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Puzzle Master
Things From Another World
Crop Circles
Crop Circles
by (Web published) (2015)
Player Count
2 to 6

Player Ages

Playing Time
50 minutes to 2 hours
  • Abstract Strategy
  • Science Fiction
  • Designers
  • Ata Gurpinar
  • Mechanisms
  • Tile Placement
  • Rating: 6/10 from 3 users


    Crop Circles is an abstract puzzle game for 2-6 players. Taking the role of aliens warning Earthlings of impending doom, players etch glyphs into crop fields with their spaceships, according to changing rules about adjacency between glyph shapes and glyph shading in order to score points for effectively following the rules set forth by the Intergalactic Communications Council.

    Each turn, a player places any number of glyph tiles from behind their screen onto the board in an unbroken straight line, connected to glyph tiles that are already on the board. That player scores points for the sum of the values of only the glyphs played (affected by on-board multiplier squares) multiplied by the number of glyph tiles already on the board that were adjacent to their play. Thus, a long string of glyph tiles played parallel to a previous play can net massive points, so players must balance taking advantage of opportunities for huge points with preventing such opportunities for other players. Finally, that player then draws exactly three new glyph tiles either among five face-up glyph tiles next to the play area or from the bag of remaining glyph tiles, regardless of how many they played on their turn, as long as they played at least one glyph.

    Glyphs come in four shapes (circles, squares, triangles, and stars) and four shadings (empty, solid, striped, and crossed). Each shading is permitted only to certain shapes, and when a player places glyph tiles on the board, they must satisfy the requirements of both the glyphs being places and the glyphs they are playing adjacent to. The more complex a shading, the more difficult it is to place on the board and the more points it is worth: empty glyphs have no restrictions about what shapes they may be placed adjacent to and are worth only one point; solid glyphs may be adjacent to only three of the four shapes and are worth two points; striped glyphs may be adjacent to only two of four shapes and are worth three points; and crossed glyphs may be adjacent only to a single shape and is worth four points! However, the four active rule cards that determine these permitted adjacencies will get replaced throughout a game, providing new opportunities to play glyphs. Players must plan ahead, acquire useful glyphs, and play them on the most opportune turns.

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