Spot It! Game Review

The Basics:

  • For ages 4 and up (publishers suggest 6+)
  • For 2 to 8 players
  • About 10 minutes to play

Geek Skills:

  • Memorization & Pattern/Color Matching
  • Reflex & Speed

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  •  None

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek rejected!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!

Purchase:

Overview

Spot It! is a fun and fast game that requires quick reflexes and a sharp eye. Each card has 1, and only 1, symbol that will match only 1 symbol on any other card in the deck. Players must quickly identify what symbol that is by visually scanning the cards. The game is challenging without being heavy and is accessible to very young little geeks and wizened venerable geeks alike!

Spot It! is a game comprised of 55 cards. Each card has 8 random symbols on it. In total, there are more than 50 symbols in the game. The round cards are made of the same basic card stock as a standard deck of playing cards and will be durable enough to last for many, many games. The game itself, complete with rules, all fits in a small tin box that is light and very portable (fits in the palm of your hand). This makes the Spot It! excellent for trips and getting your game geekiness on whilst abroad.

Colorful and fun, my little geeks loved the artwork from the very start!

Five Games in One!

Spot it! comes with five mini games that all play on the same mechanic of single symbol matching. Depending on the mini game being played, the players are either attempting to collect the most cards or discard the most cards. All the mini games are fast and easy to teach. The core mechanic of single symbol matching is in the forefront of each game, but the subtle play style differences makes each mini game feel like a unique experience.

About the Mini Games

Each of the five mini games are summarized here.

  • The Tower: One card is dealt to each player face-down and the rest of the cards are placed in a face-up pile called the “Tower”. At the same time, the players flip over their face-down card and attempt to be the first to spot the matching symbol using their card and the Tower. The first player to identify it collects the Tower card. This card now belongs to the player and is used to match symbols, replacing their old card. Play continues with each player attempting to be the first to match one of their symbols to the new top card on the Tower. Once all the cards in the Tower are claimed, the winner is the player with the most cards collected.
  • The Well: The reverse of the Tower. One card is dealt face-up to the center of table and the rest are dealt to the players face down. At the same time, the players flip over their face-down card and attempt to be the first to spot the matching symbol on the center card. The first player to identify it discards their card, replacing the center card. Play continues until one player is out of cards and is declared the winner.
  • Hot Potato: Deal one face-down card to each player and have them hold it in the palm of their hand. At the same time, the players flip over the card and display it so all the other players can see it. Quickly match a symbol and call it out. If the match is successful, give your card to the player with the matching symbol. That player now places the new card on top and attempts to match those symbols going forward. If  the player has 2 or more cards when they make a match, they give all their cards to the other player. Play continues for a number of specified rounds (determined by the players or randomly decided). The player with the least number of cards wins at the end of the game.
  • The Poisoned Gift: One card is dealt to each player face-down and the rest of the cards are placed in a face-up pile in the same style as the “Tower”. At the same time, the players flip over their face-down card and attempt to be the first to spot the matching symbol in their opponent’s cards and one on the top card revealed in the pile. The first player to identify it gives the top card of the pile to that player and a new pile card is revealed. Play continues until all the cards in the pile are given. The winner is the player with the least number of cards.
  • Triplet: Nine cards in a 3×3 grid are dealt face-up. The players attempt to match 3 symbols on any of the 9 cards. The first player to find a match calls it and collects the 3 cards. Another 3 cards are dealt, replacing the three that were just claimed. Play continues until the 3×3 grid can no longer be replenished by the draw pile. The winner is the player with the most cards.
As already mentioned, each game is slightly different but all use the same mechanic of symbol matching. This allows you to teach the game once and play it five different ways!

Prediction

My little geeks love to play games, especially those that allow everyone to laugh and be active at the table. More and more, they want to raid their father’s game collection and play games on their own. LEGO Minotaurus and Monster 4 gets a lot of love as does Rattlesnake. Games that are easy to set up and quick to play are selected often. This is due in part of the lack of patience my little geeks have in regards to the time it takes to put the larger games together as well as their overall attention span (or lack thereof).

When I introduced Spot It! to my little geeks, the first thing I told them was the game was very fast to set up and play. When I demonstrated this by shuffling the deck and dealing the cards to play The Tower mini game, they were instantly impressed! Bing! Bang! Boom! First player go! This appealed specifically to my 4-year-old who wanted to set up the game each and every time. Because Spot It! is an easy game to set up, I was more than happy to give that responsibility to him. He was overjoyed!

After explaining a few of the mini games to my little geeks, agreeing on which one we would play first, and showing them how the symbols match by shape and color (but not necessarily by size or orientation), I gave the cards a quick shuffle. While doing so, I asked them their thoughts on Spot It! based on what they knew so far.

