Card Game Review: Doomlings

Card Game Review: Doomlings

Card Game Review: Doomlings

Players: 2-6

Official Playtime: 20-45 minutes (for me, it was closer to the 20-minute mark)

Released: 2022

Doomlings website.

Doomlings is a game about the end of the world wrapped into a cute and funny (in a good way) package. 

This game is one of those modern card games that came to life with the help of Kickstarter and was able to exceed its initial goal by a great margin, so this game is by far an unknown gem. But the question is - how good is it? 

Well, let's find out how good and fun the Doomlings are!

 card game doomlings traits and ages cards

Disclosure: The creators of "Doomlings" sent a copy of the "Classic Doomlings Game" for me to review, but the creators do not have any influence over the contents of this review. The review includes my opinions based on my personal experience. Find the Review Policy here.

My Experience With Doomlings: I have played Doomlings in multiple sittings - as two players, three players, and four. It's been with both - experienced and casual players. 

"Doomlings," Explained to a 10-Year Old.

To be honest, although it is a relatively simple game, it is not that easy to explain it in simple terms, but I will try to do my best!

It is a quick and relatively simple card game where you need to have the most points at the end of the world, which is the end of the game! 

And you get points by playing out traits! To put it simply, traits are the cards that you can play out or discard. These cards have points and sometimes - effects. 

Each round is dictated by the Age cards - between the ages, you will stumble upon the Catastrophes - and the third catastrophe will bring the END OF THE WORLD.

Now, you count points, and the player with the most points wins!

Skill Level - How Difficult Was it to Learn Doomlings?

Difficulty Rating: 3.5/5

  • The underlying mechanics are actually very simple, but this game has a wide variety of nuances and technicalities.
  • That could be just me, but it took me over an hour, including watching the official tutorial video and two playthroughs, to fully understand it.
  • I would say the average board game player could learn the game from scratch in 30-60 minutes (by reading the included instructions + watching the tutorial).
  • There are official and several unofficial tutorial videos available on the internet, which can make the learning process easier.
  • Overall, the base mechanics of the game are straightforward, but the instruction booklet could be a bit more comprehensive, especially when explaining specific case scenarios, so I give it a complexity rating of 3.5/5
  • That being said - when I learned the rules, it was pretty easy to teach it to other players. 

 card game doomlings with 3 players

Player Count & Social Interactivity Playing Doomlings

Social Rating: Low

To clarify this section, I need to explain some things first.

So, in Doomlings, you get cards almost exclusively from the Main Deck and at random. Most cards (traits) have unique attributes/effects/actions. In general, this is not bad, but when it comes to social interactions, it may not be the best thing.

By this, I mean that if most elements are unique and random, you can easily play the game with no or little interaction with other players. 

Yes, there can be the occasional blocking, stealing, or sabotaging, but (at least in my experience) these opportunities came rare - and at random.

Of course, I am not saying that this is a bad thing. Some players want to play the game without much interaction and scheming. 

But when strictly looking at social factors, you will find little need for social interactions when playing Doomlings.

Best Number of Players

This game is one of the rare multiplayer card games where two players are enough. Of course, in settings of three and four players, it introduces more variety, but it does not change the game drastically. Which is a good thing.

So, yes, it is a bit more fun with 3+ players, but two will be enough to enjoy it! 

What Did I Enjoy the Most About Doomlings?

  • Gameplay-wise, Doomlings is a fast and simple card game you can play with almost anyone - from your adult gaming friends to your spouse and children. 
  • The ages and end-of-the-world mechanics are smart and provide improved replayability value and experience for each playthrough.
  • When you know how to play the game, the setup is super quick.
  • Last but not least, I am a sucker for design, so I truly enjoyed the art style and packaging as well.

What Could Be Better?

  • Objectively, I really did not enjoy learning the game. There were quite many scenarios and situations that were not explained well, so I needed to re-read the rules. Sometimes, I did not get the answer, so a house rule was established.
  • Subjectively, I would like to see more options for strategy. In Doomlings, your cards change so rapidly and at random that it is close to impossible to have the possibility to strategize more than two moves in advance.
  • Not a bad thing, but needs to be considered. For a card game, Doomlings comes in a pretty hefty box. The box looks nice, but be aware it is not the best game for travel. This box will take up a lot of your precious luggage space. Or, you need to take the cards outside the box, which is not ideal.


Rating: 4/5

For a card game, Doomlings provide a good replayability value. 

First, the Age mechanics ensure that no two rounds are exactly the same. Of course, most of the time, Age effects are subtle, but nevertheless, they add another layer of replayability.

Secondly, the Trait cards have a wide variety of effects and actions. So even when I played Doomlings for the 4th and 5th time, I found new cards to play.

Given its age mechanics, many unique cards, and quick setup, overall, I give Doomlings a replayability rating of 4/5

*The game also has expansions and addons available that can improve replayability even more, but I have not played them, so the expansions are not included in the review. 

doomlings box and cintents

Components and Art of Doomlings

The Classic Doomlings game comes in a relatively hefty hard-cover box with holo foil overprint. In the box, you find the instruction booklet and 167 playing cards - one being a holo foil card. The box includes additional space for adding expansions if you choose to add them.

The game is illustrated in a vibrant cartoon art style. The illustrations are not particularly intricate, but all of the cards have unique illustrations. The trait cards have simple but cute cartoony critters, and the ages have cartoon landscapes representing the current age or catastrophe. Although relatively simple, the illustrations definitely bring the game to life. 

Value For Money

Rating: 4/5

Given that the game (without shipping) costs 25 USD and comes with 167 unique playing cards, it is pretty packed.

The holo-foil card and print on the box add a nice, premium touch to the package, so overall, it is a great value for money. 

doomlings card game; 3 player setup.

Overall Rating and Who Might Enjoy Doomlings

Final Rating: 4/5


  • Fast-paced gameplay;
  • It can be played with adults and kids;
  • Beautiful design with cute, unique illustrations;
  • The age/catastrophe mechanism improves replayability and introduces un uncertainty (in a good way).


  • Many sub-rules and many card effects make it difficult to learn;
  • Very luck-reliant, so there are not many possibilities for implementing a particular strategy or planning several moves ahead.

Overall, "Doomlings" is a great package - from the beautiful cartoon art style to many unique cards and relaxed gameplay.

This game is just right for easy and relaxed game nights. The game rarely stalls, and it abstains from sabotaging and knife-stabbing mechanics, so it is an excellent choice for family game nights and with your casual board gaming friends.

In the meantime, feel free to explore what Joyful Games has to offer - from other board game reviews and board game tips to fun board and card games.


Looking for a new card game to play with your friends?

The Spheres of Life: Mythical Forest is a new competitive fantasy card game for 2-7 Players. From stunning design to fun gameplay, this exciting game can be a fantastic addition to your family and friends' game nights!

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