This is the dangerously avant-garde brainstorming tool beloved by our generation’s most fearless game designers. Experiment with classic and innovative game mechanics, themes, patterns, and more. Do you have the daring and fortitude to be the most innovative designer in your neighborhood, organization, or correctional facility?

Once you know how to use the app, Grow-a-Game can be used to help you kickstart serious game projects for yourself, a friend, a non-profit, a class project, or for a business.

If you've used the playing-card based version, you know how great it is at kickstarting creativity!


"Using these cards as part of the design process helps open up the discussion of what our games can do. Can we bring human values and complex emotions into game play? The answer is absolutely yes."

- Kellee Santiago, designer of the award-winning game Flower

"From a computing standpoint, what I believe the cards do is open up students' minds to think of possibilities. There is more than one perspective for any technical problem. Grow-a-Game cultivates brainstorming and helps technical people avoid a 'one solution mentality.'"

- Christopher Egert, Rochester Institute of Technology Games Program

"Over the past 15 years, as a game designer and educator (in the USC Interactive Media Division), I've worked with hundreds of game design students to help foster their ability to conceive and develop original gameplay. Most of these students come to my class with strong pre-existing ideas about what makes a 'good' game and the kinds of play they want to create. Part of my job is to break through these assumptions and get students to think in more personal, generative ways about their own design process and the potential outcomes of that process.

Having tools to scaffold the development of a student's process is essential, and over the past several years, the Grow-a-Game cards have evolved into one of the core tools in my repertoire of teaching game design. These cards help provoke great designs and important discussion around the design process. They are easy to use in exercises and highly adaptable to different environments and levels of expertise. I can't recommend them more highly!"

- Tracy Fullerton, USC Interactive Media

"I've been using the Grow-A-Game cards in my university game design class for years (we were one of the original beta testers), and I've also used them in a variety of workshop contexts, from professional adult settings to teens. One thing I really like about them is that they are super flexible and you can make up your own games and exercises to do with them. You can combine different sets of cards, and you can use them not only in game design brainstorming, but also in various types of game analysis. They provide a really simple and compelling way to introduce and explore ways to think about the role of values in game design. They also provide a great tool for professionals with some media experience who are new to game design in thinking about documentary, serious or activist game design."

- Celia Pearce, Georgia Institute of Technology

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5

10 Ratings

10 Ratings



In my life, there are few rules that go unbroken. But there is ultimately one rule I know I am obligated to follow, for as long as I live. And that rule is: "No Party is a Party without Grow a Game".

Before I found this life-changing app, I was a cultural outcast, a social misfit with nothing to offer a party save a smile, good humor, great looks, and wonderful company. Now, this has all changed. The second I walk in the building, I pound my chest and scream as loud as I can: "LETS INVENT A GAME." I then proceed to flip out my smart phone and open the app, as those in the room stare at me, curiously, in suspense.

Now, it would be dishonest to say all the new games are multi-player. But I make up for that fact with my emotional fervor, making it possible for the entire room to join in the joy I'm experiencing. Call me a saint.


Emotional hell

Okay, perhaps it was my own misunderstanding, but reading what the app was about, I don't thought this was supposed to be like a create your own (mobile) video game. Thinking back on it, I realize that was pretty stupid to think, especially if it's free. No, this app is for creating new and adventurous games to use at a party or other social event. I'm not complaining at all, I just want this to be clear to other potential purchasers of the app.

Could use a little or a lot of improvement


I love the creative exploration of new concepts when placed together create an array of new games. On the other hand, the name is not right for this simple application misleading possible users. In the app itself, there are not enough cards and simply is not the best brainstorming application. Most cards align completely off and we cannot play the game as such. The design reminds of a time four years ago. However, the application could become great!


Mary Flanagan
2.4 MB
Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
© Mary Flanagan LLC


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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