Imhotep game rules

Imhotep is a logic, strategy and management game for 2 to 4 players. The objective of the players is to build monuments like the famous Egyptian architect. To achieve this, they must charter boats to transport the stones to different building sites and occupy the best sites.


  • 5 Location boards,
  • 1 Scoring Track board, 
  • 8 Ship tokens,
  • 21 Channel cards,
  • 34 Market cards,
  • 4 Reserve tiles of 4 different colours,
  • 120 Stones of 4 different colours.

Set up

  • Place the 5 Location boards in the centre of the table in the following arrangement:

  • For a first game, use side A.
  • Place the Score Track board to the right of the Location boards.
  • Place the Ship tokens next to the boards.
  • Separate the Round cards from the Market cards.
  • Shuffle the Market cards and place the pile, face down, next to the Market board.
  • The type of Round cards to use depends on the number of players:
Number of players Type of cards Round
  • Take the Round cards corresponding to the number of players.
  • Put the rest back in the box.
  • Shuffle the Hand cards and put one back in the box. You should have 6 cards left.
  • With the remaining cards, form a second deck to place next to the Ship tokens.
  • Each player chooses a colour and takes the corresponding Reserve tile.
  • Put the Reserve tiles and the stones in the unused colours back in the box.
  • Form a reserve with all the remaining stones to the right of the boards, this is the quarry.
  • Each player places 1 stone of their colour in the “1/40” space on the scoreboard.
  • Decide who goes first.
  • The first player receives 2 stones of their colour to place on their Reserve tile.
  • Play clockwise.
  • The second player gets 3, the third player gets 4 and the fourth player gets 5

Before you start…

  • Reveal the first Round card of the deck.
  • It shows the 4 Ship tokens you can use during the round.
  • One ship differs from another in the number of stones it can carry: one, two, three or four.
  • Place the corresponding Ship Tokens to the left of the boards, spacing them out.

  • Draw 4 Market cards.
  • Place the cards face up on the Market Board.
  • Be careful! If the deck is empty, shuffle the discard pile to form a new deck.

How does a game go?

  • A game of Imhotep consists of 6 rounds.
  • During his turn, a player is entitled to one of the following 4 actions:
  • Receive new stones,
  • Place 1 stone on a ship,
  • Send 1 stone to a location,
  • Play 1 blue market card.

Action 1: Receive new stones

  • Take 3 stones from the quarry and place them on your Reserve tile.
  • Be careful! The Reserve tile can only contain 5 stones.
  • You can only take stones of your colour.

Action 2: Place a stone on a ship

  • Take 1 stone from your reserve.
  • Place the stone on any free space on a ship that has not yet left.

Action 3: send a stone to a location

  • To send a ship to a location, you must meet the following 2 conditions:
  • The minimum number of stones required is reached. This number is indicated by the
  • number of grey stones at the front of each boat.
  • The place the boat is going to must have a free pier.
  • You can send a boat to a location even if it is only carrying one of your stones.

Unloading and placing the stones

  • The order in which the stones are unloaded is from front to back.
  • Once the stones have been unloaded, the boat remains at the dock until the next round. No other boat may go to that dock in the meantime.
  • Points are awarded according to where the stones are unloaded.


  • When you unload a stone, you can choose one of the 4 market cards on the board.
  • The chosen card must be placed face up in front of the player.
  • Once unloaded, the stone is sent to the quarry.

Purple cards

  • score points at the end of the game.

Green cards

  • earn bonuses at the end of the game.

Red cards

  • Its effect is applied immediately.
  • Once played, it is discarded.

Blue cards

  • A blue card can only be used once per turn.
  • Playing a blue card counts as one of the 4 actions.


  • The stones are placed column by column, from top to bottom.
  • Each stone placed immediately earns a certain number of points. The points are indicated on each square.
  • Move your stone on the scoreboard according to the points obtained.
  • The base of the pyramid is built on 3X3 stones.
  • The points scored are indicated on the board:
  • The second level is built on 2X2 stones.
  • The points earned are also indicated on the board:  
  • Finally, the last level is built with only one stone and yields the following point .


A completed pyramid.

  • Once the pyramid is built, you can continue to unload stones on the right edge of the board. Each stone you unload and place immediately earns you 1 point.


  • The stones are placed from left to right.
  • There are 5 slots.

