Dubshruggles is a card game created by Revival Games’ Bruce Ripple and AJ Hoehn. The game borrows elements from the Japanese card game hanafuda and the matching card games that everyone plays as a child.
In Dubshruggles, the players attempt to match cute furry creatures in sets of three to earn points. The more identical the three Dubshruggles are, the more points the set is worth. The Dubshruggles have different features, including fur color, fur patterns, fangs, horns, and so on.
One entertaining (and infuriating) feature of the game is that players can “snatch” cards from their fellow players’ sets to make their sets worth more points. The only stipulation is that the card that is left in the stolen card’s place cannot decrease the point value of the set.
The earliest hints of the game can be traced back to August of 2011. Bruce Ripple, who was at that time an insurance agent, was driving home from work, when suddenly he said the word “dubshruggle” aloud.
“My first reaction was, ‘Wait, what the hell is a dubshruggle?’” he laughed. “As soon as I got home, I did what most creative people do when they think they’ve got something original – I Googled it.”
With his searches finding nothing, Ripple immediately began brainstorming not only what a Dubshruggle could be, but also how it could be made into a game. He began bouncing ideas off of AJ Hoehn and his wife as well.
“I knew right off the bat it had to be cute. You can’t have a name like without it being absolutely adorable,” Hoehn explained. “So, Bruce and I started looking at the creatures and characters in movies and TV that we thought were cute. Then, when we had narrowed it down, Bruce started doing some sketches.”
Ripple elaborated, “What we ended up with was a mash up of an Ewok from Return of the Jedi, a Mogwai from Gremlins, and Pikachu from Pokemon. I wanted everyone to look at a Dubshruggle and think, ‘Wait I’ve seen this before’ without being too similar to something else.”
Hoehn then stumbled upon the Japanese card game hanafuda, which uses no text or numbers, but rather images of flowers that can be combined into different suits.
“I showed the game to Bruce and he said, ‘That’s it.’ We had our creature, we had our direction, and we ended up with a game that I can honestly say you won’t see out there from anyone else.”