Spot it!, originally created back in 2009, is arguably one of Blue Orange Games most popular games of all time. Since its release there have been many different themed decks along with quite a few spin off games. Basically the premise of the Spot it! franchise is that every card in the game shares exactly one object in common with every other card in the deck. Players race to be the first player to spot the shared object in order to score points. Despite Spot it! being a popular card game we have yet to take a look at the original game here on Geeky Hobbies which is kind of surprising as we generally like these type of games. Instead of looking at the original game, today I am looking at one of its spin off games Spot it! Freeze. Spot it! Freeze takes the gameplay from the original game and adds a timer into the mix. Spot it! Freeze doesn’t add a lot to the original Spot it! but it is still a fun speed game for the whole family.
How to Play Spot it! Freeze
Spot it! Freeze contains three different games that you can play. I will begin by explaining the rules common to all of the games and then addressing each game individually.
In Spot it! Freeze the main gameplay involves finding matching objects. Each card in Spot it! Freeze shares one object in common with every other card in the game. For the object to count as a match it has to be the same object and color. The objects can be different sizes though. The first player to call out the matching object between two cards gets to take or get rid of one of their cards (depends on which game you are playing).
One mechanic unique to Spot it! Freeze is the concept of freeze objects. When a player notices that the matching objects between two cards is a freeze object they call out freeze along with the object that matches. In most of the games by calling out a freeze object the player will get to press the button on the timer. If the player calls out a matching freeze object but doesn’t say freeze, they don’t get to take advantage of the freeze action. The freeze objects in Spot it! Freeze include the following:
- polar bear
- ice cube
- snowy mountain
The Arctic Tower
- Place the timer in the center of the table and set the switch to one.
- Shuffle the cards and deal one card face down to each player.
- Place the rest of the cards face up in the middle of the table.
Playing the Game
At the same time each player flips over their card. All of the players try to find the matching object between their card and the card on top of the pile in the center of the table. When a player finds a matching object they call it out. If they are correct they take the center card and place it on top of their own pile of cards. All of the players will then try to find the matching object between the top card on their pile with the top card on the center pile.
If a player finds a matching freeze object, they shout out freeze along with the matching object. The player then presses the button. The timer will give the player ten seconds. During these ten seconds only the player who pressed the button can play and try to collect as many cards as possible. While the game is frozen, the player is unable to freeze the game again. When the timer runs out, all of the other players can begin playing again.
End of Game
The game ends when all of the cards from the center pile have been taken. The players count up how many cards they collected. The player who collected the most cards wins the game.
If there is a tie, all of the tied players take one card. All of the cards are revealed at the same time. The first player to find a match breaks the tie.
The Frozen Well
- Place the timer in the middle of the table and set the switch to one.
- Shuffle the cards and place one card face up in the center of the table. Deal out the rest of the cards face down so each player has the same number of cards.
Playing the Game
At the same time all of the players flip over their stack of cards. Each player is trying to find the object from their card that matches the object on the center card. The first player to spot a match announces their match. If they are correct they will place their card on top of the center pile. All of the players will then try to find the matching object between the top card from their pile and the top card from the center pile.
When a player finds a matching freeze symbol they need to call out the object as well as freeze. The player will then press the timer. This player will have ten seconds to find as many matches as they can while the other players are unable to play. When the timer runs out all of the players can resume playing.
End of Game
The first player to get rid of all of their cards wins the game.
- Place the timer in the center of the table and set the switch to two.
- Shuffle the cards and place one card face up in the middle of the table. Deal out the rest of the cards face down so each player has the same number of cards.
Playing the Game
In Flash Freeze the players take turns. The button on the timer is pressed and the youngest player starts. On a player’s turn they flip over their top card and try to find the matching object between their card and the card on top of the center pile. When a player finds the matching object they announce what it is and place their card on top of the center pile. Play then passes to the next player clockwise.
When the timer goes off the current player will take three cards from the center pile and add them to their pile. The timer is reset and the current player will continue trying to find the match for their current card.
If the player’s matching object is one of the freeze objects they have the option of whether to call it out. If the player calls it out the direction of play reverses. For example if play was moving clockwise it will now move counterclockwise.
End of Game
The first player to get rid of all of their cards wins the game.
My Thoughts on Spot it! Freeze
As a lot of people have already played Spot it! or another similar game before, I am going to start by talking about what is different about Spot it! Freeze. The main mechanic of finding matching objects is the same as the original game. Basically the only difference between Spot it! Freeze and the original game is the included timer. In two of the games when a player finds a matching “freeze” object they can activate the timer which gives them some time where they can play by themselves. In the third game the timer is used to force players to hurry and find a match because they will face a penalty if the timer stops on their turn.