  • The last space is reserved for a game of 3 or 4 players.
  • When all slots have been filled, move up one level.
  • There is no limit to the number of levels.
  • Please note! A stone covered by another stone does not score points.


The first grey stone and the black stone do not score points.

– The points are counted at the end of the round.

Burial chamber

  • The stones are placed in columns, from top to bottom, starting from the left.
  • There is no limit to the number of columns, even if it means leaving the board.

  • The scoring is done at the end of the game.
  • Points are scored by linking stones of the same colour.

  • Two stones of the same colour are linked on at least one side. Two stones bound diagonally do not count.
  • If more than 5 stones are linked, the player gains 2 additional points.


  • Pile the stones in the corresponding place.
  • There is no limit to the height of the obelisk built.
  • Compare the size of the obelisks built to determine the rank of the players.
  • Points are awarded according to the number of players and their rank.

  • In the event of a tie, the points reported by the relevant rank and the ranks that the players had to occupy are added together and divided by the number of tied players, rounded down.

– Example:

– In a four-way game, 3 players are tied for 2nd place.

– The 2nd place scores 10 points, the 3rd 5 points and the 4th 1 point.

– Each player scores: (10 + 5 + 1) / 3 = 5 points.

Action 4: Play a Blue Market card

  • You must have one of these cards to play.
  • Playing a Blue Market card allows you to take advantage of its benefits.
  • Once used, the card is discarded.
  • You can only use one card per round.

End of the round

  • The round ends when all 4 ships have been sent to locations.
  • Count the points in the temple.
  • A stone scores 1 point, only if it is not covered by another stone.

Preparation for the next round 

  • Return the ships used during the round to the Ship Reserve.
  • Discard any Market cards that are still on the board.
  • The stones on the Reserve tiles and on the locations remain in place.
  • Draw a new Round card and place the corresponding ship tokens to the left of the Location boards.
  • Draw 4 new Market cards and place them face up on the Market board.
  • The first player is the one to the left of the player who sent the fourth boat.

End of the game

  • The game ends at the end of the sixth round.
  • Proceed to the final countdown.

Final countdown

  • Advance your stone on the Score Track by adding the end of game points:
  • Burial chamber points.
  • Obelisk points.
  • Green card points.
  • Purple card points.
  • Unused blue market cards are worth 1 point each.

Winning the game

  • The player with the most points wins the game.
  • In the event of a tie, the player with the most stones on his reserve tile wins.

Playing with the B side

  • Once you are familiar with the game, you can play with the B side by turning over the Location boards or play with a mixture of A and B sides.


Set up

  • Place 3 Market cards, face up, in each of the Market spaces on the B side of the board.
  • In the last space, place two cards, face down.


  • You can unload a stone in exchange for one of the 3 visible market cards.
  • You can unload a stone and look at the 2 face-down market cards. Choose one and discard the second.



  • The board shows 3 pyramids.
  • The player can choose which one to unload his stones into.
  • The stones are placed from the left, in a column, from top to bottom.
  • The points for the first level are shown on each square.
  • The stone placed on the second level scores 4 points.
  • Once the pyramid is built, each additional stone is worth 1 point.
  • Each pyramid has a special square which not only scores 1 point, but also allows you to perform an additional action.

: Draw 1 Market card.

:  Add 3 stones from the quarry to your reserve tile.

  : Add 1 stone from your reserve to any ship that has not yet left for a location. 



  • Uncovered stones earn bonuses at the end of the round.

  : Add 2 stones to your reserve tile: score 1 point or add 2 stones to your reserve tile.

  : Score 2 points.

  : Market Card: Draw 1 Market Card.

Funeral home


  • The aim is to get as many stones as possible in each row.
  • Compare the number of stones you have in each row and determine a rank.
  • Points are awarded according to the rank of each player.
  • In case of a tie, the points for the rank concerned and the ranks that the players had to occupy are added together and divided by the number of tied players, rounded down.



  • Unload the first two stones in the corresponding location.

  • From the third stone onwards, all stones of the same colour form an obelisk on the row above.

  • The obelisks are placed from left to right.
  • Players earn points for the position of their obelisk.
  • Stones that were not used to build an obelisk are worth 1 extra point each at the end of the game.

Variation: Pharaoh’s wrath

  • The player who does not participate in the construction of the 4 monuments is penalised by 5 points at the end of the game.
  • A player does not participate in the construction of a monument if he has not unloaded a single stone on the place concerned.