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Things From Another World
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Rare Species
Rare Species

Player Count
2 to 4

Player Ages
  • Memory
  • Environmental
  • Animals
  • Designers
  • (Uncredited)
  • Mechanisms
  • Set Collection
  • Roll / Spin and Move
  • Memory
  • Artists
  • (Uncredited)
  • Family
  • Theme: Endangered / Extinct species
  • Rating: 5/10 from 4 users


    RARE SPECIES is a 2-4 player memory game endorsed by UK botanist/conservationist David Bellamy.

    The game contains a playing board, four conservation park boards, four playing pieces and 24 rare species playing cards. These cards illustrate breeding pairs of 12 of the world's most endangered and rare species of wildlife. The females have cards with pink backs and the males have blue backs.

    The 12 female cards are placed face down on 12 yellow squares in the middle of the board. The 12 male cards are placed face up on the 12 green squares that surround the female cards. The playing pieces are placed on the circular brown track, next to one of the corners of the board.

    Players take it in turns to roll the dice and move their playing piece in a clockwise direction around the board. Once moved the playing piece will be next to one of the male animal cards. The player attempts to make a pair by turning over one of the female cards and showing it to the other players:
    - If it is a match then the piece is removed and placed face down in one of the three bamboo cages at the entrance to that player's conservation park. The male is left in place on the board. Each cage can only hold one female so therefore a player can only collect a maximum of three females without them forming part of a breeding pair.
    - If it is not a match then the card is returned to its original face down position.

    When a conservationist lands next to the male of any species they may make their play as for the opening rounds if they have no females in their bamboo cages. If, however they have a female or females caged at the entrance to their conservation park, and they think that one of them is the mate of the male that they have just landed next to, they may attempt to turn that female face up:
    - If they are correct they remove the male from the playing board and place it with the female face down in the conservation park (not back in the cage). This breeding pair takes no further part in the game
    - If they choose the wrong female then it is simply turned face down again on the conservation park board.

    Unscrupulous conservationists may also "steal" breeding females from other player's conservation parks. When a player lands alongside a male and they think that one of the other players has its mate in one of their cages then they can attempt to steal it by turning it over:
    - If they are correct then the piece is "stolen" and moved to one of their own cages.
    - If they are wrong, it is returned face down where it came from, and if the erring player has any females in his own cages then one of them is released back to one of the free yellow squares in the middle of the board.

    No more than one conservationist can occupy the same space on the outside track, and spaces that are not next to males (i.e. the male has already been claimed) are not counted for movement purposes.

    At the end of the game, when all the females have been paired, the player with the greatest number of breeding pairs in their conservation park is the winner.

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