Diatoms (2024) is a tile-placement puzzle game where you create a microscopic mosaic from single-cell algae. Your goal is to create a pattern that scores the most at the end of the game based on colours, shapes, and symmetry. It stands out not only for the Victorian algae art but the dual challenge of competing for the best sample spots to gain the algae you need for the best score.
Play is conducted in two stages. You add a Water tile to the shared pond to make a pattern of algae colonies that determines which Diatoms algae you can collect. You then arrange these Diatom pieces onto your own player board into a mosaic of your own design.
Once all the Water tiles have been played, everyone's mosaics are scored and the highest-scoring mosaic wins. Optional additional scoring mechanics in the form of Guest Judges, provide variety from game to game.
The result is a game about cultivating algae ponds to create mosaics of tiny living creatures. The simple mosaic-making of the pond marries perfectly with the intricate diatom designs to create a game that is both approachable and satisfyingly complex.
Our examiner, Sabrina Culyba
, first checked Diatoms 10 weeks ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 10 weeks ago.