board game

The Story | Research

The Story

Collect the most gems without getting your hands dirty in this card game of balancing and dexterity!

Microbes challenges 4 to 8 players, ages 9 to adult, to claim as many gems as they can by slapping the cards. If you’re the fastest you’ll get the gems – but watch out! You’ll also get the germs. You must balance collected germ tokens on the back of your hand, because if enough of those germs fall off, then all of your gems will be worthless! Can your hand hold any more germs? If not, better find a handwash card quick!


Designed at the request of the Minister of Health of Rwanda, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Microbes was developed to emphasize the importance of hand washing to children in rural Rwanda. However, lack of washing hands is not a uniquely Rwandan problem – Microbes is designed to be played by children and adults both at home and abroad. Players have enjoyed playing Microbes in locations and settings as diverse as Rwanda, Haiti, classrooms in New Hampshire, and gaming conventions.