In general I wouldn’t say that the timer adds a lot to the game. It basically gives players the occasional opportunity to get an advantage over the other players by noticing that the matching objects are also one of the “freeze” objects. This usually doesn’t come into play too often as I would say it happens around two to four times each game. In general I liked the idea of the freeze objects as they add another mechanic to the game. It adds a little more skill to the game as players have to notice what type of object was matched in addition to finding the matching objects. At the same time it does add a little luck to the game as outside of noticing when it occurs you have to get lucky that your current card matches a freeze object on the other card. In general the mechanic is a nice change of pace but I don’t have strong enough feelings about it that I would recommend purchasing Spot it! Freeze over other Spot it! games. If you already own a Spot it! game I would only purchase Spot it! Freeze if the timer mechanic really interests you.
While it is debatable whether Spot it! Freeze is significantly different than the original Spot it!, it still maintains all of the fun of the original game. People who dislike speed games won’t like the game but I think most other people should have some fun with it. In general the Spot it! franchise does a really good job of making the game simple enough that children can understand it while still being entertaining for adults. Basically Spot it! is enjoyable because it is fun trying to find the matching objects before the other players. It is hard to explain why these type of games are fun but I have always liked them. If the game’s concept sounds fun to you, you should enjoy your time with the game.
Spot it! Freeze technically includes three different games that you can play with the cards but I would argue that it is more like two games. The first two games, arctic tower and frozen well, are basically the same game. The only difference between the two games is that in one you are trying to acquire cards by finding the matches while the other game has you trying to get rid of cards. This difference might slightly alter the gameplay but I don’t see the two games playing all that differently. While these two games are basically the same, I would say that they are the best games in Spot it! Freeze. Both games test players speed in figuring out which objects match which makes for a fun speed game.
The third game, Flash Freeze, is considerably worse in my opinion. While the first two games mostly just test your speed in finding a match, Flash Freeze ends up adding in a decent amount of luck. I think Flash Freeze is worse than the other two games for a couple reasons. First you can sometimes be at the mercy of the player before you. If the player before you takes a long time to find their match, you will be left with little time to find your own match without incurring the penalty. If the player before you is good at guessing when the timer is going to go off, they could finish their turn just before it goes off leaving you no opportunity to avoid the penalty. Second the timer for Flash Freeze just seems to add more randomization to the game. Generally the best player is going to win in the first two games as they test your speed. The fastest player is not necessarily going to win Flash Freeze as they could get unlucky and have to draw a lot of cards. Finally I don’t like that Flash Freeze eliminates the competitive nature of the game. One of the things I like the most about Spot it! is competing to find a match before the other players. By having players take turns, this eliminates that aspect of the game entirely.
While I had fun with Spot it! Freeze, it is one of those games that you probably aren’t going to want to play for long stretches of time. Unless the players have a hard time finding some of the matches, I would say most games should only take around five to ten minutes to complete. This makes Spot it! Freeze a great filler game. At the same time though it gets repetitive after a while. I could easily see playing a couple games in a row but it is going to feel like more of the same after a while. As the game only has one real mechanic you probably only want to bring it out occasionally and play it for 15-30 minutes before putting it away for another day.
On the component front I would say that Spot it! Freeze does a pretty good job. The card quality is similar to the rest of the games in the series. The cards aren’t really thick but they are thick enough that as long as you take care of them you shouldn’t really have any problems. The timer works pretty well even though I would say that it is kind of hard to set the switch to the different modes from time to time. The outer packing is way larger than it needs to be though. The good news is that you can ditch the outer packaging if you want as the timer also acts as a storage container for all of the cards. I really like this as it saves a lot of room while also making the game considerably more portable.
Should You Buy Spot it! Freeze?
Spot it! Freeze is basically what you would expect out of a spin off game. The game takes the basic mechanics from the original Spot it! and adds on a timer mechanic. In two of the games the timer is used to give a player who spots a matching freeze symbol some time where only they can play. In the other game the timer is used to punish the player whose turn it is when the timer runs out. The first two games are pretty fun while I didn’t really care for the third as it adds quite a bit of luck to the game. At the end of the day Spot it! Freeze is basically the same as the original game as the timer doesn’t add a lot to the experience. The game is fun to play but it is one of those games that is better in shorter doses.
My recommendation for Spot it! Freeze comes down to a couple factors. First if you have played Spot it! before and didn’t really care for it, Spot it! Freeze is not going to change your mind. If you usually hate speed games like this, you also probably won’t like the game either. If you like Spot it! the decision basically comes down to whether you already own a copy of Spot it! and whether you like the idea of the timer. If you don’t really care that much about the timer and already own a copy of the game, I don’t think there is enough to warrant a purchase. If you don’t already own a copy of Spot it! though and like the idea of the timer, I think you should consider picking up Spot it! Freeze if you can get a good deal on it.