3M Games


During the 1960s and into the early 1970, the 3M company (better known today as the makers of "Post-it" notes) produced a series of games aimed at an adult audience. These games were in general very well done with fairly simple rules but complex gameplay and depth and with uniformly high quality components. The games covered a variety of topics, from business and sports simulations to word and abstract strategy games.

Perhaps the best known of the 3M Games was a series known as the "bookshelf" line. These games got their name from their packaging. All of the games were of a uniform size and the box containing the game components was placed inside a slipcase. The slipcases were designed to be stored and displayed on a bookshelf.

A smaller line of mostly card games was known as the "gamette" line. Gamettes were smaller (about 5 x 7 inches) than the bookshelf titles. The boxes were hinged on one side and opened up like a book and the games were intended to be stored on a bookshelf. Several games from the bookshelf line also had gamette versions published.

The 3M sports game line was also unique in many ways. The packaging consisted of a vinyl playing board which wrapped around the box holding the game components. (Because of this design they are often known as "flatbox" games.)

3M also produced a series of "paper" games. These were simple pencil and paper games that consisted of a pad of pre-printed pages.

For all of the 3M games, the components were of generally high quality and the games are still as interesting today as they were 30 years ago. The 3M games are still considered one of the best game lines ever produced. Select any of the titles below to find out more about these fascinating games.

Bookshelf Games


  • Evade - Objective: Outwit and Outmaneuver Opponent
  • Foil - Stimulating Game of Words 'n Wits for All Ages
  • High Bid - Objective: Outbid or Outbluff Your Opponent
  • Monad - Strategic Action Game of Buying and Trading
  • Octrix - Absorbing and Unusual Game of Eights
  • Sleuth - Solve the Mystery of the Missing Gems
  • Sum Up - Challenging Game of Creative Equations
  • Tryce - An Intriguing Game of Words & Runs & Groups
  • Venture - Fascinating Game of Finance and Big Business

Sports Games

Paper Games

  • 3D Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Hedron - A Geometric Capture Game
  • Hex
  • Nab - A Calculating Pyramid Game
  • Naval Battle - A Tactical Game of Survival
  • Plasm - A Spreading, Surrounding, Swallowing Game
  • Snare - A Game of Lines and Loops
  • Thorns - The Prickly Path Game

50 comments on 3M Games:

Armando Aguirre at December 30, 2007 09:43 said:
I've collected several of these bookshelf games,I love playing them,my oldered sons and grandaughter also play.would like find more games.[armandoag05@msn.com]
Sharon at January 4, 2008 22:36 said:
Tell me where I can buy Facts in Five. Thank You.
Dennis, The Gamepiler at January 7, 2008 10:22 said:
Check the FAQs and Links links in the left sidebar for a list of places where you can find older games on-line.
DanDLyin at February 23, 2008 13:40 said:
The Monad link gives this error message:
Unknown column 'item_headline_image_align' in 'field list'
Dennis, The Gamepiler at February 25, 2008 10:32 said:
Thanks, it looks like I broke something with my last update. It should be fixed now.
Ron Sharpe at March 4, 2008 09:36 said:
hey i am doing a assignment at school and i was wondering if you knew of a site that had made some board games but they didnt sell enough to make it major production lines..... if you do have any sites can you email me andi will be sure to even pay you thru a cheque or visa... my email is ronnie-sharpe@hotmail.com.... thanks and have a great day...

Sincerely Ron Sharpe.

Manager And Co- Founder Of Sharpe's Auto Race Team
Ron Sharpe at March 4, 2008 09:39 said:
i am sorry that it does that race team thing all over your site also i am also a race team so my cpu does that automattically

