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A Puzzle-Style, Cooperative, Chemistry Game for 2-4+ Players, where you must deduce the structure of secret molecules from clues given!
A Puzzle-Style, Cooperative, Chemistry Game for 2-4+ Players, where you must deduce the structure of secret molecules from clues given!
1,447 backers pledged $38,317 to help bring this project to life.

There is a problem with the 2 player rules... Please read this before you play!

Posted by John Coveyou (Genius Games) (Creator)

Hello Covalence backers,

Well, with a sad face, I'll get right to the point. 

Somehow we let a previous version of the Clue and Guess Token set-up chart with four outdated numbers make it to print. 


The first thing I want to point out is that this only affect the 2 player game. Everything is still the same for the 3 and 4 player game, but there should be one more guess token in the 2 player (1 builder) version of the game. And this is true for all difficulty levels; Easy, Medium, Hard and Chemist. (This can be seen on page 2 and page 8) 

The Easy and Medium versions of the rules with 2 players are still playable, but will be much harder than anticipated. The Hard version with 2 players, on the other hand, will be impossible... This is because you must identify 4 molecule cards with only 3 attempts... You don't need to know calculus to figure out that it's impossible. 

This error is going to cost me a SIGNIFICANT amount of money, but we won't be selling a single copy of this game the way it is. We are going to print new rulebooks, and have each copy of Covalence, opened, new rules added and re-cellophane wrapped and reboxed up. 

When I realized we had this issue, I thought is was going to have a heart attack. I have coffee with one of my old Army buddies, Jeff (he was my roommate in Iraq) about the issue and sent me this video following one of our conversation about what I should do... It definitely helped me to calm down and realize that it wasn't the end of the world. Thought you guys might like it, so here it is. 

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This video makes me smile, in a painful kind of way that also makes me want to cuss… But, it definitely made me laugh and gave me some umph to push-on… Chin up, we’ll fix this! We always do.

This is where you come in... I want to send a new rule book to anyone who want one. I've seen a few backers in person who have said they will simply change those 4 numbers with a sharpy marker, or download the fixed version and be done with it. Others were pretty upset and demanded a new rulebook. 

Either way, I am printing extra copies to make sure everyone who wants a new rule-book will get one. And of course, there will be a downloadable version available that you can print off very soon. 

Here's How to Get A New Rulebook

If you would please, click this google doc link and let us know if you want a new rulebook. Even if you don’t want one, if would be really helpful if you could let us know. Please copy and paste,one of the following phrases next to your name.

Yes, SEND ME a new rule book 


No, DON'T send me anything

This google doc contains the names of backers. There is no private information attached to your backer name. However, if you want your name removed, email Shelley at ASAP with the subject line “Remove My Name from Backer List” and we will remove it. 

If you are frustrated and need punching bag, you can email me directly at Or for any other questions, comments or concerns, please email me. 

For those of you that have not received your games yet. If you are in the US, you should have received it by now, or at the latest this week. For those outside the US, some shipments of our previous games took literally over 30 days... It was so long. But most find their way. Please be patient with us as we strive to make things right for all backers. 

Overflowing with appreciation, 



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    1. John Coveyou (Genius Games) 11-time creator

      @Rob Just updated your entry in the google doc. We'll mail you a new rulebook!

      @Nicholas Many thanks, but we'll cover it :-)

    2. Missing avatar

      Rob Meekings on

      Really excited that this has finally arrived and sad about the rules. Couldn't access the spreadsheet, but please send me a new rulebook!

    3. Nicholas Eng

      mega respect for offering to send out new rulebooks! though i'd really like to toss a few bucks to cover the cost of mine if possible :)

    4. John Coveyou (Genius Games) 11-time creator

      @Ron I just updated your entry in the google doc to indicate that you'd like a Covalence rulebook mailed to you!

    5. Ron McIlroy

      Tried to update the google doc but the file is locked. My answer is yes.

    6. Joel Reid on

      One of the things I noted that should be added is that
      "all builders/teams should set up by placing three carbons in front of them attached together in a string".
      The reason for this is that it gives a basis for the clues to build on. i found that without this starting set up then the game was much harder for both builder and knower.

    7. John Coveyou (Genius Games) 11-time creator

      @ ALL – Some of you couldn’t find your names. I included the Shipping Name rather than the backer name and your backer number. If you click on your pledge it will show you your backer number. With either of these pieces of information, you should be able to “Ctrl F” and find your name/number.

      Some asked if sending these will cost extra money. Yes, pasting, “Yes, SEND ME a new rule book” means we will ship you a physical rulebook in the mail. Yes, this will cost money. If you meant you wanted to be sent a pdf download, I will send that out in the next update within days. In this case, please paste “No, DON'T send me anything.” unless you still want us to ship you the physical rulebook in the mail.

    8. John Coveyou (Genius Games) 11-time creator

      @ ALL – Thanks everyone for your kind support and encouragement. Here are the correct numbers. Just add 1 to all the Guess tokens for the 1 builder game.

