Brett J. Gilbert, Game Designer

#05

Combo

Michael Fox

Card game

2–5 players • 10 minutes

Published 12/07/13 • Cards v1.0 • Rules v1.0

What you need

You need the 18 cards, plus a way to keep score.

In this super-quick game of super-quick thinking, play and move the cards around, and try to create a chain of five matching symbols before anyone else. Get the combo and steal the win!

About the game

Combo came about after a discussion with friends about — shockingly enough — the rise of microgaming. We’d had a few rounds of the excellent Love Letter by Seiji Kanai and were all pretty impressed at how he’d created such an interesting little game using such a small amount of cards. As usual my brain started ticking over and thoughts started forming about making my own microgame.

Usually I like to start with a theme when I’m designing a game, but this time I wanted to see if I could put together a straight-up abstract game. The microgames I’ve enjoyed all take the ‘keep it simple’ approach, so I decided to try the same: the entire game is built around 18 cards and just three rules.

A chain of five symbols is all you need to win, but don’t think that it’ll be as easy as it looks!

About the designer

Michael Fox writes and talks about games for The Little Metal Dog Show, his very own piece of the internet. When not developing his own games and pretending to be a grown-up designer type, he keeps a clean house, makes a good steak pie and drinks a bit too much coffee.

He is married to the wonderful Steph. They have one fish, PG, who was given to them by some very silly comedians. Michael firmly believes that there’s a viable game idea in the shipping forecast — he just needs to find it.