Codex Conquest: The Game of Book History

Codex Conquest

Play Codex Conquest to learn the contemporary value of historical printed books and how these books changed history by contributing to technological advancements, scientific breakthroughs, artistic triumphs, and political shifts from the fifteenth through the nineteenth century.


Each player represents a curator competing to create as many high value collections as possible for his or her national library. Collections may either be four books from one genre, century, or country.


At the end of the game, complete genre collections are worth triple their credit value while complete collections from a player’s home country or from a single century are worth double their credit value. Books which do not form a complete collection are worth only the credit value on their card. Likewise, credits that have not been spent are worth only their face value. The winning curator’s country holds the most valuable overall collection as designated by the value of their collections cost at the end of the nineteenth century.


Codex Conquest is supported by the University of Iowa Libraries and School of Art and Art History and works in collaboration with Columbia University Libraries and Center for Teaching and Learning. Listen to the game designer promote it on Talk of Iowa.


Get the Game

Download and print the Cards double sided, one card per page. Then cut them out, ideally with a paper cutter rather than with scissors. Then watch the Set Up & Rules video and/or download and print the File Rules. If you plan to use the game in a classroom setting, check out the video Interview with Margaret Gamm, Rare Book Curator.

Learn More

To learn more about the game, go to its dedicated Website, read the File FAQ, or browse its File development notes. You'll need theFile ratios if you plan to adapt the game.