Sincerely Ron Sharpe

Manager And Co- Founder Of Sharpe\'s Auto Race Team
Erik at April 10, 2008 14:51 said:
Anyone looking to find some of these titles, I was given a collection of them that were my parents. All are in near mint to mint quality with full pieces etc. Just don't have room and, though some of them I fondly remember playing, we never use/play them. If interested email me at hz14000@aol.com.
California Dave at April 13, 2008 04:51 said:
I managed to find a copy of Sum Up. If you'd like, I can do a write-up for your site.
Craig O'Donnell at June 19, 2008 13:23 said:
I have invented a 4 player chess game that is different and much, much better than all the others out there. I have played it with several chess lovers and they all though it was awesome. I'm looking for a publisher. Please contact me at 716-570-1435 or codonnell@probeservices.com if your interested or want more information on the game.
Sheena at June 30, 2008 15:13 said:
I have the bookshelf games "Feudal", "Twixt", and "Stocks and Bonds", but simply don't have room for them anymore. If anyone is interested in buying them, shoot me an email with an offer. Thanks! (sheena.sorensen@yahoo.com)
Brian Skafica at August 2, 2008 17:35 said:
As a longtime collector of the 3M Games, collecting them makes me feel confident. I was into them since the late '60's. Now I have all the U.S. 3M Bookshelf Games (except Jati), all the 3M Gamettes, all the 3M Sports Games, and two rare "Butterdish" games--Tryce and Venture. I have a website saluting these games: www.geocities.com/brian_skafica. I also run a 3M Games Yahoo! Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/3M_games. I hope you'll like them.
Stan at August 22, 2008 10:18 said:
i have quinto - how can I find out the correct number of each tile that should be present?
Bob at November 19, 2008 08:29 said:
I have 2 3m bookshelf games that i am looking to sell, how do i find out worth, and go about selling them? they are events and oh-wah-ree. boblino664@yahoo.com
Dave in Maryland at December 2, 2008 16:54 said:
Thanks for doing this website; it has been a great value to my family and me. I especially like the format of your reviews where at the end of each you offer up an objective opinion of each game.

I have really enjoyed collecting them over the years and espectially enjoy the box art. I would love to see you post a commentary from an artist to give an opinion of the art styles of some of the box covers, I find many of them very interesting sort of a sign of the times...possibly inspired by the culture the "space age" that was so prevalent in the 60?s
diem at December 8, 2008 18:51 said:
what year and with what game did 3M start shrink wrapping?
Paul at December 18, 2008 07:50 said:
Many of the 3M games can be found on Amazon.com or Ebay.com
They will price from a few dollars each to as much as $85 depending on which game and comdition. S&H would probably cost an additional $10-20 depending on how many games are wanted.
Jeff at December 31, 2008 21:11 said:
Discovering "Stocks and Bonds" after my family moved is what got me into the stock market long ago when I was 16. :)
shinderman alexander at March 2, 2009 12:47 said:
To Managing director.

