Ex Machina Set Collection in Under 5 Minutes! Review

 Game: Ex Machina (buy here) Time: 20 minutes
 Publisher: Kinaju Games Players: 2- 4
 Age: 7+ Replayability: 4/5

Ex Machina

ex machina

When it comes down to card games, I tend to be a bit stand off-ish. I’ve been playing a lot of card games in the past few months and I have found them to be lacking in creativity. Each game generally consists of the same mechanics and components as the other. However, I was introduced to Ex Machina, a small card game developed and published by Kinaju Games, and I was thoroughly impressed with the game play. Ex Machina is a set completion card game that lasts no longer than 20 minutes consisting of 56 cards.

In Ex Machina the goal is to complete sets and earn the most points within three rounds. Sets comprise of cards made up of an ex machina card, an oil card, a cogwheel card, a silver machina card, a gold machina card, an automachina card. There are two sets to complete in order to collect points. One of the sets includes one ex machina card, one oil card, one cogwheel card, one silver machina card and one automachina card. The other set is one ex machina card, one oil card, one cogwheel card, one gold machina card and two automachina cards.

Each turn a player will play a card from their hand to begin development of the set. You will then be able to have a card dealt to you. When all players have played a card, deal a new card to begin a new set. Once a set is complete–the round ends and the game starts over. I found this to be a great way to keep the game from being stale or keep the game from stalling. Instead of working on 1 set and potentially running out of cards to play, new sets will continue to be introduced– being able to invent strategies along the way of the game. It’s definitely a card game worthy of having in your collection AS WELL AS being a great filler card game.

Our experience in a nut shell– we were semi-cooperating until the final touches. What I loved was through our game plays, we would work together in order to get the building blocks in order to the sets. With each new set being introduced we would lay out cards we knew we had to throw down in order to get these sets in order. However, the tension was definitely noticeable as these sets grew closer to finishing up. We played a bit more conservatively, nervously laughing off the feeling that we may lose. Sweat dripping down my face as my draw wasn’t the gold machina I needed… The worried feeling I got when my opponents MAY have that card I need… Wow, what a fun time. Being this game can run anywhere from 5-15 minutes it’s easy for players to want to get another go in. While it may be tough to push this game onto the table (compared to it’s competition) as soon as it hits, it stays.

Final thoughts– It’s quick, it’s easy to learn, and it’s inventive.. It’s definitely worth it.


Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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