The annual science fair has rolled around again, and this year, you’re attending with the intention of taking home the top prize. In preparation, you’ve been studying hard and have a feeling that it might finally pay off. Oh sure, the competition will be fierce as you compete over energy, designs, and the value of your Gizmos, but with creative moves and some inspired decisions, you might just prove once and for all that you’re the best inventor around.
In Gizmos, players take on the role of inventors trying to come up with the best (and most valuable) designs. The Gizmos that the inventors build come in three different levels, becoming more powerful, but harder to construct. They need to collect the right Energy Spheres from the Dispenser if they hope to make an engine that will win them the recognition they so clearly deserve. With careful planning, their contraptions will synergize together to make each of their actions more powerful and dynamic.
To build the Gizmos, players are going to need energy. It’s available in the form of different colored Energy Spheres housed in the Energy Dispenser. The Dispenser has a row of six available Energy Spheres at any one time. As they’re taken, new ones roll down and fill in the space. Some actions even allow players to reach into the top and blindly take a random Sphere, which may or may not help their cause.
Each inventor starts with a humble workbench, but soon it will become a thriving center where new ideas are born. They keep track of their progress beneath their dashboard, which works as an organizer and reminder of the different options they have. Each turn, players take one of four different actions that will advance their scientific agenda.
They can File one of the face up Gizmos from the display in the center, saving it for themselves to build at a later time. At the start of the game, players have one slot available to File Gizmos, but Upgrades can raise that number.
Players can Pick one of the Spheres from the Energy Dispenser’s Energy Row, adding it to their Energy Ring for later use. At the start of the game, the inventors are only able to hold five Energy Spheres in their Ring, but through scientific advancements, that number might go up.
Once they have collected some Energy, they are going to want to start building some Gizmos. The Build action allows players to spend Energy Spheres, returning them to the Dispenser, and create a Gizmo, either from the face up display, or one that they Filed earlier. Each Gizmo has a type. It’s either an Upgrade, which improves that inventor’s abilities, a Convertor, which changes the make up of the Energy Spheres, or it’s associated with one of the four different actions. Whatever type of Gizmo is built, there is a place for it under the dashboard. As new ones are built, they are placed in the appropriate slot, improving that action or ability for future turns.
Finally, players can do a little Research. At the start of the game, the Research action allows them to take the top three Gizmos from one of the decks and either File or Build one of the drawn cards immediately. As they flex their inventing muscles, they’ll be able to see more cards every time they Research.
The Gizmos each have a cost in Energy Spheres, a type and effect, and a point value. Once an inventor has built a 16th Gizmo, or a fourth level three Gizmo, the game end is triggered and the current round is completed.
Throughout the game, some Gizmos will earn players victory point tokens for taking certain actions. Some Gizmos will also be worth a variable amount of points depending on different factors, like how many Energy Spheres they’ve collected in the game. Players add the value of all of their Gizmos and point tokens and a final winner is declared. They will be able to strut around the science lab secure in the knowledge that their mind dwarfs those of their fellow inventors.
Gizmos allows 2 to 4 inventors to prove their mental acuity in about 40 minutes. Look for Gizmos in your FLGS on August 31.
This article was originally published in GTM Magazine. Find more information here.