Dale Yu: Review of Exacto


  • Designer: Reinhard Staupe
  • Publisher: NSV
  • Players: 2-6
  • Age: 5+
  • Time: 15 minutes


Exacto is the next game in the No Plastic line from NSV – these games specifically do not include plastic to be better for the environment.  Exacto is a simple observation game – in fact, really all that you do in this game is observe.

The box has 15 tiles in it, each with 8 colored circles on it and a pair of holes cut in the tile.  This deck is shuffled and two tiles are dealt out to the table, one of which is flipped over to show the back with the construction side.


The active player can only look at the cards, and he has to decide which of the two colored circles on the green face up card will exactly fit in the holes of the face down card.  Once he has chosen, he announces the two colors out loud and then sees whether the colors fit exactly in the holes or not.

If he is right, he collects the facedown card as a point.  If he is wrong, the facedown card is placed back on the table and the next player in turn order gets to guess.  Continue doing this until someone gets the right combination of colors.

Now, flip the current faceup card to the other side and deal a new card from the deck.  Continue until all the cards are collected but one.  The player with the most cards wins!


My thoughts on the game. 

Could the whole rules explanation be that short? Is that all there is to the game?  Yes.  And the game could play brutally fast – especially if you play with a nephew who just has a good eye.  Each card is constructed so that there is one and only one solution for each set of holes.  And man, some people will just get it while others won’t.

In our group, we had just as much enjoyment laughing at how certain gamers (umm, me) could simply not see which colors would fit where…  At least it’s not a speed game, and I get a chance each time my turn comes up in order – though assuredly I’m destined to fail at it.

It’s a clever enough game/activity, and something I could definitely see the younger crowd going for (and I’m sure that’s why it is rated 5+ on the box).  As an entry level game for kids or as a conversation starter / activity, this game could find its place.  It’s quick to teach, and something that just about anyone can play.

Until your next appointment

The Gaming Doctor

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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