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A tile-placement, pattern-making game about making microscopic mosaics out of single-cell algae.

Hidden in the water all around us are tiny lifeforms known as “diatoms.” These microscopic algae cells come in a variety of exquisite geometric shapes and patterns. Their outer layer is made with silica, giving them a glass-like quality. Here at the Society for the Microscopic Arts, we collect these diatoms and delicately arrange them on slides into beautiful, tiny mosaics. As part of your induction into the Society, you will each create your own entry for today’s Exhibition of Microscopic Mosaics.

In Diatoms the board game, you vie with your fellow players to collect and place diatom tiles to create mosaics. Take turns placing tiles representing algae colonies, earning diatoms of different colors and shapes. Then strategically place these diatoms on your own mosaic, taking care to consider how your arrangement will be scored by the judges at the end of the game. Everyone will create a unique mosaic, but only one player will win first place for their microscopic art.

Diatom mosaics are a real thing, though this artform has only ever been practiced by a vanishingly small number of people. Diatoms themselves are also a pretty big deal as they produce up to 50% of the oxygen we breathe.

Celebrate both obscure art and the ubiquitous wonder of science with this beautiful, cozy, thinky game!

Piqued your interest? Help bring Diatoms out of the curio cabinet and into your parlour by supporting and sharing:

Diatoms will be available first on Kickstarter starting in Fall 2023. You can sign up now to get  kickstarter notification when we hit launch. The more people who sign up, the more other people will sign up (so we hear.)

Join our tiny but growing footprint on Fan, Wishlist, Subscribe to Diatoms. If you’ve playtested the game with us, log your play or give it a rating!

Share about Diatoms with your followers, friends, family, etc. who like games, science, art, Victorian themes, algae, or all-of-the above.  

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Join our community mailing list to receive playtest invitations, latest news on Daitoms and our other games, amazing family game recommendations, and an invite to our  discord group.

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Special Thanks to Carina Initiatives who provided foundational support for the development of Diatoms.

Thank You Playtesters! Dave C., Hazel C., Linda, Micah, Penelope, Andrew, Micah, Isabella, Andy, Abby, Patrick, Joe, Alyse, Ian, Ace, Averie, Eric, Betsy, Shawn P., April C. Rob G., Kate G., Melanie H., Jason P., Mary P., Micah, Andrew, Isabella, Jack, June, Sarah, Mike, Eliza, Adam H., Jodie, Ben, Maggie, Sarah, Ruth, Nora, Ben, Kate, Ross, David, Jessica, Mark D., Pernell V., Nikki W., Sam M., Shanti P., David K., Ramon G., Philip E., Roger M., Chris B., Joe S., Stefan A, Boza, Mo, Justins, Caylie, Fabricio, Ryan C.…and others whose names we didn’t catch. 🙏 Also thanks to the communities at @ Unpub 2022, Unpub@ PAX Unplugged 2022, & GameMasters PGH, and Cardboard Edison

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