Universal Elements

Universal Elements - Board Game

Two or more players race against each other to forge our solar system by combining the five basic elements (Water, Air, Fire, Earth, and Dark). The first player(s) to forge all celestial bodies on a Star Map wins! This is a fantastic game for sharpening memory, developing quick math skills, and learning about space.  Sure to get your gamma waves going.

Players: 2+ | Ages: 13+ | Time: 30+



These instructions are for version 2.0
Gameplay Overview

0. Setup – Shuffle the Elemental and Chaos decks. Give each player a Star Map and one of each colored Essence token (Blue, Yellow, Red, Green, and Purple)

1. Choose a Starting Player – Choose as a group or roll dice to randomize the choice.

2. Draw Hands – Starting with the chosen player and continuing left, each player draws 5 Elemental cards.

3. Take Turns – Each player may perform any and all Turn Actions (see reverse side for Turn Actions) once per turn by discarding Elemental cards.  Any discarded Elemental cards are immediately replaced by drawing from the Elemental deck.  If there are no cards left to draw from, then the discard pile is to  be shuffled and used as a new deck.   After the starting player has ended their turn, continue left until each player has had a turn. 

4. Chaos – Reveal and play a Chaos card from the Chaos deck and let it reign!  Any player may reveal this card.

5. Check for Winner(s) –  Any players with a completed Star Map win.  If no player has won by this step, then repeat steps 3-5 until at least one winner is declared.


Turn Actions

Players  may perform each of the following actions once per turn:

A. Aquire Essence – Any player may discard an Essence card to be awarded +1 Essence of that type.  Alternatively, players may discard 3 of the same Basic Elemental type to be awarded +1 Essence of that type.  Each player should have 5 different colored tokens (Blue, Yellow, Green, Red, and Purple).   These tokens are used to keep track of Essence points (found on the lower portion of a Star Map).  There is a maximum of 6 Essences for each type.  If a player already has 6 Essences of a single type, then that player may discard an Essence card of that type to be awarded +1 Essence of any type.

How Essences Work

Each Essence [passively] reduces any forge cost by one of that Elemental type for its owner.   Each Essence shares a color with its corresponding Elemental type. 


If a player wishes to forge a Sun and has the following Essences: 2 Water, 3 Air, 1 Dark,  then the Sun’s forge cost would be reduced by 2 Water, 3 Air, and 1 Dark.

B. Forge a Celestial Body – Any player may discard a combination of Elemental cards to fulfill a celestial body’s forge cost (found on a player‘s Star Map).  An Elemental card’s point value can be found in its upper-right. The total points of all discarded Elemental cards must meet the minimum requirements for any celestial body’s forge cost to complete a forge.  A player may use excess Elemental points to complete additional forges if all forge costs are met.  If additional forges cannot be made with excess Elemental points, then those points are forfeited.  Use the round tokens to mark off completed celestial bodies on the Star Map.

The following example is one way to forge a Sun:

tabletop games

If a player has enough Essences to cover the forge cost for a celestial body, then that celestial body is automatically awarded to that player and does not count as a forge.

A player may not discard an Elemental card during a forge if they have Essences equal to or greater than that  of the celestial body’s forge cost.

C. Free Discard – A player may discard up to 3 cards from their hand, and then draw that many cards.

D. Quantum Anomaly – A player may discard an orange Quantum Anomaly card.

E. Pass Turn – If a player cannot perform any of the above actions, then they must pass turn.



Univeral Elements Remixed

There are many different ways to play. These directions are only one version of the game and may be altered for a unique experience. The power is yours! Here are some suggestion on how to remix Universal Elements:

Need for Speed?
Turn Actions have a limit of 1 per turn. Speed a game up by increasing or eliminating that limit for any or all Actions.

Altered Essences
Essences reduce the cost of celestial bodies. Instead, Essences could add their values to a player’s forge.

Entropy Reduction
Any Chaos cards or Quantum Anomaly cards may be removed.

Pluto, we hardly knew yee
Pluto does not count as a planet, but feel free to play as if it does.

Example View


  • Do Essences go away when they are used?
    They do not. The only way to lose an essence is due to the effects of an orange Quantum Anomaly card or a Chaos card.
  • Can the forge cost of a celestial body be reduced below 0 for an Elemental type?
    No. There is no additional award for having extra Essences.
  • What happens if a player has enough Essences to cover the entire forge cost of a celestial body?
    That player is automatically awarded the celestial body.
  • Can a player forge multiple celestial bodies during a single turn?
    Yes, but only with the leftovers from a single forge. A player is allowed to choose a single celestial body to forge per turn. Elemental cards are then discarded to forge the chosen celestial body. Any extra Elemental points from the chosen forge may used to forge additional celestial bodies. With the right Elemental cards and the orange Quantum Anomaly card called “Catalyst,” it is possible for a player to forge up to 5 or more planets in a single turn.


  • Can a player perform one or all of the the turn actions listed in the directions?
    A player may perform any and all turn actions once during their turn. This is the default game mode. You may customize your experience by altering or eliminating limits on any or all turn actions. For example: players may agree to a game where there are no limit to how many Essences you may acquire in a single turn. This would speed a game up.