For a long time Bicycle has been known for card games as the company mostly made playing cards. In recent years though the company has started to branch out into some other game types. Released in 2021 Crystallized is one of these games. Crystallized is an abstract strategy game where the goal is to play cards whose colors match those that the card is played next to.
Year: 2021 | Publisher: Games by Bicycle | Designer: Frederica Scott Vollrath | Artist: NA
Genres: Abstract Strategy, Pattern Recognition, Tile Placement
Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 2-4 | Length of Game: 15-30 minutes
Difficulty: Light-Moderate | Strategy: Moderate | Luck: Light-Moderate
Components: 120 cards, 72 Crystals (12 of each color), Facet Board, Drawstring Bag, instructions
Objective of Crystallized
The objective of Crystallized is to try to add as many of your Crystals to the Facet Board as possible by matching the corresponding colors on the cards that you play.
- Shuffle all of the cards and return them to the box to form a draw pile.
- Deal three cards face down to each player.
- Randomly select a card from the draw pile and place it face up in the middle of the table. This card will be the starting card for the game.
- Shake up the Crystals inside the drawstring bag. Each player will randomly draw a number of Crystals from the bag depending on the number of players. See the table below.
- Choose a player to start the game. Turn order will proceed clockwise.
|# of Players
|# of Crystals to Start
Playing the Game
On your turn you will take one of two actions.
You may choose to play one of your cards. After playing the card you will draw a new card from the draw pile.
Otherwise you can exchange any number of cards from your hand for the corresponding number of cards from the draw pile.
If you choose to play a card you can play it in a couple of different ways.
You may play a card next to one that has already been played. The card you play must touch the edge of at least one card that has already been played.
Otherwise you may play a card on top of cards that have already been played. You can play a card that completely covers a previously played card.
Each card also features three faces. You may also play a card that completely covers up one or two faces of a card(s) that has already been played.
You cannot partially cover up a face.
When you play a card you will compare the colors on the card you played to see if they match the colors they touch on the cards already in play. Black spaces are considered wild and can match any other color.
You may not play a card if it would lead to two different colors touching on different cards.
There are three other things that prevent you from playing a card.
- You don’t have enough of the corresponding colored Crystals (see Adding Crystals to the Facet Board).
- You may never play a card that would have you place Crystals on a section of the Facet Board that is already filled (see Adding Crystals to the Facet Board)
- You can’t give all of your leftover scoring Crystals to another player (Passing Crystals to Other Players).
Adding Crystals to the Facet Board
When you correctly play a card, you will have the opportunity to place some of your Crystals on the Facet Board.
You will count up the number of squares on the card that you played whose color touches the same color on another card. You will place the corresponding number of Crystals on the Facet Board. If a color only touches a black space, you will not get to place Crystals for that color.
A card may never be played if it would allow you to place more Crystals of a color onto the Facet Board than you currently have in front of you. For example you can’t play a card that would allow you to place three green Crystals if you only have two green Crystals left.
If you matched more than one color, you can place Crystals for each color that was matched.
When you match a card through a black space, you do not get to place Crystals.
You may keep adding Crystals of a color to the Facet Board until all of the corresponding colored spaces have been filled in. If all of the spaces on the board of a color have already been filled in, you can no longer match that color.
Passing Crystals to Other Players
There is one exception to playing cards that match a color whose section of the board doesn’t have enough spaces remaining to take all of the Crystals that you have to place. You may play a card that would add more Crystals to a section than available spaces for that color if one condition is met.
You will first add Crystals to the Facet Board until the corresponding section has been completely filled.
Any extra Crystals that you would normally be able to place will then be passed to another player. You can give the extra Crystals to another player (your choice) as long as they have at least one Crystal of that color in front of them. This player will be stuck with these extra Crystals along with any they already had for the rest of the game.
If there are no other players with at least one Crystal of the color that you can pass your remainder to, you cannot play the corresponding card.
When all of the spaces on the Facet Board have been filled in with Crystals, the game ends.
The player with the least Crystals remaining wins Crystallized. If there is a tie, the last tied player to add Crystals to the Facet Board wins the game.
If you would like to play a longer game of Crystallized, you can play a set of three games.
At the end of each game you will write down how may Crystals each player had left.
At the end of the three games, total how many Crystals each player wasn’t able to get rid of during the three games. The player with the least Crystals will win the game.