Memory and Action Selection [In the Lab]

Sometimes when I'm exploring game mechanics, I get an urge to mash up two otherwise unrelated mechanics just to see what happens. This time, I wanted to mash up a memory game with an action selection game. Here's where my brain wandered.


There are 54 tiles. The tiles show one of six words (six tiles of each word) and one of four colors (twelve tiles of each color and six rainbows).


Shuffle the tiles. Place 36 of them face down in a 6x6 grid. Deal three tiles to each player's hand. Keep your hand secret. Split the remaining tiles into three separate draw decks. The draw decks should be as equal as possible, but do not have to be exact.


On your turn, reveal two face-down tiles from the board.

If either of the words match each other or a tile in your hand, you may take the matching tiles and place them in your scoring pile for the whole group to see.

If the words do not match each other or a tile in your hand, you can do either of those actions. You can only do one action per turn.
  • DRAW: Draw a new tile from the deck. Put it in your hand.
  • SWAP: Swap a tile on the board with a tile from your hand.
  • FLIP: Flip an extra tile from the board. You cannot do the action on that extra tile, but it gives you an extra opportunity to score.
  • PILE: Take a face-down tile from the deck. Put it on top of any tile on the board. (If you put it on a face-up tile, flip over that tile first.) The top tile must be revealed and taken before any tiles below can be revealed or taken.
  • STEAL: Steal a random tile from an opponent's hand.
  • TAKE: Take one of the face-up tiles. Put it in your hand.
At the end of your turn, turn any remaining revealed tiles face-down on the board.


The game ends when there are five or fewer tiles on the board or when all of the draw decks are emptied.

At the end of the game, you'll score two points for every matching pair of words. You'll score three points for every matching trio of colors. A rainbow tile can fill in the space of any color.


  1. Daniel, I had a very similar idea that I've had on the "ideas-that-didn't-quite-work-so-i'll-hide-it-in-a-closet-until-I-am-reinspired" pile. You've given me a great idea to revisit it. Thanks!

    Also, fantastic site overall.

  2. I guess the internet is my closet? :) If I can't get around to developing a mechanic into something more fleshed out, I'd rather open it up for everyone else to take a crack at it.


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