Girl Genius
Girl Genius

Logo for "The Works"

"Girl Genius: The Works" is a strategic card game originally published in 2001 by James Ernest Games and Studio Foglio, with assistance from Cheapass Games. A completely new second edition of the game was released in 2018, also by Cheapass Games.

The Original Edition[]

In the game, two or more players try to fix a "machine" and pop out pieces until one player wins by accumulating enough points, as awarded by a number assigned to each card. There are 108 cards in the deck, and 12 are played on a "board" at one time. The game is designed for ages 10 and up. The rules are available online as a PDF file.

The art is credited to Phil Foglio and James Ernest, and all the characters and devices depicted are from Agatha's world[1] — some of which have not been encountered yet in the canon so far.

People are characterized as "Hero", "Villain", "Construct" and other categories; Baron Klaus Wulfenbach's card was one of the first sure confirmations that he was indeed a construct. Mimmoths and dingbots are described as "Pests". Airships and submarines have descriptives such as "Cute" and "Perky". Each card as popped invokes a special power which effects game-play in some fashion.

As in the canon itself, historical characters are depicted in sepia-tone instead of full color. Characters who appeared in The Works long before appearing in the strip include Parisians Simon Voltaire and his daughter Colette, and British citizens Trelawney Thorpe and Francisia Monahan. Some of the as-yet-unrevealed and tantalizing characters are Hilde the librarian (who is also described as a Queen), Spad Buckforth, General Cannonhat (though we have briefly seen the remains of "those cannon-hat guys" ), and the more exotic-looking You Know, Her and Noopta.

This original version of "The Works" is long out of print and can be considered a collectors item.

The Second Edition[]

In 2018, it was announced that a new and completely overhauled edition of the game would be produced by Cheapass Games. The Kickstarter campaign launched to fund the project quickly met and surpassed the requested $30,000. Unlike the original, there are no "sneak preview" characters, instead having four different sets of cards, each covering a different segment of the existing plot up through The Siege of Mechanicsburg, along with various extras for Kickstarter funders, such as a "Jager Poker Deck". Along with Phil, Nate Taylor is given artistic credit for this version.