top of page
Learn to Play


Widget Ridge is a Steampunk deckbuilding game where inventors compete against one another to be declared an Engineer Laureate!  This is no easy feat, inventors must use their Beloved Widget and Gadgets to buy augments, devices, and accessories in the Marketplace of Ideas to build amazing inventions to ultimately generate enough Spark to win the game!

The game has multiple formats and the following is a basic overview for two players.   For additional formats, click on the following links or watch one of our how-to-play videos:  Single Player  | 3-4 Players  | Playing with Characters | Learn to Play Videos


Download our

PDF Rulebook:

Starting Cards.jpg
Getting Started


In this game, players start with a 10-card Personal Deck filled with seven Widgets and three Gadgets.  Starting cards are gold bordered and are numbered 1-10.  Unlike other deck builders, our Starting cards are all unique.  This helps players quickly identify cards for setup and the card #'s allow for customization of your Starting Deck with our optional Story and Characters expansion packs. 


Widget and Gadgets help players generate generate Gold and Spark.


GOLD is a chemical element. It is very rare, and in its purest form it is considered quite valuable. We’re pretty sure you have this back on Earth. Players may only gain Gold during their turn, and it goes away at the end of the turn. Gold is used to buy  inventions from the Marketplace and as payment for some Full Construct abilities.

SPARK is a curious energy that can be absorbed from the environment. Players may gain or lose Spark at any time. Spark does not go away at the end of your turn like Gold does. When Spark is gained, it’s immediately added to the players Spark total. When Spark is lost or payed, it’s immediately subtracted from the player Spark total.  The goal of the game is to be the first to generate 100 Spark.


At the start of the game, take the Marketplace Deck, and place it on the table between the players.  After shuffling, overturn the top 6 cards and lay them out in a row next to the Marketplace Deck. This is the Marketplace. Cards are purchased from the Marketplace with Gold.  When you have enough Gold to afford a card, you may purchase it, and then put that card in your discard pile.

If a card leaves the Marketplace, it is immediately replaced with the top card of the Marketplace Deck.  If the Marketplace Deck ever runs out of cards, reshuffle all of the melted Invention cards and make a new one.

Card Types


Before we start, lets get familiar with the different card types in Widget Ridge:

  • Widgets are tiny, helpful robots with a rudimentary intelligence.  Each citizen of Widget Ridge is given their first Widget on their 6th birthday, though they can make or buy more. 

  • Gadgets are simply tools.  They are pretty cool, but not as exciting or fun as Widgets.

  • Inventions are acquired form the Marketplace and used to build larger inventions in your Workshop.  Inventions can be Accessories, Devices, or Augments.

  • Locations are optional cards found in expansion packs that can be added to the Marketplace deck.  Click here to learn more about Locations. 

  • Characters are optional cards found in expansion packs that allow you to play as a character in Widget Ridge.  Click here to learn more about characters. 

Play, Build, Win!

Once you have purchased a card, you no longer have to pay Gold to use or play it. Purchased cards go to the discard pile, and when you run out of cards in your personal deck, you’ll reshuffle your discard pile (including your cool new inventions) and draw from your new deck.


Cards may have an effect when played or an effect when connected.  There are three types of invention cards that can be acquired from the Marketplace row: Augment, Devices, and Accessories.  Augments and Accessories have played effects while devices have connected. 


PLAYED When you play an Augment or Accessory card from your hand, you do what is says.  Often these effects are simple. Gain Gold, Spark, or draw cards. You do everything instructed in the order given. If you can’t do everything, then do as much as you can. You only get the “played” effect when you play the card from your hand, not if you connect or move it anywhere.


CONNECT Devices have a connect ability.  When played from your hand, a device does nothing, however you can choose to move a device into your Workshop. This is where the fun truly begins!


When you play a card, it goes into your in-play area in front of you. Once you have cards in play, you may move them to your
Workshop, which is a special area that each player has in front of them. Your Workshop may have a maximum of one Augment, one Device, and one Accessory.

Whenever you connect an Augment or Accessory to a Device, it will trigger the connection ability. If you connect to a Device on both sides, the ability will trigger twice. 


You can only connect Augment and Accessories cards to Devices if there is a connection path (ie, the symbols on the sides of the cards line up). The connection points don’t have to be the same on both sides, and you only have to match one of the connection points.  Augment and Accessories can not be connected to each other.


At the end of your turn, you take all cards that you have in play, and put them into your discard pile. You also discard any cards you still have in your hand.  However, you may keep one card or a series of connected cards in your Workshop. 


During your turn, you may clean out your Workshop (discarding all cards there), and move other cards into it. If you want to move a card and there’s already another card of the same type, you can replace the old card as long as the new cards are able to connect.


Some effects allow players to destroy cards in the Workshop. If this makes an illegal Workshop situation (such as having a Device destroyed, thus leaving an Augment and Accessory by themselves), you must discard cards from your Workshop until you have a legal Workshop.


