16 Memories

Release Date: 
Friday, February 1, 2008
Package icon Tiles and board for 16 Memories177.9 KB
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Play Duration (experienced): 
Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Minimum Age: 

by Jonathan Leistiko

You Need

  • A 16 Memories Board & Tile Set
  • A 16 Memories note sheet and pencil for each player
  • A pawn
  • A die
  • A one-minute timer


Place the board where everyone can reach it. Pick a tile set and shuffle it face-down. Put one face-down tile on each space on the board. Claim a note sheet and pencil.

Play: General Rules

You may not take notes during the game unless the rules explicitly state you may.

Before you start play, decide which play option (1, 2, or 3) you’re playing with.

Play, Part I

Turn all tiles face-up. Start the timer. All players may look at the tiles until the timer runs out. When the timer runs out, turn all tiles face-down.

Play, Part II, option 1

Write a number. This is your bid. Once all players have written bids, reveal all bids.
If your bid is the highest, you get to play. Point at one tile, declare what it is, then flip it over. Do this as many times as your bid.
If you were correct every time, add your bid to your score. If you were wrong at least once, each other player adds one point to his or her score for each time you were wrong.
If players tie for high bid, the next-highest bidder plays. If all players have tied bids, re-bid.
When a player finishes playing, gather up all of the tiles, shuffle them face-down, and set up the board for another round.

Winning, option 1

The first player with 20 points or more wins the game.

Play, Part II, option 2

Put the pawn in the upper-left corner of the board. Pick a player to go first.
Roll the die at the start of your turn. Move the pawn that many spaces from left to right, top to bottom; just like reading. When it’s done moving, you may Play or Pass. If you Play, state what you think the tile the pawn is on is, then flip the tile over. If you’re correct, add it to your Treasure Pile; you may take another turn. If you’re wrong, flip it face-down and end your turn. If you Pass, your turn ends. Play passes to your left.

Winning, option 2

The game ends when all tiles are in Treasure Piles. If you have the most tiles at the end of the game, you win.

Play Part II, option 3

Once all tiles are face-down, start the timer again. When the timer runs out, start it again. Write the name of each tile in its corresponding space on your note sheet. Stop writing when the timer runs out.
Turn the tiles face-up. Score one point for each one you got correct. Score two points for each one you got correct that no-one else got correct. When all players are done scoring, gather up all of the tiles, shuffle them face-down, and set up the board for another round.

Winning, option 3

If you have more than 16 points, and at least 4 points more than any other player, you win the game.


Adults vs. Kids: Want to play with adults and kids? Use a set with icons with two distinct vectors (shape and color, for example). Kids only have to get one of the two vectors correct. Adults have to get both vectors correct.

Friends & Family: The last set is a “make your own” set. Use pictures of friends and family to make your own set. If you’re willing to share the set(s) you’ve made, please send ‘em to me!

Origin and Credits

I wish I could remember what made me think of this game. Unfortunately, I don’t know because when I created it on August 14, 2006, all I did was make the board and about 5 different tile sets. I never wrote any rules down. That made it very odd and mysterious to me when I came across it again on July 13, 2007. I’m sure that I had very specific ideas for how to play it when I was making it, and I suspect that at least one of the game options in these rules are “correct”, but I don’t know for sure.

The biggest design challenge in making this game was to make a memory game with at least a little strategy to it. Options 1 and 2 do that pretty nicely, I think.

The different tile sets are a study in how memory works, and the different coping strategies individuals use to remember clusters of data rapidly for short periods of time. As you play, ask yourself: What makes a set easy or difficult to remember? Why is a particular set hard for one person, but difficult for another person? If you’re homeschooling, or teaching a lesson about perception and memory, this game is a great doorway to pique interest in these questions and encourage self-directed research for the answers. You could also run some simple tests, record the data from the tests, and look for correlations.