Smithsonian Be the Expert game
by Amanda Nettgen
Smithsonian Institution Be the Expert
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
You and a group of friends act as detectives as you work your way through dozens of what’s different? visuals. Be the first to get to the end of the board to win!
The game and gameplay
The basic idea of the Smithsonian Be the Expert game is to indeed flaunt your expertise. The whole game surrounds picture cards that you must analyze.
The youngest explorer goes first. He spins the game spinner to determine the nature of his task. His spin will either equate to solo play, all play, or asking a friend.
When going it alone, the player draws either a Regular card or a Tough card to investigate. He reads the question aloud, then says his answer and checks it using the included decoder glass.
All questions have four pictures to choose from, and some of them really do make you think because you may not recognize what is being pictured. A lot of them are “Which of these is not?” questions dealing with things like presidents, technology, and money. Move two spaces if you got a Tough card right and one space for Regular cards.With the all play option, everyone gets a chance to submit their answer for the drawn card and move if they’re right. Asking a friend is the same deal, but between two of the players only.
There is one part of the board that is Share Your Expertise. As each contender crosses this boundary, he gets to formulate his own questions to try and stump the other players. Be fair and ensure that you are truly an expert in whatever you’re asking and not just making up some bogus question, or getting your facts wrong.
Participants who were able to answer your query move forward one space each. If nobody gets it, you being the genius that you are press ahead one space (an easy win if you ask a question about your favorite TV show that you know no one else watches).
To win the Smithsonian Be the Expert game, a player must get to the Finish space and answer a Tough question accurately. They don’t claim the glory until they are able to do this in turn.
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Pros and cons
This game is educational, but more fun than the likes of games like 1,000 Places to See before You Die Game. Budding archaeologists will likely be interested, and the game does offer suggestions for adapting the difficulty level.
This game is almost entirely geared towards kids, though, and it’s safe to say that it won’t interest any adult on their own. Nothing but looking at picture cards is likely to get boring fast.
If you want a new learning game or have a child that is genuinely interested in history or humanities, then Smithsonian Be the Expert game is an alright option. For everyone else, though, the game will be average at best.