For example: If you have played Mechanical Bison this turn, you may choose to put that card into your Workshop so that it doesn’t get discarded at the end of your turn. Next turn, you play with a Parachute, and you connect it to your Mechanical Bison.  Now your Mechanical Bison with a Parachute can stay relatively safely in your workshop until you choose to remove it.

Full Constructs

If you are able to connect an Augment, Device, and Accessory, you have completed a Full Construct. The name of your Construct reads from left-to-right, and the ability at the bottom also reads left-to-right. Like most creations, sometimes they work exceptionally well. However, they can also be pretty weird.


If you have a Full Construct in your Workshop, you may use the ability at the end of your turn. Cheaper Augments tend to have a detrimental cost that must be paid. Higher-end Augments will usually have a beneficial cost (such as drawing a card or gaining Spark).








For example: Coal-Powered requires the player to keep 3 Gold unspent in order to use the Full Construct ability. It’s suboptimal, certainly, but
Coal-Powered only costs 2 Gold to acquire. Hydro-Powered is more expensive at 5 Gold, but it gives you a much better activation cost (put up to one card from your discard pile on top of your deck).

Turn Structure

Let’s take a look at how the turn breaks down. Remember that players only take actions on their own turns, but occasionally an action taken by a player will require a choice or notation from inactive players (such as discarding a card or gaining Spark). 


Steps 2, 3, 4, and 5 are the Ideas Phase. You can do these actions in any order, and as many times as you wish. You don’t have to take any of these actions if you don’t want to (or can’t).  

  1. Start of turn. If this is the first turn of the game, the player going first draws 3 cards, and everybody else draws 5. If this isn’t the first turn, the player should already have cards in their hand from the previous turn.

  2. (Ideas Phase) Play cards. The player may play cards in any order, and does not have to play every card if they don’t want to.

  3. (Ideas Phase) Purchase cards. Choose a card in the Marketplace and put it in your discard pile, deducting the appropriate amount of Gold.

  4. (Ideas Phase) Place or replace a card in your Workshop. Cards may Connect when this happens, and you apply that effect immediately. If two connection effects trigger at the same time, apply one completely, then the other.

  5. (Ideas Phase) Clean out your Workshop (discarding all cards from it).

  6. End the Ideas Phase. You discard all non-workshop cards in play, and any cards in your hand. You then draw 5 cards.

  7. You may now use the ability of your Full Construct. (If you discard a card to activate it, you don’t draw a card to replace the one you discarded.)

  8. If any effects trigger from the Full Construct activation, resolve those here.

  9. Any unspent gold you have is now gone. The turn passes to the next player.

Destroying and Melting

You will see these two terms fairly often in the game. If a card is Destroyed, it is merely placed in its controller’s discard pile, and will likely return at some point.  If a card is melted, it is put in the melted pile. Cards that are melted are not reshuffled into anyone’s personal deck, and will most likely be removed from the game forever.

Some melt effects may specify a card type (i.e., melt a non-Widget) or a specific area (i.e. melt a card from your hand). If an effect says melt a card, and does not specify, you may melt a card from your hand, discard pile, in-play area, or from the Marketplace. (If you melt a Marketplace card, replace it
immediately) You can never melt a card that an opponent controls unless a card effect specifies that.

Spark Tracking

We’ve included two Spark Tracking cards for each player, but you can use whatever method you like to keep track of Spark. To use them, place the 0-9 Spark Tracker card on top of Spark Tracking clock card. The following example shows a player at 22 Spark.


Some effects allow players to destroy cards in the Workshop. If this makes an illegal Workshop situation (such as having a Device destroyed, thus leaving an Augment and Accessory by themselves), you must discard cards from your Workshop until you have a legal Workshop.

The Goal

Be the first player to have 100 Spark. This is the default goal in the game, but the players may agree to use a Goal card (included with the basic game) to change the win condition and even the game rules! The win condition is checked at any time, as long as there are no card effects waiting to resolve


Stop the statue of Lord Admiral Sir Eustace Covington (default goal)

The citizens of Widget Ridge love a festival, and the biggest festival of all is the annual Festival of Three, where students and graduates of all three churches come together for the world’s biggest science fair.

Inventors from all ages and social classes are welcome to enter, and the streets and squares fill with all kinds of strange devices. 

It’s the morning of the second day, and you hear a commotion coming from Faraday Square. The statue of the first mayor of Widget Ridge, Lord Admiral Sir Eustace Covington, has been activated by an unseen hand. The statue, an automaton, is normally only activated on Covington’s birthday, and only when the square is relatively free of people.

But this is dangerous. You run towards the panicked screams. Covington will roam the area, looking for coal to eat, until he is full or his power system is overloaded by a huge infusion of Spark. He will smash anything or anybody in his way.

This is your moment. If you can put something together that will shut the statue down in front of the city, the church elders will have no choice but to declare you Engineer Laureate.


You must hurry, however. You can see others having the same idea. You must work fast, and also do what you can to sabotage your rivals.


GOAL: Get your Spark score to 100 and stop the rampaging statue!

bottom of page