Mad Match Instructions are also available to download as a pdf.

It’s just another day at the Annual Mad Scientist Convention when Dr. Emil Knutberger shows up… AGAIN!

Once again he’s seeking revenge for being thrown out of the convention and having his membership revoked. This year he has unleashed a ton of dangerous monsters. Round up as many monsters as you can before these crazy creatures destroy the city!

Mad Match is a fun and exciting card matching game that combines strategy, memory, and cut throat game play.


Collect more monsters than your opponents – by any means necessary.


Mad Match is a 54 card deck with 45 Monster cards and 9 Strategic Action cards.


In addition to the standard Mad Match card matching combat game, the deck can be easily customized to play a basic matching game suitable for all ages, or an engaging and addictive versions of Mad Match solitaire. Instructions for all games are included.




Players take turns trying to match monsters. Pairs or triplets of monsters are captured by players and will be scored when the playing area is cleared.


Shuffle the deck well and then deal the cards out in a grid of six rows of nine cards, all face down.

How to Play:

Player One turns over three cards. If a pair or triplet of monsters is revealed, they should be collected by the player and moved to his or her scoring area. Scoring takes place at the end of play, after all Monster Cards have been collected or removed from play. If there are no matches, the cards should be turned back over once all players have had a chance to see them.

If any of the revealed cards is an Action Card (red background) the player should collect the card, unless it is a Freeze card. Freeze cards are used immediately and an extra card should be revealed. Three non-Freeze Action Cards should be revealed. Any non-Freeze Action Cards should be collected. Any pairs or triplets should be collected. Remaining Monster Cards should then be frozen in place, meaning they are not turned back over at the end of the turn. Some Freeze cards extend to the next players turn. In that case, an additional three cards should be revealed, and any that are not collected will also remain frozen in place and not turned over. Once all Freeze turns have been completed, the Freeze Action Card is removed from play.

Players must try to remember where monsters are in order to collect pairs and triplets. If a player has collected a pair and turns over the third card, he or she can collect the third card as a “Spare” (more on that in the Scoring section). If a player reveals the third card from an opponent’s pair, the third card is removed from play.

A player may choose to use an Action Card at any time during the game. This will take the place of his or her turn (no turning over cards that time). Action Cards can generally be used to destroy opponent’s Monster Cards (remove them from play) or steal those cards. Only one Action Card can be used per turn. Players who understand the rules of scoring can use Action Cards to increase their potential score while decreasing that of their opponent(s).

When the last Monster Cards are revealed and collected, the game is immediately over and scoring begins. Any remaining Action Cards can no longer be played.

If the last card(s) to be revealed include an orphan single who cannot be paired or collected by the player, it is simply removed from play and scoring begins.

If the last card(s) revealed includes an Action Card, it should be collected, but cannot be played and scoring begins.


Each Monster Card features a scoring matrix. This a per card score. On the face of the card are four numbers with a small header icon over each. The card will be scored based on how many were collected and over how many turns.


From left to right, here’s how to score the card:

x : All three cards collected in one turn.

v : All three cards collected over the course of more than one turn or stolen with an Action Card. We call this a spare.

2 : Pair of cards, either collected during play or stolen with an Action Card.

1 : Single card. This happens when others in the set were stolen or destroyed by opponents.

Again, each card is scored, so a pair of monsters with a II of 3 totals six points while a spare triplet with a / of 5 totals fifteen points. The player with the highest score wins the game.

Before you start playing you may decide to play best two out of three (ideal for competitive game play) or to a set total score. 250 points is a good target score for two player games. 150 points is better for 3 or 4 player games.

Strikes and Spares

An easy way to differentiate between triplets collected on a single turn and spares is to lay the cards in a row with the third card turned perpendicular to the pair. An example is shown below. It is a good idea to clearly display all cards that have been collected so opponents can clearly see what you have when deciding how to use Action Cards.

Who is Player One?

There are lots of ways to determine player order but one of our favorites in a two player game is to shuffle the deck and deal 5 cards to each player. They should keep those cards face down and not look at them. Each player reveals one card at a time and compares the small icons located to the right of the scoring grid.

The icons are a Sun, an Electrical Bolt, and a Water Drop. Using the icons is like playing Rock Paper Scissors except in this case, the Sun evaporates the Water, the Water short circuits the Electrical Bolt, and the Electrical Bolt gives us light so we don’t need the Sun.

If the first cards use the same icon, it is a tie and the second cards should be compared. Even in the event of multiple ties, five cards should be enough to produce a winner. Player One is the first to win the icon battle, hopefully on the first card.


Before you play, remove all nine Action Cards and one copy of each of the 15 monsters. That will leave you with 30 cards, 15 monster pairs. These cards should be arranged in a grid of five rows of six cards. Players should turn over two cards at a time trying to find pairs. It’s classic match game play. The player with the most pairs at the end of the game wins!


Before playing solitaire, you must remove the nine Action Cards from the deck. The objective of Mad Match solitaire is to group all monsters into 15 spaces. There are five fixed spaces on the left, five active spaces in the center, and five flexible spaces on the right. Each section has rules for use.

  • Deal five cards down the left side, face up.
  • Next deal five cards across the middle, face down.
  • Now deal one card face up on top of the leftmost of the middle cards, then deal four more cards face down over the next four face down cards.
  • Then deal one face up card over the face down pair, second from left. Deal three more face down cards over the pairs to the right.
  • Now deal a face up card over the triplet, third from the left and deal two more face down over the triplets to the right.
  • Deal a face up card on the four face down cards and deal on face-down to the rightmost set.
  • Finally, deal a face up card on the rightmost set of face-down cards.

Now, imagine five empty slots running down the right of the playing area. The completed setup should look like this:


The remaining deck of cards will be used to open matching areas in the right section and to find matches. With the deck face down, count five cards and show them face up. The visible top card is playable. If you play the top card, you can then play the next visible card. Continue playing the visible cards as long as you can. Once you have an unplayable card, deal another three cards in the same manner and play continues.

Cards are playable when they can be matched to another card in a play area that allows you to bring in new cards (left and right sections). You can also use a card to “open” a monster triplet on the right. There are five slots on the right, and you can move a new, unmatched card into any open slot.

Cards from the deck or in the right and left sections cannot be moved to match in the center section. Only cards already in the center section can be matched and stacked. The exception is that triplets can be moved from the right section into open slots in the center section.

Cards can be moved from any other play area to the left. If matching cards are dealt during setup, they can be paired, leaving a blank space. Only completed triplets can be moved into a blank space on the left. Cards and triplets cannot be moved away from the left.