Dear Mr.Mrs. I am Alexander Shinderman, inventor of the new board game for children and adults. The game?s name is European football game, which is covered by the U.S. Patent and Israel patent. The game includes game board, on which is recognized a football field, playing pieces-figures of football players, ball player piece and 2 original dice for moving the player pieces and the ball player piece across the game board. The aim of the game is to score a goal. Recommended age group-children from 8 and adults.
The method of playing the game is characterized by the following: the 2 players in turn are rolling the dice and moving their player pieces and the ball player piece across the game board until the moment when the ball player piece crosses the goal line. The winner is the player, which scored more goals during the game. The game is different from other games. The first, it imitates the real football game because the ball is moving by means of player piece. The second, the conception of chess is realized in the game-the board game is divided into squares, the players are rolling the dice in turn and during one move are moving only one player piece, the direction of the movement the players choose themselves, the said movement is alike to the movement of queen in the chess game .The third, the using of dice, which determine the movement of player pieces across the game board, is making the game reckless, the game of chance such as casino.
The game is very interesting. I checked it when my son and me were played with many children and adults, who have all loved it. The game has very simple rules, which are easy to learn. At the same time it is a very sophisticated game.
The game has a great popularity potential because the soccer is the most popular game in the world. The game is simple to manufacture. For marketing experience I produced the limited quantity of the game and have a good experience of selling tens pieces of it in Israel. I would like to collaborate with you on the basis of royalties. I can send by e-mail the rules and the game- by mail.
I am waiting for your answer.
Best regards Alexander Shinderman
Adress: POB 1981 Ramat-Gan 52118 Israel Email: alexida@netvision.net.il
Tel: 972-3-5784346( home) Mobile: 011-972-505948244
Diane at May 2, 2009 08:02 said:
I am looking for the 3M company brand game called BID AND BLUFF. My brother has the game and I would like to purchase one. fdrprice@verizon.net
Greg P. at May 30, 2009 04:04 said:
I have many of these games in great condition.
Please e-mail me if you are interested in any of them.
PEBECCA JULY 6 2009 at July 6, 2009 08:12 said:
David at October 16, 2009 20:35 said:
Thank you for this web site. You have done a wonderful job.
Linda at November 3, 2009 17:07 said:
I am looking for the directions for Sum Up. I am a sixth grade teacher, and I just discovered this game among some old and forgotten math stuff. I am sure the set is incomplete, but if we (my students and I) had the instructions, I'm sure we could improvise. Or, if someone knows where I can get a complete set with instructions at a reasonable price, let me know.
MARY at December 2, 2009 23:45 said:
Greg at December 17, 2009 10:15 said:
To Mary with the Gamettes, I'm interested and have emailed twice. Please check your junk folder or email me at gdsov@hotmail.com. Thanks!
Greg at December 21, 2009 12:19 said:
I have copies of several bookshelf games for sale. A few games are missing pieces, but not in a way that affects game play. Depending on requests, I'd be willing to break them up and sell misc. game pieces, too. gdsov@hotmail.com
Ken at December 27, 2009 16:44 said:
I have 3, 3M bookshelf games for sale.
1.Challenge Golf at Pebble Beach.
2. Facts in Five.
3. Oh-Wah-Ree.
All in excellent condition.
If interested my email is:
James Pratt at January 29, 2011 19:47 said:
Hello, I had many of the games from your list and still today have most of the ones that I have owned overthe years. I turned 50 this year and just can't find players for all these fun games. Even today I play board games, mostly by e-mail now, and it is getting harder to find players than ever before. My e-mail is prattjames1960@yahoo.com should you know of any one that is looking to play. Thanks James
suyogya at June 9, 2011 06:37 said:
this game is very nice
gdotambler at March 17, 2012 04:19 said:
Do some one know, why 3M had the idea to start a game series? Was there someone in the management, who loved games?
Michael Jacobs at April 2, 2012 04:32 said:
I discovered "Snare" and "Hex" in the early 1970s in a clearance sale, and loved them both. I wish they were still available!
maho at April 2, 2012 14:07 said:
Chuck at May 28, 2012 21:41 said:
I mentioned that I have many (>100) 3M games, all of the bookshelf games, many sports games. I would like to sell many of them. Any suggestions how to do that, other than eBay? Contact me at cheuer@midco.net
Andrew Schwarz at August 1, 2012 15:05 said:
Hi there. My friend "invented" a game that i feel could be a potential product. Would you put me in touch with someone to talk to about it? email me at soonermag15@alumni.oc.edu - thanks!
sas at October 9, 2012 08:59 said:
Romolo Cappola at December 5, 2012 01:37 said:
I am interested to buy this games : Bazaar The Trading game by 3M and Acquire.
Please, How to buy this two games.
Romolo Cappola
Via Pascoli, 25
65015 Montesilvano,PE - Italy
Email rcappola@alice.it
Dana at January 1, 2013 10:52 said:
I am looking to buy the 3M Gamette -Tryce at a reasonable price. Please contact me at djmcle@hotmail.com
robert becker at April 17, 2013 15:13 said:
anyone know where I might find a 3 minute time like the one used with fact in five
Mark at May 18, 2013 16:12 said:
I noticed that in the above list of Paper Games, that the game HEX cannot be clicked on. I was wondering why. Anybody that can help I'd be appreciative.
Tony Raven at May 19, 2013 15:55 said:
ROBERT BECKER -- a three-minute sand timer is easy to find at any decent cookware shop; just ask for an egg timer. Or any Goodwill. Less than $10 in any case. On eBay there's a five-lot with colored sand for $6.64.

MARK -- probably means the reviewer put up a complete list but doesn't have a copy of that one. There's a great entry for Hex at BGG -- did you know it was invented by Piet Hein (who also invented the Soma cube & Tactix) in 1942?
Jim at August 9, 2013 08:50 said:
I have 8 Bookshelf games I'm willing to sell, one is on Ebay (Phlounder), the others are yet to be listed. I will be listing them in a week or so. let me know if you'd be interested in purchasing prior to listing to ebay, include offer and questions. (2) Aquire, Twixt, Stocks and Bonds, Facts in Five, Feudal, Image, Point of Law, and Breakthru.
Jeanette at January 14, 2014 05:20 said:
I recently acquired a copy of Sleuth (A 3M Gamette) from a friend and am eager to play it, but I am missing the game instructions and record sheets,, anyone who can help with these please could you e-mail them to me. Would greatly appreciate it. E-mail address gandj@vodamail.co.za
John at March 10, 2014 13:45 said:
I have copy of Acquire posted for sale on Ebay if anyone is interested in purchasing please have a look. Here is the URL to the listing:
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