Specimania a fun way to dig into natural history

Dec 2, 2011
Education

Specimania is a strange title for an app that’s one part card-battle game, one part matching game and one part trivia and information tool, especially given some of the “specimens” you can learn about in the app include a Kwakwaka ’wakw Transformation Mask and Sue, the T-Rex. Call it whatever you want, you’ll find that […]

Specimania is a strange title for an app that’s one part card-battle game, one part matching game and one part trivia and information tool, especially given some of the “specimens” you can learn about in the app include a Kwakwaka ’wakw Transformation Mask and Sue, the T-Rex.

Call it whatever you want, you’ll find that Specimania is a complete experience. Although the app is ostensibly about Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, it can easily be enjoyed by someone who has never set foot in Chicago, let alone the museum.

The card game works like any number of battle-card games, where players put one of their cards up against a computer or second human opponent’s other card and try to “capture” the enemy card.

There are modifiers that add attacks and additional strength to certain cards. Having never been a huge battle-card enthusiast, I can’t say for certain how it stacks up with the likes of Magic: The Gathering or other similar card games, but for a free game experience it offers a fun diversion to a novice like myself.

The other game portion of the app is a matching exercise where players turn over cards that are face down in an attempt to collect two of a kind. It’s a great tool for kids who might not be old enough to get into or enjoy the more sophisticated game on the app, but the smaller size of the cards and the fact that they often share common background colors makes the matching game a bit harder than it needs to be.

READ  Top iOS Apps for Kids Ages 3-5

Specimania also has plenty of treats for natural history nerds. Each card can be viewed independently of the game, and flipping them over reveals more about the history and story behind some of these incredibly rare items. Not only do you get background on the significance of the item, but also how it came to arrive in the museum’s hands.

If bones and artifacts delight you, Specimania packs plenty of each to be a worthy addition to your app library.

Love educational apps? Create a list of your favorites here.

Search for more

Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

    Home Apps Games