/ March 18, 2024/ Card Games, Cooperative Games, Science Games/ 0 comments

Covalence is a great game for chemistry, but no prior knowledge is required. If your family loves logic games as much as mine, Covalence will be a great way to introduce your kids to chemical formulas!

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easy formula cards in covalence
These are the easy formula cards.

To play Covalence, choose one person to be the Knower/Clue Giver and the rest are working together to try to build their chemical formulas. Everyone gets 3-4 chemicals to build, but they don’t get to look at their cards. Only the one giving the clues can look at the cards.

The Clue Giver has 4 number cards and 4 structure cards face-up. They have to choose from these when giving the clue, and sometimes, there isn’t a good clue to give. This can make it frustrating for all players.

covalence gameplay setup
Setting up a game of Covalence.

Everyone Works Together

covalence clue with a structure and a number card
A Clue Giver might give this clue to show that the molecule has one double bond.

However, all of the Guessers are working together. Sometimes, a clue that is not given is just as informative as a clue that is given. When a clue is requested, the Knower can only give one clue to one person, so they can choose which clue will be most helpful. Finally, there are no repeats in the chemical formulas. Once one has been correctly guessed and revealed, all of the Guessers know that their formulas will be different.

There are three different levels of chemical formulas. Every molecule has 3 octagon-shaped tiles (carbon, nitrogen, or oxygen). There are 11 easy cards that each have at least 2 carbons, 15 hard cards that each have 1 carbon, and 27 chemist cards. Easy cards have between 4-8 hydrogens. Chemist cards add in chlorine. So far, we have only played with the Easy cards, and they have provided plenty of challenge for us.

Covalence pieces
The pieces used to build a molecular formula.

Accurate Chemistry

covalence structure cards
These are all the structure cards.

The octagon tiles each have 2 sides to them. Nitrogens have 3 single bonds on one side and a single bond and a double bond on the other. Oxygens have 2 single bonds on one side and a double bond on the other. Carbons have 4 single bonds on one side, and 2 single bonds with a double bond on the other.

The molecules on the cards are actual molecules and the bonds are represented accurately. If your kids are learning chemistry or your family likes logic puzzles, Covalent will be a hit with you!

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