2–4  8+ 1–15 mins
10–30 mins
15–45 mins

Idea Of The Game

The idea is to arrange your marbles into vertical, horizontal or diagonal lines as quickly as you can. To win the game, you must create one or more lines of marbles, the length of which depends on which game variation you choose to play and the number of players.

Setting Up The Game

Place the open box with the game board inside it on the table between the players. Each player has 22 marbles of one colour. These are kept in their compartment in the game board. Each player also takes one of the four score cards and a score marker. Use any method to decide who starts.

Basic Game Mechanism

Marbles are always inserted from the edge of any side and in any direction on the game board.

If there is already a marble at the edge of the board where you wish to play, this marble and any adjacent ones are pushed one field on when you insert your marble.

You may not insert a marble onto a line on the board that is already full; marbles must never be pushed out of the game area!

The touch decides

As soon as the marble in play touches either the board or another marble, the move must be completed (provided it complies with the rules).

When inserting a marble, ensure that it touches the adjacent marble exactly in the middle!

Game Variations

The game can be played in one of three variations:

Shiftago Express   Simple and yet intricate
Shiftago Expert   Tricky and sophisticated
Shiftago Extreme   Complex and challenging

Players must agree on a variant before starting to play.


to familiarise yourself with the mechanism of the game, it is a good idea to begin with a few games of Shiftago Express.

Optional: balancing ability levels:  (all variations)

A stronger player must sit out between one and six turns (as agreed beforehand).

To count out the missed rounds he places the appropriate number of marbles (1 to 6) to one side before the game starts. For each round he sits out, he returns one marble to the compartment in the board. Once all of the marbles have been returned, he may begin to play normally.

Special case:

As long as there are only marbles of one colour on the board, these may not touch each other. This means that a player playing two or more marbles onto the board one after the other (because all other players are missing a turn) is not allowed to place them on vertically or horizontally adjacent spaces.