A quick playing game where you attempt to revive extinct animals by rearranging a sequence of DNA.

In Animal Revival Collective (or A.R.C. for short) players are scientists in the future trying to revive the animals of today that have gone extinct by rearranging a DNA sequence to match the trait characteristics of the animals. This is still new technology, so there’s a race to see who can be the first to revive the most.

The game is for two players and they will each have their own set of 8 cards forming one sequence of DNA, and one card representing an extinct animal. At the same time, they will begin to swap, flip, and rearrange the cards in the sequence to match the two traits on their animal card. Once they have matched both traits, they call out “Match!” and play pauses while the other player checks if they’re right. If not, they both keep going. If they did match, they flip that card onto the right side of the sequence and flip the left most card face up to become the next animal to revive.

The first player to successfully revive three different animals, wins the game.

Solo rules are also available. The game is being evaluated for up to 4 players, but remains only up to 2 at this time.


For GenCan’t 2018, Button Shy Games had an 18 card game challenge. I had been toying with a DNA manipulation game for about a year but never did anything with it. So I switched gears and combined them into one game with ARC. By putting the animals on one side of the cards, and the DNA on the other, I could effectively get a 36 card game. 

The trick came from then how to ensure that the animals would always be revivable. Thus the identical set of DNA on the backs of the cards. Both sets of 9 animals can be made from the same set of 9 DNA cards, however the animal traits were shuffled so that no two animals are the same.

I submitted it to the contest and got good feedback on it, but it didn’t advance to the finals. I’ve reworked the game a little including the creation of 18 more animals with new traits to bring the game to 4 players. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to test it at 4 players yet, so it remains currently two, two player games.


  • Simultaneous Play
  • Pattern Recognition


  • 18 cards
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