Cameron Browne (c) 2010
Palagem is a deceptively simple multiplayer game played with Palago tiles.


Equipment: Palagem is played by 2-6 players using 48 Palago tiles.

Start: Each player takes four tiles and makes a palagem of their choice in a 2x2 diamond or rhombus shape. The tiles may form any pattern but all edge colours must match.

Figure 1.  Palagems created by the participants of a three-player game.

If two or more players create the same palagem then the player(s) first in the move order must make a different pattern, so that all players have different palagems when the game starts.

Play: The first player places a tile in the middle of the playing area, the second player places a tile to touch it such that edge colours match, then players take turns adding a tile to touch at least two existing tiles such that edge colours match.

Aim: As soon a player's palagem is formed by four tiles in the playing area, then that player wins the game. Winning palagems may exist in any position or rotation, but must consist of the same colours and not be reflected, i.e. the pattern must be the same.

For example, player 3 wins the following game as their palagem is formed by four tiles in the playing area (hint: lower left, upside down). Winning palagems can be hard to spot!

Figure 2.  Player 3 wins.

If a player forms palagems for more than one player on the same move, then the mover loses.

Any player may claim a win (or loss) at any time, but if mistaken they forfeit their next move.

If the tiles run out before any player wins, then players take turns picking up an existing tile with at least three exposed edges and playing it elsewhere.


There are 81 distinct palagem patterns.


Inversion: Played as per the standard game, except that winning palagems may be inverted, i.e. the two colours may be swapped. For example, the following two palagems would effectively be equivalent in this variant.

Figure 3.  Two duplicate palagems in the Inversion variant.

The inversion game is theoretically easier to win as it is almost twice as likely to achieve a given pattern, however it is more confusing as inverted patterns are difficult to visually decode.

There are 42 distinct palagems if inversions are allowed.


Palagem rules copyright (c) Cameron Browne 2010.

Palagem sprang into my head during that blissful interval between waking up and actually getting out of bed one morning in Jan 2010.

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