Trickery, Backstabbing, and Chain Reactions Abound in BIOTIX | Casual Game Revolution

Trickery, Backstabbing, and Chain Reactions Abound in BIOTIX


Players are lab assistants, competing to get their name put on the research paper. How far will you go for academic glory?

Grow biotix in your petri dish or pass them off to other players. But be careful, too many of one type may cause chain reactions with unforeseen consequences!


To set up BIOTIX, each player takes a player board which shows a petri dish that contains a different number of spaces for each color type of biotix meeples. All the biotix meeples are placed in a bag and thoroughly mixed. One player takes the time token and places it on the timer countdown tracker on their board; this player will be the start player.

On your turn, you draw at random two meeples from the bag. The meeples come in five different colors (six if playing with the advanced rules). For each meeple you draw you may either place it on your board in the appropriate color slot, or on an opponent’s. If all the slots of a single color are filled on a board, and another meeple of that color is placed on it, a reaction occurs. What the reaction does varies depending on the color of the meeple. For example, if you get too many of the yellow meeples, you must discard them and then give three of your other meeples to other players; while if you get three or more red meeples, you discard them and then may take two meeples from the other players. Sometimes when a reaction causes you to give meeples away or take them, it might cause another reaction to occur on your board or another player’s board. All reactions are resolved before the turn ends.

Each time it is the start player’s turn again, he moves the timer token down. Once it hits zero, he places it in the bag with the other meeples. Play continues until the token is drawn. The player who draws it places it on her board and the round is immediately over. Players calculate how many points the meeples currently on their petri dishes are worth and write their scores down. Depending on the color of meeple they can be worth two to fifteen points each.

A new round then begins, with the player who has the timer token being the new start player. At the end of the second round, if any player is twenty points or more behind the player in the lead, on a piece of paper he can write down a meeple color and a number one to three. If at the end of the third round he has that exact number of meeples in this color, he scores a bonus thirty points. The player with the most points at the end of three rounds wins the game.

Biotix Components

Photo by Smirk & Dagger Games


BIOTIX is a simple, easy to learn game that plays really fast. Even with a full player count, you don’t have to wait long for your next move, and you’re always watching to monitor other players’ petri dishes and see what they’re going to do to yours.

The game blends pushing your luck with take-that gameplay in a satisfying way. You want to end the round with meeples on your player board worth lots of points but this isn’t so easy. For instance, the yellow meeple is worth fifteen points but you can only have one before causing a reaction that will force you to discard it and lose three other meeples. So when, if ever, do you try to collect it? Maybe you should just pass it on to someone else and cause a reaction on their board instead?

There’s a really nice range of reactions from ones that actually help you to those that will hurt everyone. Players are also never going to be sure exactly when the round will end. You know there will be at least three turns (two in a five player game) before the timer token is placed in the bag, but once it’s in there no one knows when it will be drawn. This leads to some great moments of suspense each time someone reaches in to draw out meeples, whether you’re hoping the timer will come out or that it will stay in.

The production value could be higher, unfortunately. There’s some really great, colorful artwork for the faces of the biotix, but they come as stickers that you have to apply yourself, and due to the unusual shape of the meeples this is a little tricky. The player boards are made out of fairly thin cardboard as well, and it would have been nice if some kind of score tracker were included with the game.

Overall, BIOTIX is a fun, light game. It plays fast enough that it’s easy to want another go once you reach the end. If you enjoy cutthroat gameplay and pushing your luck, this is a great little game that fits the bill.

Pros: Nice blend of take-that and push your luck, plays fast, minimal downtime

Cons: Components could be improved

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.