Game: Doodle Dash

Release Year: 2021

Publisher: Chilifox Games

Designers: Fridtjof Buvarp, Maija Buvarp, Pauline Buvarp, Eilif Svensson, and Åsmund Svensson

Player Count: 3 to 7 players

Play Time: About 15 to 20 minutes

Rules Complexity: Simple

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I'm always on the lookout for party games that are simple, fun, fast, memorable, and playable with as few as 3 or 4 players. Sure, I love "gamery games" as much as the next guy, but I also love the frantic hilarity that a solid party game can bring.

And lately I've been itching for one that involves drawing.

That's why I was so excited when I discovered Doodle Dash. It sounded like the exact type of game to check all my boxes, plus the name was enticing enough to interest my usual group of gamers. We all love Drawful (the drawing game from the Jackbox Party Packs) so we were hoping for something similar.

Here's everything you need to know about Doodle Dash, how it plays, what my experiences with it were like, and whether it lives up as a drawing party game.

This review is based on my own personal copy of Doodle Dash, which I bought new from Boardlandia. Not a free review copy.


Doodle Dash is a super simple game with a super simple premise: draw the word as quickly as you can while making sure it's still decipherable. This tension between drawing fast and drawing well is what propels the game forward.

The game has some clever mechanisms that make this possible:

Every round, one player is the Guesser. The Guesser closes their eyes and picks a random word for everyone else to draw. They'll need to keep their eyes closed until everyone is done drawing, at which point they'll open their eyes to guess.

As soon as the word is revealed, everyone starts drawing. The round doesn't start with a timer, so technically Drawers can take their time as they try to depict the chosen word. However, you'll want to be fast because...

At any point, a Drawer can put their marker down and grab the Cylinder. Whoever grabs the Cylinder has the advantage of being the first player to present their drawing to the Guesser. But for now, the remaining Drawers keep drawing until...

At any point, a Drawer can put their marker down and grab the Die. Whoever grabs the Die has the advantage of being the second player to present their drawing to the Guesser. This player must also repeatedly roll the Die until they roll the "STOP" symbol, at which point everyone must stop drawing.

In a 3-player game of Doodle Dash, the Cylinder isn't used. Instead, the first player grabs the Die and immediately starts rolling. Once they roll the "STOP" symbol, the remaining player must stop drawing.

The Guesser now guesses. They start with the first player's drawing and they have one attempt to guess. If they get it correct, then the Guesser and the Drawer earn 1 point each; if they get it wrong, then the Guesser moves to the second player's drawing. Again, one attempt to guess. If it's correct, both get 1 point.

If the Guesser fails on the first and second drawings, then everyone else reveals their drawings and the Guesser gets one last attempt to guess. If they get it correct, then the Guesser and remaining Drawers get 1 point each; otherwise, nobody earns any points this round.

Doodle Dash ends when everyone has taken an even number of turns as the Guesser. Alternatively, you can just keep playing until someone reaches a predetermined score. (I recommend a target score of 10 for a 30-minute game.)

Setup and Table Footprint

Doodle Dash has an extremely quick setup, which helps it stand out as a casual party game. There aren't many components at all.

Each player grabs a drawing board and a marker. The Cylinder, Die, and point tokens are placed in the center of the table. Shuffle the deck of guessing cards and you're good to go. (If you're playing a fixed number of guessing turns per player, you can deal cards to each player and return the remaining deck to the box.)

All in all, Doodle Dash can be set up and ready to play in 1 minute.

I also like that Doodle Dash doesn't need much table space to play.

Honestly, all you really need is enough room for each player to lay down their drawing board once they're done drawing—and you might not even need that if everyone is willing to lay down their boards in their laps! (But there's also the hassle of point tokens to consider, so I wouldn't consider this a proper "lap game.")

Apart from the drawing boards, you just need a central area for the Cylinder and Die, which should be within reach of everyone. This area will also need to hold the deck of cards and the supply of point tokens.

The table footprint for Doodle Dash is small, indeed.

Learning Curve

Doodle Dash is extremely easy to learn. I would even go as far as saying the learning curve is almost flat. Kids and adults can learn this game in a minute or less.

The only "real" rule to know is that you want to finish drawing quickly and grab the Cylinder to maximize your chances of winning. You also need to know that grabbing the Die means rolling it until "STOP" shows up.

Beyond that, Doodle Dash amounts to little more than "draw the thing on the card" or "guess what everyone else has drawn." Few games are simpler than this.

Game Experience

Decision Space

Doodle Dash is the farthest thing from a decision-heavy game. It's a party game, after all! You play this when you don't want to think, when you want to unwind and relax and have a good time. It's more of an activity than a game.

The main decision here is: How am I going to draw this thing?

But you aren't trying to figure out the best way to draw whatever it is; you're aiming for the fastest way to draw it. It's about taking visual shortcuts and highlighting key points to convey concepts in as few strokes as possible. In that sense, Doodle Dash is a game that rewards creativity.

