Two by Two - General game info
Two by Two
2-4 players, 8 years and older
AuthorRob Bartel (RobBartel)
IllustratorsPatrick LaMontagne
Mark Poole
Published byValley games
Online since 2011-01-25
Developed byAitor (ArkTheLad)
Boardgamegeek66608 owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
Two by Two - Rules

The floodwaters are rising and the animals need to board the ark! Players move their boats around a steadily deteriorating landscape, matching pairs to rescue stranded animals. The goal is to find matching pairs of animals and bring them onto your ark before you opponents raise the waters. There are six animals of every type, except for the unicorns, of which there are only two. Animals that are rare at the end of the game are worth more points.


1 island gameboard
island gameboard
4 ark playing pieces ark playing pieces
4 scoring tokens scoring tokens
4 "50/100" point tokens point tokens
80 animal tokens consisting of:
6 fishbone tokens fishbone tokens
2 unicorn tokens unicorn tokens
72 other animal tokens (12 species, 6 of each)
other animal tokens
36 water tokens water tokens


Randomly place the animal tokens face-down on the island's central green jungle spaces. Remove the six remaining animal tokens from the game without revealing them. Do not place animal tokens on the brown beach spaces.

Each player receives the ark playing piece that matches the colour of the ark printed on the gameboard closest to their seating position. Place the water tokens within easy reach of all players, dividing them into separate piles if necessary.

The player who can make the best animal noise goes first, with the others following in clockwise order. Each player places their ark playing piece on one of the six ark spaces that surround the central island.
ark space The first player places his scoring token on the field 1 on the scoring track, followed by the second player on the field 2 and so on.

Once each player has placed a scoring token, reveal all animal tokens that are adjacent to a water space, turning them face-up:


Turn Sequence

There are two steps to each player's turn:

STEP 1. The Floodwaters Rise (Mandatory)

  • Place one water token on any land space that is already adjacent to water. If there is an animal on that space, it is covered up by the water token and can no longer be rescued.

  • Score one point for each water space that borders your newly placed token and turn any animal tokens that touch the new water space face-up.

    step 1

STEP 2. Use Your Ark (Optional)

After placing your water token, your ark is allowed to perform two actions. You can perform these actions in any order and can even forgo one type of action to perform the other one twice. If you wish, you may choose to pass for one or both actions.

A. Move your ark to an adjoining water space

Your ark playing piece cannot move onto a land space or onto a water space that is already occupied by another ark playing piece.

B. Rescue a pair of animals

Although both members of the animal pair need to be face-up on the island, your ark playing piece only needs to be adjacent to one of them. Remove the animal pair from the island and add them to the appropriate space on your ark.

step 2

Your ark can hold an unlimited number of animal pairs, including multiple pairs of the same species. Only the fishbones cannot be rescued. The player to the left now takes their turn, beginning by placing a water token.

Ending the Game and Declaring a Winner

The game ends at the end of the turn in which either of the following conditions is met:

  • No water tokens remain; or

  • All animal tokens have been revealed and no further pairs (other than fishbones) remain.

At this point, players score their rescued pairs, column by column, in the following order:


There are two ways to count points at the end of the game, depending on whether a basic or advanced game is being played. The basic scoring method offers easier counting and is recommended when playing with children. The advanced scoring method is designed to support tougher decisions and more aggressive play.

If any player scores more than 50 points, they take a "50/100" token and starts a second lap around the scoring track. If more than 100 points are reached, flip the "50/100" token over to the "100" side and begin a third lap. Once all of the points have been tallied, the player with the most points wins the game.

Basic Scoring

Each rescued animal is worth one point, except for the unicorns which are worth two points. Score an additional two bonus points for each species that only appears in your ark.

x2 star

On each ark, three species are marked with a "x2" star. Players double any non-bonus points they receive for these animals.

Advanced Scoring

Each species of animal, including the unicorns, is worth a total of six points but those points are evenly split between each pair that has been rescued.

  • For animals where only a single pair has been rescued, that pair is worth the full six points.
    doves = 6 points

  • For animals where two pairs have been rescued, each pair is worth three points.
    monkeys = 3 points monkeys = 3 points

  • For animals where all three pairs have been rescued, each pair is only worth two points.
    frogs = 2 points frogs = 2 points frogs = 2 points

As in the basic scoring, players double any points received for their "x2" animals.

Resolving Ties

Ties are resolved in favour of the player who rescued the most animal tokens. If the game is still tied, resolve in favour of the player who rescued the most species.

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