Players start by picking two potions that they want to make. Players choose their first potion going clockwise around the table, and their second potion going anti-clockwise.
On your turn, take any marble ("ingredient") from the dispenser. If two marbles (or groups of marbles) of the same colour collide when falling to close the gap in a column left by taking a marble, they explode and are also taken by the player. This will repeat as "exploded" marbles are removed and subsequent groupings collapse.
Taken marbles are placed in the user's "hand" (the rectangle above the flasks in the player's board). One at a time, you can move these marbles to the matching color on the potions in your board and/or to the "Pool" holding flask (which can hold at most three but can hold any color). If there is available space in your pool you must fill it with marbles from your hand before ending your turn. Any marbles left afterwards in your hand at the end of your turn are returned to the dispenser.
When all the holes of a potion are filled, that potion is completed and it moves to your potion area, becoming worth its VP at the end of the game.
At any time on your turn (before or after your regular marble pick), you may also:
- Drink a potion from your potion area, to activate their effect. (You can only drink each potion once, and it still scores VP even after being drunk.) Hover over to see the effect. You may drink multiple potions in a turn if you have them.
- Once per turn, ask the professor for a Little Help. This costs -2 VP, and lets you take any one marble from the dispenser, without triggering an explosion.
At the very end of the turn, you must draw new potions to replace any that you completed. (You cannot add marbles to these new potions until next turn.)
The game is setup with (#Players + 2) skill tokens from the start. When you make your third potion of the same type, or when you have made five different types of potions, take a Skill token for 4VP. When the pile of Skill tokens has been depleted, that round is played out and then the game ends. If someone scores a Skill Token even after they have been depleted in the last round they will still get the score for that Skill token.
The player with the most VP points is the winner.
In the case of a tie, all tied players (starting from the first player in turn order) each one at a time take one marble from the dispenser to try to trigger an explosion. The player who takes the most marbles this way is the winner.
Note that each player may get the skill token of 'the 5th different kind of Potion' once. You do not get a 2nd skill token of 'the 5th different kind of Potion' after you collect the 2nd set.
- Abyssal Draft: Take up to 1 Ingredient of each color from the bottom row of the Dispenser slide tracks. You can only take 1 Ingredient from each slide track.
- Balm of Uttermost Stickiness: Take 2 or more adjacent Ingredients of the same color from the same slide track of the Dispenser. No Explosions are triggered.
- Elixir of Blind Love: Steal all the Ingredients from 1 opponent’s Pool.
- Filter of Lavamancing: Discard up to 5 Ingredients of 1 color from the same slide track of the Dispenser back into the tank. No Explosions are triggered.
- Potion of Magnetical Attraction: Take 2 adjacent Ingredients of different colors from the same slide track of the Dispenser. No Explosions are triggered.
- Potion of Prismatic Joy: You can place all Ingredients (up to 3) in your flask's ingredient Pool on any holes of your incomplete Potions, regardless of their color.
- Potion of Wisdom: Take one Ingredient of your choice from the Dispenser. No Explosions are triggered.
- Sands of Time: Activate again the effect of 1 Potion you already used.
- Fulminating Serum Allowed: This potion will possibly be avaliable. It discards 2 ingredients on the same track back into the Dispenser. No explosions are triggered.