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March 22, 2014 / Jett

Iota Review


IotaMicro games have become a hot trend in the board game scene, but Iota takes it to the next level. Standing at about two inches tall, two inches wide and an inch thick, it’s hard to imagine putting much of anything in there. Once you crack that tin open, you’ll get 66 cards that are part of an interesting abstract strategy game.

All of the cards in the deck have three defining traits: colour, shape and number. The game starts by setting one card from the top of the deck as your starting point. Then, players take turns creating lines with their cards that are either all the same in all different in one respect. You gain points based on the number values of the cards you play and the person with the most points at the end of the game wins. It took me a minute to wrap my head around the concept, though it doesn’t take long to make sense of how it works. From there, you can just concentrate on playing your cards in a way that yields the most points. In that respect, it feels like an abstracted version of Scrabble. Also, just like the aforementioned word game, have a pen and paper handy to track scoring.

IotaThe game supports 2-4 players, though I think the game works best as a two-player game with only half of the deck in play. When Steff and I used this variant, our games moved quickly while minimizing down time. With four players, the game can drag as players take the time to think their moves through. Cutting the deck in half doesn’t really alleviate this challenge, as it doesn’t give everyone enough opportunities to make a meaningful impact.

Iota is not perfect, but it’s a clever abstract puzzle game that overcomes its flaws by being tiny and cheap. You’re getting a quality game for under $10 and it’s so small that you can easily take it with you for any gaming occasion. If you’re in the market for a filler game, look for this really tiny tin on your store shelf.


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