A chemistry card game forges bonds

Players create compounds using ions

card game Ion

SOCIAL REACTION  The chemistry card game Ion pits players against each other to make compounds.

J. Coveyou/Genius Games

The new strategy-based card game Ion makes a game out of chemistry. It challenges players to group positively and negatively charged ions to form compounds. Players pass around ion and noble gas cards to build the compounds and collect sets of noble gases for points.

New to chemistry? Never fear. The card game relies on basic arithmetic of positive and negative charges to create neutral compounds.

The designs on each card are sleek depictions of the protons and neutrons in each atom. Descriptions teach players to identify ions and compounds in their daily lives. The constant card passing among players adds strategy, as each person tries to increase point count and foil other players. Action tiles help each player increase their point-earning compounds — and steal from their neighbors.

Ion was designed by John Coveyou of Genius Games, which also sells the amusing DNA transcription game Linkage (SN: 12/27/14, p. 31). Ion can be ordered online at bit.ly/Iongame.

Bethany was previously the staff writer at Science News for Students. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

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