Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Ctrl Board Game. This is an abstract strategy game that forces you to think 3-dimensionally. It is a brain beater that relies on breaking you out of your comfort zone of space just like when solving the puzzle of a Rubix cube. Turns consist of just 3 easy steps, but the different paths you can take are endless. This is a light intensity game that is for 2 – 4 players and can certainly accommodate players of all ages. The rules for how to play Ctrl are very easy and will have you taking on the cube in no time.

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Players compete on an abstract 3-dimensional battlefield. The goal is simple: control the largest area at the end of the game. But to do that, you’ll need to solve a thinky 3D puzzle, placing your blocks along 3D paths that climb up and down surfaces and over other players’ blocks. Build on top of your opponents to take control of their areas, and plant your flag to protect areas where you want to build – but try not to get blocked yourself!

Over the coarse of the game, each of you will build a 3-dimensional Domain by strategically placing your colored blocks. Your goal is to have the largest domain (amount of blocks) at the end of the game. The game ends after each player has placed all their blocks. Each player counts the size of their domain by counting the total number of faces of their blocks that are exposed. Faces that are hidden by other blocks (either yours or an opponent’s) don’t count towards the size of your domain. The most exposed faces at the end wins!


Time Needed: Approximately 20 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play Ctrl the 3D cube abstract strategy board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Place Cube
To kick off how to play Ctrl setup, take the black central cube and place it in the center of the play area.

2. SETUP | Choose Player Colors
Each player chooses one of the four player colors and takes that color’s 22 cubes, flag and player card.

3. SETUP | Place Starting Block
Each player places one of their blocks on the bottom middle spot of one of the four sides that surround the block. Each player should have their own side, so the final product will show a symmetrical disbursement of the initial cubes.

4. SETUP | Place Starting Flags
Each player attaches their flag to the top of their cube so it is pointing straight up. This sets your initial starting position.

5. SETUP | Decide Start Player
The final step of how to play Ctrl setup before getting into gameplay is to determine the starting player. The book says the person who suggested you play, but use your randomizer of choice if you would like.

6. GAMEPLAY | Step 1 | Player Removes Flag
The starting player takes the first turn and conducts the three steps of a turn. First, the active player removes their flag and sets it aside while they place their blocks.

7. GAMEPLAY | Step 2 | Player Places 3 Blocks
Place three blocks in a straight line. Once you choose your direction, you must go all in that direction and follow all the various rules that go along with it. This might mean going around edges or on top of other pieces of example. See PLACING RESTRICTIONS below to see what happens in various placement scenarios.

8. GAMEPLAY | Step 3 | Choose New Flag Position
After placing all your bricks, take your flag and pick a new position for it. You can choose any of your blocks that has an exposed side to place this in. What this does is restrict all other players from placing their blocks there.

9. GAMEPLAY | Pass and Repeat
After a player has placed their blocks and flag, the player to their left takes the turn and repeats the process until the game ends.

10. GAME END | All Blocks Placed
Once all players have placed all of their blocks, the gameplay section of how to play Ctrl ends and it is time to score.

11. WINNING | Most Showing Faces Wins
After the game has ended, all players count up all the showing faces of their block and the highest total wins. If one of your bricks is covered by another, and not showing, it does not count. As you can see, learning how to play Ctrl is very easy to pickup.



Reaching An Edge

When you reach and edge of the battlefield, the next block in your path rotates 90 degrees forward onto the new surface. You may NOT continue to travel in a straight path beyond an edge, as this would be traveling away from the Battlefield. If after you roll over an edge you have more cubes to place, continue the path along the surface.

Hitting A Wall

If you hit a wall, the next block in your path rolls 90 degrees backward so that it climbs the wall. Note that if you reach the top of a wall, you should treat it the same as reaching an edge, and roll 90 degrees forward on top of that.

Stepping Up & Down

You will often encounter edges or walls that are only 1 block high. In this case, the next block in your path steps up (if a wall) or steps down (if it is an edge). It is possible to need to step both up and down in the same movement string.

Hitting The Table

If your path would ever take your below the plane of the surface (lower than the bottom of the cube), you cannot do that, you must choose something else. If your last cube is adjacent to the table (the last spot) that is totally fine.

Hitting A Flag

If your path would ever hit any part of any players flag, it is invalid. You cannot use that path and must choose a new one instead.


  • 1x Large Central Cube
  • 88x Connectable Blocks (22 per color)
  • 4x Player Flags
  • 4x Player Cards
  • 1x Rulebook


We hope you can now say you know how to play Ctrl. With only 3 easy steps, the game is easy to get into, but with all the different possibilities, there are countless routes you can take from there. This really is about solving a puzzle within and limited and mind bending space. Fighting over getting the most spaces, while also being able to shut down the pieces of others really puts people at odds and creates a tense rivelry where even one small mistep can cost you everything. Now that you have been given the rules for how to play Ctrl, get out there and try it out for yourself!

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