Nexus was the first game in the successful Hip Pocket Games series, a line of abstract card games that were even cheaper than Cheapass Games! Most retailed for $4.

Nexus is a simple puzzle game, with cards depicting various collections of nodes and connecting lines. Players take turns playing cards and capturing nodes, trying to control the most valuable nexuses by the end of the game. (Yes, the plural of nexus is nexuses.)

Most of the Hip Pocket Games were designed to fill in a tiny corner of a press sheet, because Cheapass Games never wasted a square inch of paper. In fact, the cards for Nexus were created and printed before the game was designed! James figured he could make some set of rules for these cards, and if not, they could just go into the trash.

Sometimes he tried this trick and failed, like when he made a DNA deck with four different cards because there was only space for four cards. Those cards are in the trash now. But Nexus actually worked, and even made it into the GAMES 100!


Art by James Ernest.

Nexus supports 2-4 players in half an hour. Download the entire print-and-play all at once via a handy .zip, or access individual components below:

  • Nexus Rules: A one-sided, 7″ x 9″ sheet.
  • Nexus Cards
    • There are only eight different card designs in Nexus (it originally fit on a long strip next to another game).
    • Print six copies of this page, for a total of 48 cards.
  • Nexus Card Backs (optional)

In addition, you will need about 20 counters for each player.

Make your print-and-play the pride of your shelf. Check James Ernest’s how-to videos for making playing cards and counters!