Otto Game Over - Game Overview

Otto Game Over - Game Overview

Otto Game Over - Game Overview

This is a great abstract puzzle game that was recently on Kickstarter. Otto Game Over is a competitive game for 2 – 4 players published by Arcastudio. It is recommended for players 8 – 88 years old (keeping with their 8 theme) with each game having an approximate playtime of 36 minutes.

The game is straightforward… up to 4 players compete to score as many points as possible by laying tiles down. The tiles are black with white paths on them. The aim is to score by connecting the lines to make a scoring shape, small or large circle or a square. When you create a scoring shape you place one of your score tokens in it. Each of the score tokens is worth a different point value and the first player to score 24 points in a series of matches wins the game.

Game Components

The game doesn’t have a ton of components, but what you get is high quality.

  • Rules
    • 4 page quick start rule book
    • 24 page in depth rule book
  • Board
    • 1 game board with 24 spaces for tiles to be placed
    • 4 player boards where your wooden point markers are stored
    • 1 scoreboard with numbered spaces
  • Tiles
    • 36 abstract tiles
    • 1 Tile holder tower
  • Cards
    • 1 secret card deck
  • Tokens
    • 44 point markers (11 per player) in 4 bright colours
    • 4 score makers (1 per player)

Game Play

The main goal of Otto Game Over is to score 24 points over the course of a number of matches. The first to reach 24 wins. Players score points by taking a tile from the tower on their turn and deciding to either play it, or play the one other tile in their hand. As the player lays the tile on the board they are trying to form a scoring shape. There is a rule that if you can score with one of your tiles you must, no blocking you opponents or trying to set yourself up for future turns, if you can score you must. Once you have made a scoring shape you place one of your scoring tokens down in it. If you have run out of that shape, you must still make the shape but cannot score from it. On their next turn your opponents can score from your shapes by placing their own token in the shape.

A match ends in one of two ways, either the boards is full of tiles or one player manages to complete a figure eight across three tiles. Like the game says “Otto Game Over” (otto is the Italian word for 8)! If a player completes an eight, the game ends immediately with the player completing the eight scoring 8 points and everyone else 0 points. If the game ends with a filled board, all players count up their scoring tokens on the board and advance their score marker to their new score.

Then all tiles get dumped out face down, shuffled and put back in the tile tower, ready for the next match. The whole game is over when someone reaches 24 points!


To setup, place the board in the centre of the play area, in easy reach of all players. Shuffle the secret cards and set them by the board. Take all the tiles, place them face down and then mix them up. Without looking at them, add them to the tile tower face down.

Each player takes a player board and chooses a color to play (Red, Green, Blue, or Yellow) and takes all the point markers for that color.

Starting with the oldest player, everyone picks a tile from the top of the tower and one secret card from the top of the deck. The tile needs to be placed face up for all players to see, however the card should remain out of view of all players. (It’s a secret!)


The game is played in a series of matches and a series of turns within each match.


In the first turn the player with the tile with the highest point value starts. Point values are determined by the shapes on the tile themselves (the rule book has a handy reference for this).

When it’s a players turn, they take a tile off the top of the tile tower and place it in front of them face up. After showing both tiles to all players, they can choose which tile they want to play. The rules for playing tiles are straightforward. A player must place a tile so its adjacent to another tile on the board and if they can score a point, they must do so.

Scoring Points

To score points a player should place a tile into play that forms a complete circle or square. A small circle is 1 point, a large circle is 3 points and a square is 4 points. When a player completes a circle or square, they place one of the wooden score tokens down.

If a player runs out of a specific wooden token and can not place it down, they do not get the points, any opponent can, on their turn put down their token to steal the points.

A player can complete a shape either with other tiles placed on the board or with a tile on the edge of the board, which has lines permanently printed on it.

If a player can, across 3 tiles create a figure eight, they have won the match. The match ends immediately The other players get zero points and the winning player adds the eight points to the scorecard. There is an exception to this rule in the special cards as detailed below.

Special Tiles

There are two types of tiles that are special tiles that have different rules.

Dark Tile

A dark tile (denoted by all black with a 2 dots on each side) can not be played to the board. If you pick this up the other tile in your hand must be played. The player must hold this tile until they get a second dark tile. Then the two dark tiles cancel each other out and can be discarded. The player selects a new tile from the tower and gains another secret card. The player must skip the rest of their turn and not put a tile on the board. Not great, but having an additional secret card is a huge advantage.

Zero Tile

A zero tile (denoted by four loops one on each side) must be played as soon as it’s selected from the tile tower even if they could score points with the other tile. The shape on this tile guarantees the player can’t score any points.

Secret Cards

Each of the secret cards grants a player a special ability to play one time.

At the start of the player’s turn, before they choose a tile from the tower, they may play a secret card.

There are eight types of secret cards in the deck.

Time Travel – Allows a player to take two turns in a row

Magnetic Inversion – Allows a player to exchange their tile with any other player

Revolution – Allows all players to pass their tile to the adjacent player on either the left or right as denoted on the card.

Quantum Leap – A player may move any tile on the board provided it is not part of making a point to any open space on the board

Meteorite – All players lose their tiles sitting in front of them and have to draw new tiles from the Tile Tower.

Alien Kidnapping – A player may take a secret card from another player, but they must play it immediately without first looking at it.

Infinity – This card is the only card that can be played at the end of a player’s turn. If that player has created a figure eight on the board, they can reveal this card and add all other points they got during the match to their score. Alternatively, if another player scores a figure eight, this card prevents the card holder from losing all their points and they can keep their points

Cosmic Void – There is only one of these in the deck and its a wildcard and can be used as any other card. It follows the rules of the card it is played as. So if it is being used as Infinity it gets played at the end, otherwise it gets played up front and a player declares what other card it represents.

Match End

A match ends when all spaces on the board have a tile on them or if one player creates a figure eight.

If the game ends by filling the board, each player adds up the number of points from score tokens they got in the match and adds them to the scorecard.

If the game ends with a figure 8, the player who completed the figure 8 scores 8 points , everyone else scores zero. If any player holds the “Infinity” card, they can adjust their score as detailed above.

If any one player surpasses 24 points, they win the game. However if no one has 24 points, the players reset the game by following the above setup rules, the only difference is the maintain their current score going into the next round.

Game End

A game of Otto Game Over ends when one player reaches 24 points. If there is a tie between two players, a Blind Match will occur.

Blind Match

In a blind match there are a few rule changes, a player does not get to choose between the two tiles. Instead the tile they pull from the tile tower, is the one they must play. If a dark tile is chosen, they discard it and skip their turn. The other rule change is that there are no secret cards.

Silly match

If any player for whatever reason can not score any points in a match and the board is complete that player may score the point value of their tile in front of them at the end of the match.

If you liked our overview of Otto Game Over, don’t forget to check out our Review and you can pick up a copy from the publisher