      Easy Medium Hard
      6 5 4

      Easy (1 Builder) should have 6 Guess Tokens, Medium (1 Builder) should have 5 Guess Tokens, Hard (1 Builder) should have 4 Guess Tokens, and Chemist (1 Builder) should have 6 Guess Tokens.

      I understand that there are a lot of cheaper and quicker ways of fixing this issue, but I think my overall goal is completely bury this issue completely. We printed a couple thousand extra games to try and sell into distribution and make some profit from the production of this game. Pretty much all the funds from the Kickstarter went into producing the game and paying for these extra copies to sell afterwards.

      I know my personality and I am terribly OCD over details like these, and I know I wouldn’t be able to relieve the anxiety as we sold these additional units afterwards always wondering if someone won’t see the additional note and complain about it. Which is why I am paying the extra money have new rules books put into the copies still available and fix the issue completely and put it behind us.

    9. Missing avatar

      Upkar Gata-Aura

      I would like to also add my support to those that suggest sending out stickers. Much much cheaper, and a perfectly acceptable compromise.

    10. Kenneth Stuart on

      Since you've already decided to go down the reprint route, you may as well take full advantage of that choice! Are there any other errors that need correcting? Were there any other errors that made it through on this older version of the rulebook? You could also seek feedback on clarity to see if any sections could use a minor rewrite to remove any and all confusion.

    11. "Filkertom" Tom Smith

      I'm good -- have Sharpie, will scribble. :) I second Geert's suggestion of a sticker. And/or Stephen Robertson's of an errata sheet.

    12. Missing avatar

      Amy Troxel on

      Thank you for taking action and letting all of us know this. I am happy to sharpe the book I already have. Can you please clarify what the numbers are supposed to be?

      Thanks again for your work.

    13. Torsten Stelling

      I new PDF would be awesome ;)

    14. Stephen Robertson on

      Pffffttt, who cares - this is what Errata are for.

      Just publish the correct numbers in an update & tell everyone complaining to grow up.

      Don't send me (or anyone else in my opinion) anything other than an update email!

    15. Geert Folkertsma on

      Ha, that sucks (not for me, for you)! Sorry to hear it.

      I saw a nice suggestion in the google docs sheet: how about designing a sticker that exactly fits on top of the mistake, and ship that with all copies? Will keep the cost down, since you won't have to open every single box—and printing is probably somewhat cheaper, too. I would be completely happy with that, thinking "haha suckers they made a mistake" but no more than that.
      Anyway, if you feel people wouldn't accept this, you'll have to do it the hard way… Good luck!

    16. Missing avatar

      D C

      So... what's the correct number of guess tokens should there be?

    17. Carsten Ludwig on

      Yeah, a new rulebook would be nice because I will gift it to a friend. Already added a "yes" behind my name in the list.
      However I haven´t received the game yet (in Germany). Will there be tracking numbers once the game is on its way?

    18. Morten Monrad Pedersen on

      I have absolute have no problem just making the change in the rulebook myself and see no reason to make you pay money to print and ship me a new rulebook for such a small mistake. In total this will cost you a lot of money.

      As to the games that hasn't been shipped yet, couldn't you just print a small errata sheet and put that in the boxes.

      Mistakes happen and many games have errata e.g. Tiny Epic Defenders had a similar mistake in the rulebook for 1-player.

    19. Damiano Debiagi on

      Hi! Will be there a new rulebook also for print&play backers?
      Thanks! :)

    20. Alex

      Yes, SEND ME a new rule book.
      It's always nice to have a complete clean rule book that works.
      Thanks John for the offer!

    21. Arsonor

      I asked for a new one. I can wait for your next Kickstarter or I'll kick in something extra in that one for the postage. Thanks for owning up to the mistake and making it right.

    22. Johnny Li

      Thanks for offering! I'll just sharpie mine once I know what those numbers need to be... :)

    23. Matt

      I found my name! Can I say no don't send me a rulebook but send a Panda instead as compensation? :D

    24. James Sander-Cederlof

      I found my name.

      I just published a book where somehow a couple of the pages were an old version, so I understand the frustration. I got my copy of my book, started reading it, and then gasped in horror when I saw the old pages. After a while I came out of my horror shell and realized life must continue.

      Stuff happens; you'll survive. You have to survive, or how will I continue to buy your games?

    25. Deepra Smith

      Maybe you could keep the cost down by suggesting you are going to add the new printout in the next KS game. I think that is better as to motivate existing backers to back it. The rest who are impatient can get it via softcopy pdf. It is pointless to mail out new one wasting backers money like that. I would rather you plow back into newer KS projects.

    26. Missing avatar

      Vas K

      Same here. Couldn't find my name or add. Yes - send me a new rulebook.

      -Vas K

    27. Chris Truebe

      I can understand this issue very clearly. I myself have had similar issues. Not to worry, as it happens once in a blue moon. I like your products and think you've done an outstanding job of owning this. Keep up the great work!

    28. Missing avatar

      Adam on

      I couldn't find my name, I also couldn't click on anything to add it.
      But Yes, SEND ME a new rule book would be nice for novelty.