Collector is a strategic pen and paper game for 2 players by Walter Joris

How to Play

Draw a 6 x 6 grid on a piece of paper and randomly decide which player will start. Each player will need a different colour pen.

On your turn, mark one box with a dot of your colour, then fill in a box that is adjacent to the box you just marked. The box that is filled in is eliminated from play and creates a barrier. You may fill in a box that is diagonally or orthogonally adjacent to your marked box. 

Play continues in this manner, with players alternating turns – until there are no more legal moves to be made.

The player who has the largest connected group of marked squares at the end of the game is the winner. You may connect marked squares diagonally. 

Early game

Mid game

End game

Why Collector is worth playing

Collector is super simple game with a lot of depth of play. To me, this feels like the gold standard for game design. It’s just a couple of pens and a piece of paper… and yet, this game will have you scratching your head and trying to mind-read your opponent for their next move.

Do you focus on your own group, while attempting to create a protected area? Or do you aim to block their key areas? Can you time your attacks for maximum impact? And how do you hurt your enemy while helping yourself?

Have a go and let me know what you think.