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Gizmos - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2018
14 3 0

Who will prove themselves as the greatest inventor at the Science Fair?

The Great Science Fair is drawing together the sharpest minds of our generation. However, only one can be crowned champion. They will have to prove they’re the best, by thinking on the fly and building their machines quickly and efficiently. Whose project will rise to the top?

In Gizmos, players look to create the most magnificent of machines, taking on the role of inventors at the Great Science Fair. By utilizing four different types of energy marbles, taken from the innovative Energy Dispenser, they will purchase and construct new Gizmos. Players need to plan ahead, because Gizmos will be able to chain-react with each other giving them multiple results from taking a single action. The player with the most victory points is declared the winner.

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Z-Man Games fan
I play red
Indie Board & Cards fan
7 of 7 gamers found this helpful
“Fast Engine Building Fun”

Ever since Splendor came out in 2014, there has been a bunch of games that have been given the title of “Splendor killer” to the point it really has no meaning. And last summer CMON had a release that many called the “new” Splendor killer. So does Gizmos kill one of my favourite games ever? Or does it offer crazy combos and engine building to stand on it own merits? Let’s hit the lab and find out.


CMON Games started out as Cool Mini Or Not. And while Gizmos does lack killer minis, the production quality is top notch. Start off with it’s spiraled notebook like ascetic, good artwork on square cards, high end transparent marbles, and a really cool marble dispenser, and Gizmos has a very good table presence. I played the game with my niece and the first thing she did was grab a marble and sing its praises. So if you like games with a bit of a toy factor, Gizmos delivers.

Game Play – Basics

Players take turns in a clockwise order, performing one of four actions:

File: File 1 Gizmo from the Display Area.
Pick: Pick 1 Energy of your choice from the Energy Row.
Build: Build 1 Gizmo from the Display Area or from your Archive.
Research: Draw Gizmo cards from 1 of the facedown Level Decks and choose
1 to File or Build.

It’s a pretty simple setup. Play continues until one player has either aquired their 16th Gizmo, or their 4th level 3 Gizmo, triggering the final round. But what makes Gizmos really fun is the engine building that comes out of the game creating some crazy combos.

Game Play – Advanced Tactics

The secret sauce of Gizmos is the way that one action can trigger a bunch of actions. These chain reactions, with one Gizmo triggering another, allows players to set up big turns, score a lot of points, and purchase other Gizmos that seem very expensive. Even better, when you take your turn you get to choose the order that your Gizmos fire off.

One example of a mega combo can be that Sally decides to do the Build action. She chooses a Red card (there is a thematic name for Red, but we will get to that), discarding one Red marble. Based on her other Gizmos Sally is allowed to perform an addition Pick action. Sally picks a Red marble from the general supply. This fires off Sally’s other ability of taking a random marble from the supply when picking a Red marble.

And once you have multiple Gizmos built, you may find yourself firing off multiple actions every turn. One thing to keep in mind is that while there is no limit to the number of Gizmos that may be activated, each Gizmo can only activated once per turn. For some players, you may want to “tap” an activated Gizmo by turning it 90 degrees.


Gizmos has great table presence, but the theme is pasted on. At no point are you going to call the marbles Heat (Red), Electric (Yellow), Atomic (Blue), or Battery (Black). They are simple Red, Yellow, Blue, and Black.

Replay Value

I still play Splendor. It’s still one of my favourite games. But others feel that after a certain point it gets samey. And while Gizmos offers 108 different Gizmos, most of them do the same types of things. “Pick” Gizmos allow you to grab an extra marble. “Convert” allows you to use a marble as two marbles, or a certain colour of marble as wild. Build, File or Research lets you perform one of the other actions. So after a while this will leave you either feeling you’ve seen all the game has to offer, or feeling like you know what the cards do and wanting to see how you can combo things together.

Over All Impression.

I’ve mentioned Splendor more than once previously, because Gizmos does offer a lot of what Splendor does. Both play in a short amount of time, with really simple rules. Both have you building a tableau that makes future purchases easier. But what really shines in Gizmos is the combos. I often find myself super engaged on another player’s turn not because I want to see what Marbles or cards they are taking away from me, but because I want to see all the combos they fire off on their turn. If you like to engine build and setup combos, I think you will really like Gizmos even if you found yourself tiring of Splendor after a couple of plays.

Gizmos is the kind of game that will constantly hit the table for me, with different types of games, and had earned it’s spot on my game shelf.


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