Gizmos review

Gizmos Review

Gizmos review

They say some of the best inventions are developed because of pure laziness. Take for instance the space shuttle. That was invented because of the initial plans to build a ladder to the moon. Fortunately, for history’s sake, the lead inventor let his gym membership lapse and only believed in focusing on core muscle exercises at home. This caused a real problem when he tried to climb the 238,900 mile ladder they had built. No upper arm strength. So they dismantled the ladder and went back to the drawing board. It came down to renewing a gym membership or letting Russia win the race to space. This is when he developed the idea to fly to the moon. Genius! Instead of climbing there, we fly there! Some of his peers accused him of pure laziness. We’re going to sit down and be carried to the finish line? Well, he did and we won. It turned out to be the best invention ever. Today, space shuttles are used for all kinds of everyday tasks like flying to the moon, and flying around the moon. Gizmos, a game released by CMON will let you invent machines that are as powerful as the modern space shuttle, just by picking cards up off of the table.

Gizmos was developed by one of my favorite game designers, Phil Walker-Harding. His past designs include Barenpark, Imhotep, Sushi Go Party, and Cacao to name a few. He has produced yet another winner with Gizmos, where you will gather together at the Great Science Fair to develop your best creation. You will be taking marbles from a 3D dispenser included in the game that you must build before your first play. It includes a detailed set of instructions and a phenomenally-designed reference sheet, which is helpful because of the amount of iconography in the game.

Gizmos actions

All Those Colorful Gizmos

The four uniquely colored marbles represent four different types of energy that you can take from the dispenser. There are starting limits to how much energy you can store, so be sure to spend that energy on some cool new Gizmos by taking them off the board. Most every Gizmo that can be purchased is worth a set amount of victory points that will be printed right on the Gizmo so it easy to keep track of your points.

The Gizmos you purchase will offer you new abilities, such as turning one energy into two, expanding your energy storage, or taking an extra energy marble from the dispenser when you take a certain color of energy. There are so many options to build your engine and steer it onto the path of victory in this game. This is why the very detailed icon reference sheet is great for understanding the functionality of each Gizmo. There are even Gizmos that will provide you extra victory point tokens for doing certain tasks in the game.

Gizmos marbles

This is an engine building game, so building the best and most properly functioning engine can cause some pretty spectacular chain reactions that can have you going from taking one action on your turn to taking six or more actions on your turn quite quickly. The possibilities are endless, or at least it seems that way. The game will end once someone builds their 16th Gizmo or one player has built their 4th Level 3 Gizmo and then the round will finish with everyone getting an equal amount of turns. The game is colorful, bright, and beautiful when laid out on the table. It has a very attractive presence.

So in closing I would like to say if you enjoy manual labor then Gizmos might not be for you, but if you’re lazy.…excuse me, efficient like I am, and enjoy inventing shortcuts to winning big, then Gizmos is just the game for you.

Another Look from Ryan Gutowski

I’m not shy in admitting that the first time I played Gizmos at Origins Game Fair 2018, I was underwhelmed with this new game. Unfortunately, because of the colorful marbles and the publisher affiliation, this game gets associated with Potion Explosion often. These games are so different and occupy two very different spaces in our game collection.

After digging into the game a couple times, I started to understand how powerful combos became. Concentrating on different types of inventions create combos that set up even bigger moves in the future. Gizmos has grown on me because it’s a genuinely fantastic game. It’s a great fit for families with kids 10+ because it challenges you to find the best set of gizmos to outwit your opponents.

You can pick up Gizmos at your local game store or purchase the game on Amazon today.


  • Great engine building mechanic with great depth
  • Bright, colorful and has excellent table presence
  • Easy to teach and quick to learn


  • Lots of icons to learn your first time around

Bob Crowell

I love everything to do with the world that is board gaming. Dice placement is probably my favorite mechanic of all time. I love learning new games and love teaching them just as much.

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