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Preview: Defrag

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

I have been in Information Technology for well over 20 years now. I started out in the era of floppy discs and computers that ran Windows 3.11 on them. So whats the point of declaring myself so old well a tiny game arrived at the house not too long ago that looked like a floppy disc and inside was a game full of nostalgia for me even the title Defrag brought it all back. Brandon McCool designed a game that will bring you right back to 1995. So put on Gangsters Paradise and let's explore Defrag one of the newest games published by Envy Born Games.

Defrag is a hand management game where you are looking to rotate, stack and shift cards into of the same active type into a pile before the draw pile runs out. It sounds easy enough I mean we just explained the game in a sentence, but its not that easy. This will take place over four rounds with each round and have one of the four icons that will score per round.


To set up a game of Defrag a player will lay out a grid (3x3 without one in center) from the deck of 18 cards. Then a player will draw 2 cards in to their hand and the other 8 cards are the draw pile. When the draw pile runs out then a player will have one last turn to play the last card in hand.



Each of the cards in Defrag have symbols along the edges of the card. The symbols that are at the top of the card when the card is in play is the active icon. When playing a new card into the grid players will play the card so that the window in the middle of the card is oriented up. The window in the middle also contains the action the card can take. Before a player takes the action and after they have played the card into the grid if the icons on the edges of the card match an adjacent card's edge then you may rotate the card(s) not played.


Scoring in Defrag happens at the end of each of the four rounds. At the end of each round a player will choose the icon being scored. To score that icon a player must have a single stack containing those icons in the active position. Players count the number of active icons in the stack, there can be up to three active icons per card. The scoring wraps the theme up in a beautiful bow for me. It really has the feels of defraging your computer.


There are actions on all the cards. The actions for the cards will manipulate the the field of play even more. Players an also create chains to manipulate cards further afield to really create some interesting combos that will have players scoring more and more points. The puzzle aspect is also augmented by adding in scenarios that will give this game that extra repeatability that will have players coming back for more.



Defrag is a real brain burner that will having you coming back to perfect your score. Playing solo is just as fun as playing with more than one player. Defrag is part of the Tiny Game Series being launched on kickstarter by Envy Born Games. The Tiny Game Series will feature 3 new games with 3 different themes and play styles. Sirens and 16 Candies will be part of the Kickstarter launch this September (2023).


Players: 1-2 (up to 4 with 2 decks)

Year Published: 2023

Recommended Ages: 12+

Time to Play: 20 minutes



A review copy of Defrag was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for Review purposes by Envy Born Games.

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