Specific is an animal-themed educational game for 5-9 year olds designed by Jean-Claude Pellin and Christian Kruchten, and published by Gigamic. It's distributed in the UK by Hachette Board Games.
In Specific, players aim to be the first to spot and collect a number of Animal tiles, based on attributes determined by the roll of three custom six-sided dice. The first die tells you how many feet your animal must have; the second its diet; the third its habitat. The 27 tiles are laid out in 7 x 4 grid, with a 'special tile' at the centre. The first player (determined by most convincing ‘mooing’ ability!) rolls the dice to set off a race between all players to be the quickest to spot an animal with the corresponding traits. Once a player spots an animal which they think matches the requirements, they tap that tile and flip it over to check. If correct they keep the tile, if wrong they must return a previously won tile back to the grid and all players resume the hunt.
If all the animal kinds you are looking for have been taken then the aforementioned 'special tile' allows you to steal from other players. Whilst this mechanic makes sense for resolving bad rolls, we felt it caused unnecessary upset to our younger players. Instead we house-ruled a situation whereby identifying a collected tile allowed you a bonus choice of any from the grid. That's definitely an option to consider if you want to avoid any 'take that'-triggered tantrums!
This is a family-friendly game with a universally-loved theme for children. The rules are simple but some of the solutions can be unexpected and the 'number of feet' die is particularly tricky - two faces require you to search for an animal with '0-2' feet and inevitably you look for one of those options (eg: 2) and forget about the other (eg:0)!
The tiles are robust and brightly coloured. All the icons are clear and the box is a satisfying one-piece which unfolds like a book. All in all, a lovely simple game for learning and playing together with the littlies.
(Review by Michael Harrowing)
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