Temple of Doom is a solitaire or cooperative game in which you must aid a team of 8 adventurous archaeologists attempting to save as many ancient relics as they can while escaping from the crumbling temple.

At a glance:

1-6 players

30 minutes

Complexity: High

Components used:

All 54 cards

All 36 tiles

8 cubes (2×4 colours)


Setup may take some work the first time, but it will probably be faster when you have done it a couple of times.

First use the tiles to build the Temple.

All tiles should be face up (symbol side). Find 6 tiles, one of each symbol, and place them in a straight row. This is the Starting Row. Now grab more ore less random tiles to build more rows. The second row should contain 5 tiles, and be centered in the middle of the starting row, so that each tile in the second row intersects with two tiles in the Starting Row. Continue to build rows like this, with the third row using 4 tiles, fourth row using 5 tiles, then 4, then 3, 4, 3, and finally 2 in the ninth row (so that’s 6+5+4+5+4+3+4+3+2).

Place the 8 Archaeologists (cubes) in front of the Starting Row.

Now separate the deck into three decks by the colour of the background on the cards.

The brown cards (values 4, 5, 6) will make up the Relic Deck, the pink cards (values 1, 2, 3) will be the Temple Deck, and the green cards (values 1, 1, 2) are the Movement Deck. Now take the three black border cards from the Relic Deck and add them to the Temple Deck. Then take the three white border cards from the Temple Deck and add them to the Relic deck. You should now have three decks, each containing 18 cards with a total of 3 of each symbol. Then shuffle all three decks individually.

From the Relic Deck, turn up 3 cards on the table, on the left side of the Temple. From the Temple Deck, turn up 6 cards on the table, on the right side of the Temple. From the Movement deck, deal yourself 9 cards if you are playing solitaire. With more players, deal a total of 12 cards among the players (with 5 players, rotate which two players recieve 3 cards in consecutive rounds).

Now you are ready to start! (select starting player randomly if neccessary)


During one round you will play all the dealt Movement cards, in order to move the 8 Archaeologists. Each movement card has 1 or 2 movement points indicated by the printed number on the cards. If the played card has 2 points, they can be used on 1 or 2 Archaeologists, but they must both be used immediately.

With 1 movement point, you can move one cube exactly one tile in any direction. You can _either_ use the border colour on the card to move a cube of the same colour (white can be any colour, black can be none) _or_ use the symbol on the card to move any cube into a tile with the same symbol. When cubes reach the final row of the temple, you can spend one movement point (matching the colour) to move one cube out of the temple.

When all Movement cards have been played, the round ends, and 4 things happen, in the following order:

1: Check which Relics you can collect.

For each face up Relic card, see if there is a match on the board where a cube of the same colour as the card is placed on a tile with the same symbol as the card. White cards can be matched by any cube. If there is a match, collect this card and put it aside.

2: Remove collapsed parts of the temple.

Any tiles that were flipped in the previous round are now removed from the game. Any Archaeologists standing on these tiles are killed by the collapsing temple and are also removed.

3: Check which parts of the temple will collapse next.

For each face up Temple Card, see if there is a match on the board where a cube of the same colour as the card is placed on a tile with the same symbol as the card. Black cards can not be matched, which means they are doomed to collapse. If there is a match, place this card in a discard pile. When all Temple cards have been checked for matches, the remaining cards cause parts of the temple to collapse. For each card, find the first tile with the same symbol closest to the Starting Row and flip it over. Cubes on the tile remain on the tile after it has been flipped, so you have one turn to move them off to save them.

Towards the end of the game, there might not be any more tiles with the correct symbol. If there still are remaining Temple cards, then for each card you must flip any one tile still face up. If there are no more face up tiles, then each unresolved Temple card will cause one tile to fully collapse, i.e. be removed from the game, killing any Archaeologists on it.

Always start flipping/collapsing the tiles closest to the original starting row, but if there are more than one option in the same row then you can choose wich one to flip/remove.

4: Deal new cards

From the Temple Deck: Temple cards that did not have a match on the board stay in place for next round. In addition yoy turn up exactly 6 new cards. Shuffle the discard pile if there are fewer than 6 cards available.

From the Relic Deck: Relic cards that did not have a match on the board stay in place. Turn up as many cards as needed so there are a total of 3 available Relics.

From the Movement cards: All movement cards, used or unused, are discarded. Deal 9 (1 player) or 12 (2-6 players) new cards. When dealing 12, you should first deal the remaining 6 cards, then shuffle the 12 cards used in the previous round to deal 6 more.

Note: in the co-operative game with more than one player, the players should not show each other their cards. You can talk openly and tell each other which cards you have and discuss what could be the best course of action, but in the end it must be each players decision which of her cards she wants to play.


When the Temple has fully collapsed you must count the number of Archaeologists that have survived and escaped. Then count how many Relics you were _unable_ to collect, and subtract this number to calculate your final score. So if 5 Archaeologists escaped but 2 Relics are left, your total score is 3.

The game is considered a Win if your final score is positive.

The maximum number of points will be 8, if all cubes are safe and all Relics are collected, but you can win if for instance all Relics were collected but only one Archaeologist made it out alive.

If you find the game is too hard, change the layout of the temple by taking the two tiles from row nine and adding them to row 6