“Cool cards! I like how fast the game is ready to play!” ~Liam (age 7)

“I get to set up the game and be first player, right Daddy?” ~Nyhus (age 4)

Looks like Spot It! is spot on for my little geeks! (See what I did there?)

Final Word

Spot It! is a great successes with my family and with my little geeks! What really appealed to them was the basic mechanic of matching coupled with the need for speed. My little geeks are no strangers to memory  and matching games and they quickly caught on to what was required of them. What they found very appealing were the five different games that all played on the same basic mechanic. This provided them the ability to play the game over and over again without getting out a new game.

As luck would have it, my soon to be 2-year-old, Ronan, also started playing the game by matching the different icons together if we put two cards side-by-side in front of him! We’d ask where the dragon was and he’s point them out! He is a long, long, LONG way off from being able to play the game, but it was incredibly thrilling to see a very young little geek mind start to identify and match the symbols without prompting.

Fast and easy play, everyone at the table was having fun!

Gamer Geeks are going to enjoy this game but only in passing. It will be fun to bring to the table from time-to-time as it is fast and promotes some light competition. Emphasis on the “light”. So light, in fact, that it will become of little interest to the Gamer Geek within a couple of minutes. Not a fault by any means when you consider that the Gamer Geek was most likely never an intended audience. However, it is worth noting that the Gamer Geeks I played Spot It! with did not turn their nose up to it, nor did they embrace it. Spot It! falls short of being a Gamer’s game, but is clearly bringing enough to the table to make a Gamer Geek smile. Lacking strategy and tactics, it does not provide enough “meat” to satisfy a Gamer Geek’s appetite, but Spot It! is an excellent appetizer for an evening of fulfilling game play.

Parent Geeks are going to love playing this game as are the non-gamers. It promotes friendly light competition, laughter, and keeps all the players engaged. The non-gamers I played the game with became rather focused and had a great time playing. Often we’d play several rounds, changing the mini game after each game was completed. This made each new game we played feel fresh. Add in the fact that the Spot It! is small and can be played easily on a tiny surface area and the Parent Geek has a game that can be packed in a purse or bag and brought out to play at the restaurant , on a coffee house table, or on the floor of the tent with ease.

Child Geeks simply love this game. My 4-year-old and 7-year-old were evenly matched and had a blast. Fast and easy, social and engaging, the Child Geek will seek the Parent Geeks out to play and will have no problem teaching it to their peers. I have also observed that my little geeks have made up their own mini games. I think the five mini games provided were enough to keep the game interesting, but I wasn’t about to tell my little geeks to stop thinking of new ways to make the game even better! The round cards also seem to greatly appeal to the Child Geeks, which are not only visually interesting but also makes the cards easy for little hands to hold.

In summary, I am very pleased with Spot It! The game is exceedingly light but has a special charm to it that makes it fun to play casually or seriously, quickly or at a slower pace. Spot It! easily adjusts to your needs and changes gears seamlessly from one mini game to another. Simply just a great family and little geek’s game!

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

 

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
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8 Responses to Spot It! Game Review

  1. Gina says:

    I think my 5-year-old twins would love this. It sounds similar to Barnyard Animals, a card game they really enjoy right now.

  2. Todd Edwards says:

    Thanks for the review. My daughter enjoys concentration and I enjoy Set. This one sounds like a good bridge between the two.

    • Cyrus says:

      Ugh. Set gave me a nose bleed when I first played it. Way too much concentrate for a quick filler game. But to your point, I think you will find Spot It! to be an excellent “middle ground” game for the Concentration and Set players in your happy home. 🙂

  3. Sylvia Duggan says:

    This game looks similar to Catch the Match by Playroom which was a favorite of our kids when they were young and still gets pulled out by them to play with younger friends/relatives when they come over. Another good matching colors and patterns game that was also a fave at our house when the kids were younger and also has been kept on the shlef to play with younger folk who visit is Dwarves and Dice by Selecta.

    • Cyrus says:

      Wow, didn’t know about Dwarves and Dice. Thanks for letting me know about that game! I’ll to see if I can find a copy…

      I agree with your statement that Spot It! is similar to Catch the Match. Very similar, in fact. But to be fair, how many different ways can you design a game about matching images when the target audience is little geeks? Not many, I’d guess. Still, it is cool to know that there are other games out there that do more or less the same thing. That allows us, the Parent Geeks, to pick and choose what is right for our families, both by theme and budget.

  4. Pingback: Father Geek’s Top 5 Games Played in 2012 » Father Geek

  5. hamsterlover18 says:

    that sounds like a cool game

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