When I was a small child I was taught how to play mind-bending strategy games like Chess, Chinese Checkers, & Go. As I got older I learned to play a wide range of other abstract strategy games like Ingenious & F.I.T.S. I love a good abstract thinker.

With that I was introduced recently to an abstract game that uses the power of the elements.Now let me introduce you to the game of Elementos.

Elementos is a two player game, for ages seven years to adult, & may take ten to fifteen minutes to play. It was published in 2015 by Tyto Games & designed by Sharon Katz, who also designed Final Act & GladiGala.

In Elementos each player will take their nine element pieces & place them in a 3×3 formation on their side of a 3×12 grid board. The element pieces are double-sided with a hole in the middle, which we will get to soon. These double-sided pieces are marked with the elements of wood, water, & fire; six symbols each on the nine playing pieces. Then each player will take their one wooden wand & place it within the center of their center playing piece.

On a player’s turn they will make one of three moves. They can either move a piece one space to the side, diagonally, or forward but never backwards. They may pass their wand to another playing piece using the same rules for movement, or they can flip their playing piece to reveal the element on the underside of that piece.

The piece containing the wand is known as the Home piece. The Home piece can not be captured & it can not capture other pieces.

As player’s advance their pieces they will need to create a strategy to try to get their Home piece to one of the last three spots in the back row of their opponents side.

Now in order to form a strategy they will have to follow the rock-paper-scissors rule. In this case it is the Wood-Water-Fire rule. Wood takes water, water takes fire, & fire takes wood. Pieces that aren’t able to be captured will end up as blockers preventing the movement of their opponent’s pieces. Remembering this will allow player’s to set up their timing for flipping pieces & moving their wand.

At some point in the game player’s will end up with an odd number of elements that won’t be capture the other. This will happen when all of one element is captured on each side. This gives this abstract game a little more strategy because it pushes the each player to flip more to make one final push to win the game.


I have played Elementos about a dozen times since receiving the game. I will admit that this game isn’t for everyone. But I will recommend it for parents with kids that they want to teach games like Chess or to those who just love a good little abstract game.

I like Elementos because it is a quick game to play, their are very few pieces, & I love good strategy games, yes even playing checkers.

Another neat feature of Elementos is that everything is wooden. The game board, which is also the box, the playing pieces, & the wand. It is easy to store & easy to transport.

Elementos can be currently found on Amazon for as low as $15.99: Elementos.

Take control of the elements & game on!

-Christopher Richter

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