I’ll read this to you! Specific is a 2-10 player educational game that takes 20 minutes or less to play and can be played with kids as young as 5 years old (though I’ve seen 20-somethings have a great time playing too). In Specific players roll dice and, as quickly as possible, find the animal that matches the criteria on the dice. With eye-catching artwork and variations to increase difficulty, Specific is light but challenging educational fun for everyone. To begin shuffle the tiles and arrange them in 4 columns of 7, with the animal pictures face up. Place the “?” tile in the middle-ish of the group and give the dice to the first player, which, according to the rules, is the player who “does the best imitation of a cow”. The player rolls the dice, which show a number of feet (0-2, 4, or 6+), an environment (water, sky, or land), and a food (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore). All players look at the tiles and try to be the fastest to locate an animal that meets all of the criteria. Once a player believes they have located the right animal they tap on the tile; if they are the first to do so they get to keep the tile – if they are correct. To check the player flips over the tile, revealing the right combination. If they were correct they take the tile and place it in front of themselves.
If the player is wrong they must return one of their previously won tiles to the center of the table and a new round begins. If the tile that matches the dice is already in front of a player then any player, including the one who has already won the tile, can tap the “?” tile to win the tile (either away from the player who currently has it, or to get to keep it). The game continues until one player has won a certain number of tiles, based on the number of players. There are a few variations that adjust the difficulty.
The rulebook is laid out well and is easy to understand. I like that there are several variations so play can be tailored to the age group playing. The game comes in a tin with a hinged lid. The components are of good quality; particularly the custom dice, which are light but roll well, and have high quality images on each side. The tiles are of thin but sturdy cardboard and have rounded edges that will withstand numerous plays. The set up is quick and easy, but I do wonder why the rules are so specific about the way the tiles should be laid out – it seems like it doesn’t really matter exactly how the tiles are laid out as long as the “?” tile is near the middle and the tiles are generally balanced so that all players have an equal opportunity to reach…not a huge deal, but as someone who studies the rules intently and tries to get everything set up just as instructed this threw me a little bit. Players can set up, learn, and play the game in 20 minutes or less. I like that player interaction scales well across number of players and age – I could sit down and play a quiet, intimate game with one or more small children but I could also play a loud, competitive, crazy game with adults. The “?” tile allows players to interact with each other and facilitates a good and fair way to do so (the “?” is easily accessible to all players, regardless of which player has the desired animal tile so there’s no leaping across the table or not being able to reach the specific animal tile). The mechanics of this game are easy to pick up and rules take 2 minutes to learn.
Specific is a fun, educational game that is more difficult than I imagined. I enjoyed the challenge and, while this game won’t have a lot of replayability for adults playing without children, it was fun. The animal pictures are pleasant to look at and the custom dice are really nice. I am not a parent and don’t have designs on being one, but if I wanted children I would want to be able to help them learn through fun; this game would be a great asset in that pursuit.
EveryBODY Games Score*: 1 – Specific is completely accessible with no modifications. Players do not need to be able to speak, read (but do need to be able to recognize English numbers), or recognize color to be able to play this game. Minimal dexterity is needed to roll dice, tap cards (or physically indicate specific cards in some way), and pick up cards. Not accessible to blind players.
Thanks for reading my review; I hope you enjoyed it! S
*EveryBODY Games Score is 1-2-3 scale of accessibility where 1 is completely accessible with no modifications, 2 is accessible but difficult with no modifications, and 3 is inaccessible without modifications.