Instruction Set

Instruction Set DIY Game Files




You are a lost element trying to find its home on the Periodic Table. While on your way you inquire about certain attributes that apply to you. As the other elements present their observations, you can begin to hypothesis what you are and return to the Periodic Table where you belong.


  • Elements Deck [20 cards]
  • Attributes Deck [132 cards]
  • Statement Guides [6 cards]
  • Suggested Questions [6 cards]


  • Each player takes the following:
  • Observation Notepad
  • A Guide Card with the list of possible elements represented in the game
  • Writing Utensil

The attribute cards are shuffled and dealt 4 per player to form a ‘hand {fig. 2},’ the remaining attribute cards form the draw pile, and the top card of the draw pile is flipped over to form the beginning of the discard strip.

The element cards are shuffled and each player draws an element card which they do not look at but which they lay face down in front them on the table.

Person to the left of the dealer goes first, and play continues clockwise around the table.


A set of cards is used that will represent primary attributes of various elements such as symbol, atomic number, atomic mass and physical state at room temperature. So in the case of Iron the representative hand a player should seek to hold will involve Fe, Atomic Number: 26, Atomic Mass: 55.845, Room Temperature: Solid. Throughout the game, players must maintain a hand of four of these cards.

In a given turn a player may do one of the following:

  • Pick a card from the draw pile and place one of their now five cards into the discard pile.
  • Present a hypothesis to one of their opponents by asking them a question to help identify their element. For example the player may query, “I have observed that my element is on the right side of the periodic table, so I hypothesize that it is a Noble Gas.”
  • Put forth a theory (more on this later).


When a player puts forth a hypothesis, their opponent will consult the player’s identity card and answer simply either “Yes” or “No.” For example, they might respond to the question above that: “Yes, you are a Noble Gas,” or “No you are not a Noble Gas.”

In the case of a “Yes,” the player putting forth the hypothesis may pick any card from the discard strip, BUT you must choose the top card from the draw pile. They will then discard an unwanted card from their hand to the end of the strip.

In the case of a “No,” the answering opponent will draw a card at random from the player’s hand and replace it with a card of their own from their now five card hand.

We suggest that players begin developing their hypothesis by asking questions from the supplied Suggested Observation Questions Card {fig. 3}, but they may choose to ask any questions deemed pertinent to the development of a hypothesis. They may not repeat or invert a question.

If there is any dissent or confusion with regard to how to answer a question, outside sources such as: the Internet, a textbook, or a teacher’s opinion may be accessed. Any discussion, however, must be kept secret in order to keep the player posing the hypothesis in the dark.


Once a player feels they know what element they are they will say {fig. 4}:

I have proven that my element has the following characteristics:
symbol , atomic number , atomic mass , physical state at room temperature , etc. and so therefore present my theory that it is element.


If the theory is correct the game is ended and the player who put forth the correct theory gains 4 points. Extra points are awarded for each category represented by an appropriate Attribute Card in a player’s hand (2 points for each correct card).

If a player is incorrect in their theory, play continues, and they miss their next turn.


Once play has ended and points have been totaled, the player with the most points wins the game.

IGAT Chem fig01

fig. 1 /// Game Pieces

IGAT Chem fig02

fig. 2 /// A Hand

IGAT Chem fig03

fig. 3 /// Statement Guide & Suggested Observations

IGAT Chem fig04

fig. 3 /// Presenting a Hypothesis