Global Warming

Players 2 or 4 (see comments for 2 player variant)
Length 30 mins
Equipment Required single standard piecepack, cup or bag
Designer Mark A. Biggar, Aron Wall & Gloria Wall
Version 1.1
Version Date 2004-07
License Copyright 2003, 2004 Mark A. Biggar, Aron Wall, Gloria Wall under the GNU free doc license , dual-licensed CC BY-SA 4.0


This is a slowly sinking island game like Survive or Atlantis. It uses a unique method for determining which parts of the island will sink next that gives the players partial knowledge of future events.


Design Notes

  1. My sister Gloria came up with the sinking island theme.
  2. My nephew Aron came up with the identical choice of actions cancel idea.
  3. I came up with the sliding coins to determine what part of the island sinks next mechanism.
  4. We originally tried a hex like island with 6 tiles in the central row, with two 5 tile rows above and below and then two more 4 row tiles above and below that. Each row was offset by half a tile to give a hex like connectivity. This resulted in the board staying way too connected until late in the game. Note that the contest judge was of the opinion that even the square board has this problem (See judges comments below).

Reviews & Comments

This is my other entry in the ChangingLandscapes contest -- Mark A. Biggar

Comments of the contest judge Michael Schoessow

Global warming was one of the three "ice" games and we all agreed it was the middle one of the three in terms of popularity. At first we played it always with four players because this is what the rules called for. Later, based upon our forming impressions we tried it as a 2-player game as well, and found it to still be enjoyable. We did not try it with three players.

The game mechanic with the three coins showing at a time, giving partial information about the future course of events is pretty interesting and something I hadn't seen before. This sliding partial information mechanic is clearly the heart of the game. During the early phases of a game things seemed fairly straight-forward and somewhat random (too much so for some player's tastes) and it seemed in our games that it was almost always in the second half, when the board configuration was more maze-like or spread out, that the interest and the scope for tactical playing really picked up. The renewed chances of a player having a problem every time a coin is revealed, especially later in the game adds a tension that is good. Also, once one or two players have been eliminated later in the game, the game begins to feel less chaotic and more tactical. This is what gave us the idea to try the game as a 2-player. There was pretty general agreement that the game would benefit from some tweak that could get it to the more tactical-feeling phase more quickly. One suggestion (not tried however) was that a different starting configuration could be tried. For example make the board as a 5x5 square array, but with a 3x3 plus-sign-shaped hole in the middle. Then add the four extra tiles to the outside of the board, one in the center of each side.

Yes, this game can be played with 2 players. Each player takes two pawns but only one die. With this two player variant the game does not eliminate players: the game ends when one of the two players loses the two pawns.


CategoryGame SpaceRestrictionCategory MechanicRandomBoardCategory MechanicSimultaneousActionSelectionCategory MechanicMultipleBoardsCategory