Q: Is there any significance to 64 different cards?
A: Yes. Since there are 4 colors, 4 shapes and 4 numbers, 4x4x4 or 64 is the number of possible combinations of those 3 properties. The Wild Cards, however, often make it possible for there to be an alternate way to complete a lot.
Q: What do you mean "face value"?
A:"Face value" is simply the number on the card. It appears on the corners of the cards and is also the number of smaller white shapes inside the larger colored shape. The face value of a Wild Card is 0.
Q: I've read the instructions and is the starter card. The 4 cards in my hand are . What next?
A: You can always add any 2 cards to the starter card in this sort of arrangement. This move would be worth 13 points. The blue square 4 is counted twice because it is part of 2 lines.
It generally makes sense to play your hand so that the higher face value cards are counted twice. You could also add the green circle 1 to the same line either above or below the other 2 cards. Here it is below.
It's allowable because the colors, shapes and numbers individually are all different on each card in that line. That would increase your score on this turn to 14 points. Adding the red circle 2 to that line would not be allowed because then the numbers would not be either all the same or all different on each card. You'd have two 2s and one 4.
This would be an allowable move. In this case, even though the 2 cards played aren't right next to each other they are being played in the same line.
Q: Can I do this?
A: No, because the cards you're adding aren't in the same line.
Q: While a wild card needn't represent a specific card, it must represent a single card?
A: OK... this does sound a little confusing. Actually, it's quite straightforward. Let's say you add a Wild Card to line that's only 2 cards long. There would then be at least 2 cards which would satisfy the requirements set by the first 2 cards in that line.
At that point, the Wild Card could represent, therefore be replaced by, any of those cards. If the Wild Card is the 4th card in a line with no other Wild Cards, then it would only represent one specific card and could be replaced only by that card, assuming it hasn't already been played.
Let's say, for example, that in this case the Wild Card represents a red square 4. That would mean you could connect cards to that Wild Card in the other direction only if they would work were it a red square 4 in that position.
In short, if the result of a move is that the Wild Card becomes theoretically unreplaceable by another single card, it's not allowable.
Q: We just noticed that an earlier move should not have been allowed. What to do?
A: Hmmmm. You could just keep on playing knowing that that particular line can never be extended to be a lot. If that is deemed intolerable, just starting over is an option. Or, you could make any of the problem cards replaceable, like the Wild Card.
Of course it would have to be replaced by a card that rectified the error. That option would be available prior to your turn and not count as your turn.
Q: The Scoring Seems Complicated. Is There A More Basic Version We Can Play?
A: Absolutely! You could score 1 point for each card in a line that's either created or extended on your turn, again, counting a card that's part of 2 lines twice, and doubling points for creating a lot and also for playing all 4 of your cards.
A doubling bonus would also be awarded to the first player to play his or her last card. You could even take it a step further by not scoring except for awarding 1 point for completing a lot, playing all 4 of your cards and/or being the first player to play his or her last card.
While the scoring described in the rules adds excitement by making it more possible for a come from behind win, first and foremost, iota should be fun! Enjoy.