We are always on the lookout for ways to empower players to make a game their own. We believe that if a game is strong enough so that players can change the rules to make the game more fun – whatever they consider fun to be – with whomever they’re playing, then we have a game that we want to hold on to for a long, long time.
It turns out that the Major Fun award-winning game Spot-It! is just such a game. This is at least partly because of a rather unique approach to the way the game is played. Rather than being a single game with variations, Spot It! consists of 4 rounds of play, each focusing on a different “mini party game.”
These mini-games are artfully constructed, each proving a little more challenging than the other. The first two mini-games are races, players competing to be the first to match a central card. In the final two games, the competition is a little more personal, especially with 3 or more players. Here the goal is to make another player lose by adding cards to his or her collection. Since there is always a match between any two cards, you can, if you’re fast enough, select which player you want to compete against. Generally, you want to make sure that the winning player doesn’t. Unless it’s a grudge match, in which it can get, in a silly kind of way, quite brutal.
Because each mini party game uses the same cards, the overall message of the game is that there are at least 4 different ways to play it. And if there are 4, there must be more.
And, in practice, there are far more – every time you play with a different age group or in a different setting (in a restaurant, in the kitchen, a classrooople and as few as 2. We’ve played it in the library and dining room, on the table and on the floor, and every tm, a senior center), you find yourself modifying the rules, just a tad. This works so well because the core concept is so strong. The deck of 55 cards, the 50 different symbols, designed so that any two cards will have one, and only one matching symbol; the added visual challenge presented by the different sizes of the symbols; the circular cards that fit so nicely in your hand – combine to create an extremely flexible tool for open-ended play. We’ve played Spot-It with a lot of different people – seniors, adults, teens, tweens, school-age kids, even pre-schoolers. We’ve played it with as many as 6 peime we’ve played it, we’ve played it just a little bit differently, and regardless of how we’ve played it, or where, or with whom, we’ve consistently found it to be fun.
Spot-It! is funtastic!