OBJECTIVE OF REEF: The objective of Reef is to collect the most points by playing cards strategically and growing your reef. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 Players  

MATERIALS: 112 Coral Pieces, 60 Playing Cards, 88 Point Tokens, 4 Player Cards, and Instructions 

TYPE OF GAME: Hand Management Card Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 8 and Up 


Players act as the reef, growing and developing, with various colors and patterns. Players attempt to grow the most extravagant reefs, using the cards in their hand. A normal reef will take thousands of years to grow, but in this game, it takes less than an hour. 


To begin setup, divide the coral pieces by color, forming four different supply piles. The number of coral pieces in each pile depend on the number of players. Any unused pieces can be placed back in the box. The same thing is done with the point tokens, dividing them by their value.  

Each player is then given a three-point token, which is to be placed in front of them, determining the place where they will collect their tokens. The cards are shuffled, and two are dealt to each player. The players should make sure to conceal their cards from the other players. The remaining cards are placed to the side, face down.  

Each player will get a player board, given to them at random. Each player will collect one coral piece of each color, placing one on each of the middle spaces of their board. Each player should ensure that there is room beside their board for a discard pile. The remaining cards from earlier are then placed in the middle of the table, face up. 

Three cards should be drawn from the deck and placed in a row beside the deck, facing up. These three cards will form the card display. The game is then ready to begin. 


Over the course of rounds, the players will take turns, rotating around the group in a clockwise direction. During their turn, a player must complete at least one of two actions. The players can take a card from the display or deck and add it to their hand, or they can play a card from their hand and grow their reef.  

If a player chooses to draw a card, they may choose one of the three cards found in the display, or they can draw one from the deck in the middle of the playing area. The display must be refreshed if the player decides to draw a card from there.  

If a player chooses to play a card, they will first take the coral pieces found at the top of the card they have chosen to play. They can then place them on their player board, in whichever area they choose. The player will then score the pattern that they have at the bottom of their card.  

If the pattern is not found in their reef, then nothing occurs. If the pattern occurs in their reef, they score the points, and if they occur many times, then they will multiply. The game continues in this manner until either the coral pieces or the deck run out.  


Whenever one color of coral pieces completely runs out, the game comes to an end. The players will complete the final round of gameplay. The game may also end if the deck of cards becomes exhausted. The players will then score the cards that they have in their hands and the patterns that they have created. The player with the most points, wins the game! 

Ellie Phillips
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