Introduction

Game Summary
-
Place your Geominos™ game tiles next to tiles that are already on the board, matching pips (spots) to pips, as in dominos.
- You're assessed points for any pips that are on a light-colored square of the board.
- The game ends when all tiles have been placed on the board.
- The player with the fewest points wins the game.

The game can be played by 2, 3, or 4 players.

Tiles and Cards
Each tile has a unique shape, and the two sides of each tile are different. Each card represents one of the tiles, and shows the tile name. The tile names are used to help identify the tile shapes. For example, Figure 2 shows the Chair card and the Chair tile.


Getting Started

We recommend that you read all the instructions before playing the game, and then come back here to start.

Preparing to Play
- If this is the first time your game is played, remove all the game tiles from the plastic sheet. (You can recycle the plastic sheet if your recycler takes #2 plastic.)
- Shuffle the cards, and stack them face down.
- Draw the top card (anyone can do this) and place the corresponding tile in the center square of the game board.
Figure 1 shows the center square. Figure 2 shows a card, with the corresponding tile placed on the center square.
- - Make sure that the side of the tile shown on the card is face up.
- - Since the board is symmetrical, the orientation of the center piece doesn’t matter.
Figure 1. The center of the board.
- Choose a starting player.
- Decide which game you'll play: All-Tile, Five-Tile, or One-Tile. (See the next section.)
- Decide how much time is allowed per move: 1, 2, or 3 minutes


Three Different Games
There are three different ways to distribute the tiles, resulting in three distinctly different games. If this is your first time playing, we recommend the Five-Tile game as a good way to learn how to play.

Tip: When you draw a card and look for that tile, focus on the shape, not the pips. Remember that each shape is unique, and that the tiles are two-sided. The tile name can help you identify the tile shape.

The Five-Tile Game
Summary: In the Five-Tile game, each player selects five tiles before play begins. The remaining tiles are selected during play.

How it works: The starting player draws a card, selects the corresponding tile, and discards the card. Then the next player does this, and so on.

The selection process continues until each player has five tiles. Then you begin playing. Each time a player places a tile, he or she draws a card and selects another tile.

With four players, however, there won’t be any more tiles to select.

With three players, each player will draw only one more tile. Two tiles will remain unplayed.

The All-Tile Game
Summary: In the All-Tile game, all the tiles are selected before play begins.

How it works: The starting player draws a card, selects the corresponding tile, and discards the card. Then the next player does this, and so on.

This continues until all the tiles have been selected. With three players, however, each player will select six tiles. Two tiles will remain unplayed.

The One-Tile Game
Summary: In the One-Tile game, players place a tile when it’s selected.

How it works: No tiles are selected before play begins (except the center tile). The starting player draws a card, selects that tile, and plays it on that turn. The next player does the same thing, and so on.

This continues until all the tiles have been selected and placed. With three players, however, each player will select and place six tiles. Two tiles will remain unplayed.


Playing

Placing Tiles

No matter which game you’re playing, the game always begins with the starting player placing a tile on the board so that one of its sections is next to a section of the center tile that has a matching number of pips (spots). In Figure 3, the 1-pip sections are next to each other.
Figure 2. The Chair card is drawn, and the Chair tile is placed in the center square.
Figure 3. Joe, the starting player, places the Seahorse tile next to the Chair tile.
Placing Geominos tiles is similar to placing dominos tiles. Matches must be side-by-side; a match cannot be made diagonally.

Either side of a tile may be used. (The only time the up-side of a tile has to match the card is when placing the center tile at the beginning of the game.)

No section of a tile can be off the game board.

You can place tiles next to any tile on the board, as long as you can match at least one section of pips.

It’s okay if there are also side-by-side sections that don’t match. In
Figure 4, the 5-pip sections match, so it doesn’t matter that there are non-matches, such as the 3-pip section next to the 4-pip section.
Figure 4. Anna, the next player, places the Gorilla tile next to the Seahorse tile.
Scoring
A player is assessed a point for every pip in any section of their tile that’s on a light square of the game board. In Figure 3, Joe is assessed 1 point. In Figure 4, Anna is assessed 4 points.

Because you don’t want points, your goal is to place each tile so that as few of its pips as possible are on a light square.

Note: The center square is a free square. Pips on the light sections of the center square are not assessed against you.

Points are written down and subtotaled after each turn.
Figure 5 shows an example of a score sheet after two turns.
Figure 5. Example of a score sheet after two turns. Joe was assessed 1 point on his first turn and 6 points on his next turn, for a score of 7 points after two turns. Anna was assessed 4 points on her first turn and 5 points on her next turn, for a score of 9 points after two turns.
Timing
There are three levels of play, based on timing. Players agree on the time allowed for a turn. We suggest:
- 3 minutes for beginning players.
- 2 minutes for intermediate players.
- 1 minute for advanced players.

There are two one-minute timers in the game.
- When a player’s turn begins, someone turns over one of the timers.
- For two-minute play, the timer is turned over when the first minute is done.
- For three-minute play, the timer is turned over after the first minute and again after the second minute.

As soon as a player’s turn is done, someone turns over the other timer to begin the next player’s turn.

For the scorekeeper’s turn, the timer is started after that player has updated the score.

In the One-Tile game, the timer is started after a player draws a card and finds that tile. The other players can help find the tile, to speed up play.

Completing a Turn
A player’s turn is done when he or she says it is, or when time runs out. The player to the left then takes a turn, and so on.

If a player fails to place a tile before time runs out, the player is penalized 5 points, and is allowed one more minute to place a tile. If the player doesn’t place a tile by the end of the extra minute, the player forfeits the game.

Completing Play
The game is over when all tiles have been placed (except for the two unused tiles in games with three people). The player with the fewest points wins.


Other Things

Match Play
We recommend that you play in multiple-game matches, so that each player has the opportunity to play first. For two players, a match is two games, for three players it’s three games, and for four players it’s four games.

The cards are reshuffled for each game. The role of starter rotates to the left each time. In match play, the score accumulates throughout the match.
Figure 6 shows an example of match play scoring.
Figure 6. Example of match play scoring. The first game ended with a score of Joe 53 and Anna 56. The next game begins with those scores. Anna is the starting player in the second game.
At the end of the match, the winner is the player with the fewest total combined points.

Strategy

The fundamentals of the game are simple, but the strategies can get complex. The basics: Score as few points as possible, and don’t leave your opponent a good move.
Geominos © 2007-2014 Tod Teeple. Website © 2014 Hilaria & Ludi, LLC. All rights reserved.