball, they are out of the round.

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A player may also complete a test tube’s combination by turning over their tube, providing no balls drop out.  For example, if they have Red on top of green, but need green on top of red, they can quickly flip over the tube so that the combination is correct.

The first player to complete a card, and says “EUREKA!”, gets the challenge card.  Then you will flip another challenge card over to compete again.  The first player to collect 5 cards wins.

That’s it.  Very simple dexterity game.

Now, I always say that I’m not that big on dexterity games, but lately, I’ve been giving good reviews to several different dexterity games, like Ice Cool.  So maybe I DO like dexterity games.

Well, this one is no exception.  I actually love this game.  Easily one of the most fun dexterity games I have ever played.

The production looks great.  The test tubes are sturdy and the balls have a nice weight to them.  It’s a colorful looking game that will have people passing by actually stop to see what you are playing.

This game is fast and furious.  Not only do you have to work fast, you also must be very careful not to drop the balls.  It’s stressful, but in a really fun way.  Players will be shouting and talking smack to each other as they’re transferring balls from one tube to the other.  I also like that the fastest player may not be the best player, because they are the ones most likely to make mistakes.  Sometimes, being careful is the best strategy in this game.

One thing that really surprised me about this game was how puzzly it was.  You really have to think about how exactly to get the correct combinations.  This is great for kids, because it will help them with problem solving.  It’s a nice visual puzzle that’s also really fun.  I also love the fact that you can flip over your tube in order to achieve your goal.  There’s something satisfying about doing that.

There are a couple of variants that add some extra strategy to the game, but it really doesn’t need it.  That being said, I do love playing Expert Mode, which has players holding all 3 test tubes, and can’t put them down until they complete the challenge.  It sounds harder than it really is.  I find it a fun challenge to figure out how to transfer balls while having all the tubes in my hand at once.

This is a great family game.  If you’re looking for a birthday gift or a Christmas present for the family, this would be a great choice.  It’s fast, fun and challenging.  Just about anyone can play.  And if you think adults would have an advantage over kids…. think again.  Because I’ve been beat by many kids while playing this.

Designer Roberto Fraga (Pingo Pingo, Captain Sonar, River Dragons) has done it again.  I’m really starting to like this guy’s designs.  He may not make the most strategic, thinky games, but he certainly makes some of the most fun ones.

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