At the same time, being too fast can be detrimental. You might get first crack at presenting your drawing to the Guesser, but if it's so bad that they can't guess it, then you've blown your chance. Not only that, but your drawing now serves as a hint that aids the Guesser on the next player's drawing.

On the flip side, you have this: What the heck did this person draw?

As Guesser, you're tasked with deciphering minimal strokes and trying to figure out how every little detail comes together. You have three total attempts, with more hints and clues revealed every time you guess incorrectly. Doodle Dash's visual puzzle can be quite satisfying, especially when playing with "bad" drawers.

In any case, Doodle Dash is not a stressful game. You don't have to be a skilled artist to have fun here; in fact, the game design essentially turns everyone into bad drawers because everyone is rushing to draw as quickly as possible.

Luck Factor

There's almost zero luck involved in Doodle Dash.

On rare occasions, someone may randomly choose a word you aren't familiar with, which obviously puts you at a disadvantage. But if you're playing with a friendly group, you could just speak up and say you don't recognize the word and request that the Guesser chooses a replacement word.

It's a bigger problem if this happens while you're the Guesser because you won't know that you don't know the word until all your guesses are used up. But, again, if you're with a friendly group, you could just request another turn as Guesser.

Fun Factor

The most important question for any party game: Is this game fun?

Yeah, Doodle Dash is pretty fun. There's an innate thrill that comes from having to decide what you're going to draw, actually drawing it, and trying to get it done before everyone else while ensuring your drawing is legible enough to matter.

And, of course, there are moments of hilarity whenever someone reveals their drawing and it's absolutely unintelligible! "What the heck is that?!" might just be the most common phrase uttered while playing this game.

Doodle Dash scores pretty high on the laughs-per-minute metric, helped along by the fact that the rounds are so snappy and quick. Plus, it's actually better if people are bad drawers. Laughing at incomprehensible illustrations is half the fun!

That said, Doodle Dash might play a bit too quickly? There isn't much buildup to those funny moments, and those moments pass in the blink of an eye. As such, while I like Doodle Dash, it never quite reaches the same highs as other laughter-heavy party games like Telestrations, Balderdash, or Monikers.

While Doodle Dash does support 3 and 4 player games, the fun factor is noticeably lower at those player counts. It's still a fun way to pass the time, but Doodle Dash is at its strongest with 5+ players.


Doodle Dash is momentary fun. An exemplary filler game.

The best party games have enough staying power that you could accidentally go the whole night without ever moving on to the "real" games you meant to play. The best party games hook you so deeply that you can't help but want to play "just one more game" before putting it away. C'mon, just one more!

For me, Doodle Dash doesn't have that staying power... and I'm not sure why. I really enjoy the game and I think the concept is clever. Yet, it runs out of steam.

I'd be more than happy to play Doodle Dash if someone were to suggest it. It's never boring and it never feels like a waste of time. But after about 30 to 45 minutes, the fun has generally run its course for the session—and once it's packed away and weeks go by, I never really feel an itch to play it.

Production Quality

Despite being an indie board game, Doodle Dash's production is all right. Nothing to write home about, but far from disappointing.

The markers are standard for this type of game. I've played all kinds of board games that come with markers, and the ones that come with Doodle Dash are slightly above average. They're small so they'll probably last a dozen or two games, and they come with built-in erasers that get the job done.

The drawing boards are thick and well-sized, but struggle with erasing cleanly. I like the feel of drawing on these boards, and they're easy to handle and flip over as needed. (If this were a deluxe production, I'd want the boards to have raised edges so that the drawings don't touch the table surface when face-down.)

My only gripe is that they don't erase cleanly. They always leave behind a bit of marker residue. (To be honest, I'm not sure if this is a problem with the boards, the marker ink, or the marker erasers. I assume it's the boards.)

The Cylinder and Die are hefty and tactile. It's totally superfluous, but I love the size of the Cylinder. It just feels good to grab and hold, and it's large enough that players can fight over it without issue. The Die is large and wooden, which is also nice.

The cards and point tokens are functional and pretty good. I find the assortment of words on Doodle Dash's cards to be good, lending enough variety and challenge to both drawing and guessing. The quality of cards and tokens is fine. You don't handle them much, so I'm not too worried about durability.

The box is compact, sturdy, and looks nice on a shelf. I appreciate the box size of Doodle Dash: not unnecessarily big, not impossibly snug, just big enough to contain everything. It's one of the more portable party games in my collection. Setup and cleanup are a breeze. Plus, I'm a fan of the orange aesthetic!

The Bottom Line

Doodle Dash

Approved Score Guide
  1. Extremely simple and easy to learn for all ages
  2. Fast setup, small table footprint, and plays quickly
  3. Lots of laughter when players reveal their hastily sketched drawings
  1. Funny moments aren't as side-splittingly funny compared to some other party games
  2. Not enough staying power to keep playing over and over in a session
  3. Drawing boards don't erase cleanly
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