Game Makeover: Nines – Going Micro


At the time that I am doing this makeover, card games, particularly ones derived from traditional games, are quite popular. Even more popular are “micro games” and micro card games are all the rage. There is much discussion among game designers, developers, publishers, and enthusiasts about what makes a game “micro.” I won’t dwell on that, but will proceed with the following definition:

A micro game is significantly simpler, quicker, and smaller (has few components) relative to a “full size” game of the same genre while providing a similar experience.

Some call it streamlining, but I would hope that most games, including “full size” games go through a streamlining process throughout development anyway. So it is more than just streamlining.

So, in Microsizing Nines (or more accurately, Eclectic Clock Collectors) I am going to trim the game that I have designed to this point (somewhere between Round 5 and 6) down to its very basics. I will also strip the theme and look for an appropriate one that matches the final game play (or leave it abstract).

Global Objectives

I would like to keep some of its basic game play and introduce some “improvements” while avoiding some obvious traits. Here are some main objectives to guide development.

  • The rules will be very simple – even simpler than the base game.
  • The strategy will be “deeper” while the game will still be accessible for casual play.
  • The opportunity for combos (back-to-back actions that are more impactful than the actions alone) will be opened.
  • The micro game will be even more of a race than the base game.
  • Although the game will naturally have some memory element, it will not become a “memory game” (a game where one’s memory of the hidden information is the central element to winning).

There will be images displayed throughout the series. You can see the full Nines Micro Image Gallery here.

The rules for this game will be periodically updated at this location: Nines Micro Rules.

A Print-n-Play version of the game is available here: Nines Micro Print-n-Play.