Frequently Asked Questions

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Question: Can I read the instructions before buying the game?
Answer: Click here for the link to the instructions included with the game and for the link to the online multimedia instructions..

Question: Are there any chemical elements that won’t bond into a Compound?
Answer: Yes, the Noble Gases. These chemical elements are “inert”. If you lay a Noble Gas card on the table, your turn is over.

Question: How many chemical elements can be used to make a compound?
Answer: In the Rare Earth Game, only 2 chemical elements can be used to bond a compound*, but you can use more than 1 card of the same chemical element. For instance, you can bond 2 Oxygen cards to 1 Carbon card (which makes carbon dioxide).

Question: What do the arrows represent?
Answer: 2 arrows pointing out mean that the chemical element is ready to give up 2 electrons. 2 arrows pointing in mean that the chemical element is ready to take 2 electrons. Some elements can give or take electrons, but never in the same compound in The Rare Earth Game.

Question: Why are there electron dots surrounding some of the chemical element cartoon characters?
Answer: Electron dots are there for illustration purposes. They show you how many electrons the chemical element has in it’s outer electron shell or “Octet”. However, always refer to the arrows on a card to determine whether the chemical element will give or take electrons.

Question: Why don’t all the cards have dots?
Answer: Some chemical elements give or take electrons from more than 1 shell, so it’s inaccurate to depict electrons in the form of an “Octet,” which represents only the outer shell.

Question: Why don’t the arrows matter when you make an alloy?
Answer: Electrons are not given or taken when mixing an alloy. Elements are mixed together but a compound is not formed. In the Rare Earth Game, the Energy Card provides the heat necessary to “melt” the metals and mix the alloy.

Question: Once you put a compound or alloy in your Lab, can you break it apart to make compounds or alloys with more protons?
Answer: No. In the Rare Earth Game, once you bond a compound, it is stable and will not separate. Neither can an element be extracted out of an alloy.

Question: Then why even make a compound with a low proton count?
Answer: So you can generate an Energy Card, which will allow you to mix an alloy with a higher proton count during a later turn.

Question: Can you make a compound or alloy with an Re card?
Answer: Yes, but just like an Re card, the entire compound or alloy will disappear (out of play) at the end of the turn. Nevertheless, you might choose to make such a compound or alloy for strategic reasons.

Question: Can I take a card that has been placed, face-up, in front of another player (but has not yet been bonded or mixed)?
Answer: If you can immediately use that card in a compound or alloy, you may take another player’s unstable face-up card (or cards) to make a compound or alloy.

Question: Does the game come with all 118 of the chemical elements in the Periodic Table?
Answer: There are 107 cards in the Rare Earth Game, including necessary duplicates and Energy Cards. 50 chemical element cards were excluded from the basic game to ensure the right balance of cards for optimal game play. If you would like to purchase the game cards that represent the remainder of the Periodic Table, they may soon be available, sold separately, by your preferred retailer or cataloger and will soon be available for purchase from These cards will come with instructions explaining how to incorporate the cards into the game as well as suggestions for other fun activities. Let us know that you want these cards by writing to, it will spur us to speed up the printing schedule.

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