Doki Doki Beach Volleyball Review

From the original Tanto Cuore is a spin off card game– Doki Doki BeachVolleyball that combines cute anime girls with a straight-forward yet intricate strategy akin to UNO. Solely a two player game and taking 20-30 minutes, it offers a great entry to play without being pressured to time commitments and avoids miscommunications learning the game with large groups of people. Let me take you through the game to see if its one to pick up!

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Heart Pounding (Doki Doki) Visuals 

Pardon the pun but what you see is what you get. On the front cover, we have Corelli one of the playable character cards you can play with in game wearing an eye catching bikini combo. Other cards in the game have a similar running theme of “cute anime girls in bikinis” which isn’t a bad thing as it gives the cards its charm and uniqueness. Along with the fine detailed anime art, there are cards that incorporate a different style- Chibi.

I find using subtle style differences of the same characters to differentiate cards and their uses is an effective way to alert the viewer without having to overcomplicate too many different artworks.

Interesting Gameplay

To start with, players get to choose and combine together 2 out of 4 character decks offered. After shuffling the decks together, players draw 5 cards in hand to play against their opponents cards in a tit for tat exchange-matching numbers that are higher or below 1 that was played.

Similar to a game of volleyball where you exchange strikes until one of you misses the ball, once a player can’t play a viable card to counter, a set is won. Simply win 3 sets and you’ve won a game of Doki Doki Beach Volleyball.

Sounds pretty simple except when you remember there are cards added to the mix that could complicate things.

Ability Cards

Each character deck comes with a single character card that has an effect able to be activated each consecutive turn. These abilities are the same for ALL cards- Draw 1. However, additional effect cards special to the character are in their respective decks known as Action Cards.

Action Cards

Card effects for these act as a catch up mechanic, to gain momentum or as a counter to an opponents high card. An example would be turning any Attack Value of a card played to 7 which could potentially boost an unplayable low card in hand. Once an effect is played, the Ability Card becomes exhausted (used up).

Each individual set is played in phases of the following order:

  • Draw OR Recover an Exhausted Character
  • Action Phase (play either an Ability or an Action Card)
  • Attack Phase (play a numbered card)

Now I may not have mentioned every bit of the rule but this is essentially a broken down version of the game. There are additional rules that come with the game to make it more challenging but I’ve figured sticking with their basic rules makes it easier to gauge your interest and learning the game.

Final Verdict

7/10

I enjoyed my games with my friend and it felt fun to battle it out with numbers. Relatively fast paced with abilities adding another layer of strategising to the game. My only gripe was the game can get repetitive at times (since its strictly 2 player).

Playing with a variety of players would help mitigate this and give different refreshing games of Doki Doki Volleyball. Trying out the additional rules would help to add a challenge to it as well.

A huge thank you to Japanime Games for supplying this copy of the game for review.  Checkout their official page for Doki Doki Volleyball here.

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