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Posted On: 26 April 2018 03:38 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:18 pm

Startup of the Week: Will you be able to spot the identical match before your opponents do in Tobja game?

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Every week, ILQ features a different Qatari startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all across a variety of industries in Doha, from fashion and beauty, to food and dining, health, education, and more!

This week, we're unboxing Tobja -- Qatar's localized version of 'Spot It,' a simple pattern recognition party card game in which players race against each other by trying to find an identical match between or among two or more cards. The catch is: there's always exactly one matching icon between any two cards!

But finding the the same symbol from two cards is not as easy as it may sound!

Just like in the original Spot It, each of the 55 cards in Tobja -- meaning 'the other pair' in Arabic -- features eight different symbols, with the symbols varying in size from one card to the next. There are five varieties on how to play Tobja. But for a basic game, a group of 2-8 players simply reveal one card, then another. Whoever spots the symbol in common on both cards claims the first card, then another card is revealed for players to search, and so on. Whoever has collected the most cards when the 55-card deck runs out wins -- simple as that!

Tobja Qatar

Talking to Tobja's two founders Dana and Rouda, they pointed out how the people of Qatar are getting back into playing board games such as Cluedo, Sequence, Qatari Deal -- to name a few -- despite technology's sudden takeover. Dana said that she wanted to incorporate a Qatari flavor to Spot It in order to make it unique. Thus the birth of Tobja.

"We started back in June 2017. With a small batch, we tried to sell the game to our family members and friends, and because of word of mouth, we started getting more and more requests from people we didn't know! Later on, our boxes were sold out!" exclaimed Rouda.

At the moment, the newest version of Tobja includes Arabic and English translations. They have expanded their distribution channels and are now selling Tobja boxes in Gifts by Fatma -- another startup-themed gift shop located at The Pearl.

"Also, what makes us different is that we are the first to target a wider age range. The game has very simple rules and is easy to play. Some of our customers have shared that they play this game in a different way, where their toddlers name the icons on the cards and learn more words through Tobja. Another customer said she plays the game with her grandmother!"

Tobja Qatar

Apart from that, Dana also highlighted some of the coolest responses that they've received from their customers. She shared that one teacher even reached out to her to say that Tobja has been a massive help to her job as she is dealing every day with disabled students.

"Being a startup, and as we have started our home business so far, we think that we are fulfilling one of the economic development objectives in Qatar. We are seeking to get our business to the next level of home/family entertainment," the duo continued, who also added that they didn't seek any help from either the Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) or Digital Incubation Center (DIC) to make their business come to life.

A box of Tobja is very reasonably priced at only QR 70 and is being sold at Gifts by Fatma shop at the Pearl. Another option in order to easily get your own copy of Tobja is to send them a direct message on Instagram and you can do that by checking out their contact details below!

Tobja Qatar

About Tobja Qatar

Email address: [email protected]

Have you tried playing Tobja yet with your family friends? If yes, how was the experience like for you? Also, what are some of your favorite startups around Doha? Comment below! And don’t forget to give us a like and share -- it keeps us going!