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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.

Diatoms is a puzzly tile-placement, pattern-making game where you create a microscopic mosaic out of single-cell algae. 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!

(Are you press or a content creator? Diatoms Press Kit here.)

Update! Solo Variant: Diatoms “Commissions”
Commissions is a single-player option for Diatoms, where you collect diatom tiles as in the main game, while trying to create a mosaic that fulfills specific requirements.

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

Diatoms will be available o order first on Kickstarter. You can sign up now to get  kickstarter notification when we hit launch on Sept. 26th, 2023.

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!

We regularly post behind-the-scenes photos and video here of Diatoms and our other games. Give us a follow!

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

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

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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 and Cardboard Edison

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