The Specialists

Assemble your own gang of specialists in order to rob casinos, banks and jewelries all around the world!

1-4 players
60 minutes
Designers: Marco Canetta, Stefania Niccolini, Dimitri Perrier, Anne-Catherine Perrier
Artist: Christine Alcouffe

Publisher: Explor8

You start your turn by drafting one of the available dice from the dice pool. With those dice, you’re able to recruit new specialists for your gang, and use their abilities. Each specialist also comes with a specific skill, which you’ll use in the final step of your turn to perform heists. The main area of the game exists out of different continent boards, each depicting cities and the set of skills you’ll need to commit robberies in them. 

Once you’ve recruited the specialists needed, you decide whether to rob a casino, bank or jewelry, and place one of your gang tokens on it. You collect your money and the possible extra rewards.

The game ends after 12 rounds or at the end of the round when a player has managed to perform 7 heists, and the player who collected the largest amount of money is declared the winner!

The Specialists is a family+ game, reminding me a bit of Ocean’s Eleven, which is definitely a fun theme! It comes with easy rules but also some familiar mechanisms we’ve seen in heavier games, like dice drafting and fulfilling contracts.

The dice drafting/management comes with what I think is a very clever twist: at the end of each round, you’ll slide the remaining dice on your player board to the right, giving you more flexibility the longer you keep them! The trick is in finding the right balance, as you definitely want to recruit new specialists each round, but flexibility might come in handy the next round.

The game is also language independent, which we’re happy for as our oldest son (10) could join us and the game is definitely at its best with 3 or 4 players. He actually managed to win a couple of times, which confirms he might be ready for some heavier work. 

If you’re on the lookout for an accessible game with a fun theme, but also providing more than enough depth, make sure to check this one out!

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