Colorful Clues

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Under development

This game is currently under development, in the Playtesting stage. Feedback is strongly encouraged! Feel free to give comments on game design or structure on the talk page.

Colorful Clues
Jorge Arroyo
A deduction game where players try to guess the missing colors
:Players Players:
:Time Length: unknown
:Complexity Complexity: Low
Trios per color: 5
Number of colors: 1 Rainbow and 1 Xeno
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 1 Rainbow and 1 Xeno
Five-color sets:
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
opaque bag, pen&paper
Setup time: 5 minutes
Playing time:
Strategy depth: Low
Random chance: Medium
Game mechanics:
Theme: Deduction, Color Guessing
BGG Link: 33839
Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987

4 small pyramids are missing and the players must find which ones they are by using what little information they have (each player starts the game knowing the identity of one of them) and guessing the colors of the remaining ones. But these are hidden randomly under the medium and large pyramids.


First place all the small pyramids on the opaque bag. Remove the medium and large Transparent pyramids from the game and separate the medium and large opaque pyramids from the transparent ones. Then place all the medium and large translucent pyramids randomly, standing up on the table (not stacked in any way).

NOTE: After some playtesting, I'm thinking of removing one of the blue colors (probably the dark blue) from the game. It may make the game too difficult. Any comments on this topic would be appreciated.

The players, simultaneously and as quickly as possible, must then cover every medium pyramid with a large one of a different color. Don't touch the opaque pyramids yet.

Now, one player takes one small pyramid from the bag, without looking at it and without letting anyone else see it, and places it under one of the opaque pyramids. Then repeats for the other three opaque pyramids. After this, the same procedure is done by the same player for all the sets of medium-large pyramids on the table. In the end, one set of medium-large pyramids won't have a small inside. Remove that set from the game.

Each player slides one opaque pyramid close to them and may look at the small hiding inside, but they cannot show it to anyone else.

If there are less than four players, the unused opaque pyramids are placed as they'd be in a 4 player game, always in a way that they are between two real players (if possible).


The player sitting next to the one that prepared the pyramids starts the game. The game is played in rounds each with as many turns as players. In their turn, a player may do one of two things:

  • Remove one pyramid from a nest (Should be done with care so that only the top pyramid is lifted off the table)
  • Guess what the four hidden colors are.

Then their turn is over and play passes to the next player. If the player attempts a guess, it should be noted on a piece of paper (not spoken aloud) and placed aside. That player doesn't take any more turns.

When a round is over (play passes to the first player again), players slide their opaque pyramid to the next player (or vacant place in a game with less than 4 players). This way, each round the players gain more information. This means that the third round is the last (in the fourth round, everyone would know all the hidden colors). During the third round players must use their turns to make a guess.

When every player has made their guess, the opaque pyramids are lifted and the small ones are revealed. The first player that guessed the correct colors wins the game. If there's no correct guess, then the player that managed to guess more colors wins.

Playing for points

This game is quite short, and it is suited to be played up to a number of points. Here's the scoring I've devised: At the end of each game, the first player to guess correctly all the 4 colors wins a bonus of 4 points. The second gets a bonus of 3 points, and so on... Then, everyone gets 1 point for every color they guessed correctly. Incorrect guesses are not penalized. So, the first player to guess all the colors gets 8 points. A player that guessed 2 colors, would get 2 points.

Either a goal can be set (first player to reach X points wins) or a set number of games can be played (most points after a number of games wins). Like this games can be adapted to different time requirements.

For each new game, the player that was first player before becomes the one to set the pyramids up. This way each time there's a different first player.


I just thought of a variant that might make the game better (and so it might become the "official" way to play the game as soon as I can test it:

- Simultaneous Turns

Each player still gets to take one action each round, but instead of waiting for their turn, anyone can take their action at any time. Once they do, they wait until everyone else does too and then a new round starts. If two players write their guesses at the same time, the first one to fold their paper and place it on the table will be considered first.

Disadvantages: People might not want to reveal information to other players, and so, wait indefinitely for other players to reveal information... this can be a problem if done by more than one player, as it can become a closed loop... A solution could be to add a timer to the game (sand clock, for example). Any player that hasn't taken an action before the timer runs out, is considered out of the game (but might still write a solution).

I'd really appreciate any feedback on this variant...


I've played this a couple of times and the color combinations are surprisingly deceiving. I guess for someone that knows a lot about colors and how light combines, the game might be too easy, but for me it's not, and I've had some laughs when revealing the true colors... Also, this would be a game unsuited for color-blind people. They'd lose all the time...

The uncovering mechanic is interesting because while it reveals information to everyone, this information may not be equally useful to each player, as they each have a different piece of the solution. Also, each round everyone gains information, so players have to weight whether to risk going for a guess before the next round starts, or waiting and risking the players before them guessing right...

One last thought: If the game is being played just once, the first player has a clear advantage, as he can guess first each round. Maybe they game could work better if each round there's a different first player...

I'd appreciate feedback and comments, as the rules are still being tested...

This game was created after Colorblind but I was unaware of its existence when I posted it. All the similarities between both games are coincidental, and no material was copied.

-Jorge Arroyo


This work is distributed by Jorge Arroyo under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.