BrainPlay Wiki
123 - Image1
Posting Details
Country of origin United States
Created by Brandon Sheffield
Posted by Brandon Sheffield
Date first posted February 10, 2014
Game details
Game genre Creative thinking
Game summary A turn-based game for two players, in which the goal is to not take the last piece, through strategic application of basic math.
# of players 2
For ages 4+

Other details

Game Designer / Creator[]

  • Created by Brandon Sheffield

Game Summary[]

A turn-based game for two players, in which the goal is to not take the last piece, through strategic application of basic math.

Players / Moderators[]

  • Target age range for this game. Any players with basic addition/subtraction ability
  • Number of players. 2
  • Player dynamics and roles, use of moderators or instructors, etc. no instructors needed, player dynamics are equal/flat regardless of who plays first.

Game Set-up and Construction[]

Detailed step-by-step instructions on how to set-up and/or construct the game.

  • Take nine small objects of any kind and arrange them into a 3x3 grid. That's it!

Details on materials needed including alternatives if possible.

  • Nine small objects of any kind.

Estimated cost to get the game up and running and to operate on an ongoing basis.

  • Zero.

How to Play / Game Rules[]

Players first gather 9 small objects of any kind - pennies, rocks, anything! For the purposes of this description, I'll just call them tokens. These are arranged in a 3x3 grid, simply for visual ease. Any other arrangement is also fine. Players decide who goes first either among themselves, or by playing rock paper scissors.

Once that's decided, players take alternating turns removing tokens from our central pile. On any given turn, a player may remove ONE, TWO, or THREE tokens, but they may only take on each action ONCE. That is to say, if they remove ONE token, they can't do that again - they must on their next turn remove TWO or THREE. Any time a player removes THREE tokens, they must put ONE back in the central pile, meaning they only keep TWO. This is the core strategic element, fooling your opponent into thinking you are taking more tokens, or less!

The object of the game is to not have to take the last token. The order in which you choose to pick up your your tokens determines the winner, making it a bit of a game of cat and mouse.

DEALING WITH EDGE CASES: If there are fewer tokens remaining than the last player needs to take, they still must take it. That is to say, if Player 2 has already taken THREE tokens and ONE token, and TWO is the last number they must take, but there is ONE token remaining on their turn, they still take that one token and lose the game. HOWEVER: if there are THREE tokens remaining, and the player who is up next has not taken THREE tokens yet, they take those three, and replace the one token they must put back when taking three, thereby winning the game.

Templates / Diagrams[]

123 - Image1

Related Web Links[]

  • NA

Other Details[]

This game is good fun, but it is so simple that in the hundreds of years that people have been designing games the possibility exists that I'm not the first to think of it. I have never heard of or played anything like this game before, and a cursory google tells me it's an original game, but I will trust you to do the due diligence on this!