Rules and Resources

The Rules


Climania focuses on the built environment and its relationship to climate change.

The objective of the game is to reach the centre of the board, with a completely retrofitted property before the set time decided runs out. In the process you will learn about retrofitting buildings and employing urban planning to achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.


Players race against rising temperatures to retrofit their properties and reduce their energy consumption. Players agree on the game’s duration before the game starts. We recommend a minimum of 30 minutes for two players and to add 10 minutes for every extra player. You will need a watch to count the time. The youngest person acts as the timekeeper reminding the rest.

Retrofit Cards and Components

Every player starts with a property they have to retrofit by collecting 5 retrofit components attending to different aspects of the building. Note that there are five different categories for retrofitting and you need to collect one measure for each of the 5 categories. 

Green fields and green cards: When a player lands on a green field another player will pick a green card and read it out to them. If the player answers correctly, they pick a retrofit component of their own choice. Players on a green field can decide to forgo moving forward at their next turn to pick a new green card in order to build up their retrofits, this can only be done once for each green field landed on.

The Central field is a green field and once reached the players can choose to stay on it and keep answering green cards, accumulating retrofit components until they have all five needed or choose to share spare ones with others. 

Joker Cards

A player landing on a purple field draws a Joker card. This will throw up a group challenge or scenario which is based on social and community issues.

Red Cards

A player landing on a red field draws a Red card. Red cards introduce climate challenges that the player(s) will have to have adapted their property for. Those climate issues usually impact most players.


Players can support each other and trade retrofit components or gift them to other players if within five fields of each other on the board. Players need to carefully consider their individual choices as those can impact the gameplay for the rest.


The game consists of a foldable A2 game board; A glossary; A rule book; A number of green, amber, red and joker cards; 6 retrofit property cards; 35 retrofit elements fitting together as a puzzle. You will need up to 6 pawns or counters to play the game.


Set out the board flat, distribute the cards facing down on their marked positions on the board. The youngest player distributes the properties at random. Players position their counters at the corresponding start field.


Players take turns clockwise. Every turn a player must move two fields first, then take action corresponding to the colour of the field they landed on and follow the instructions. If unable to advance, because of traffic jams (see transport choices), they play the field they are stuck on. Players can travel in any direction, including going backwards. 

Amber fields and amber cards

Players landing on an amber field need to answer the question on the amber card correctly, then proceed a certain number of fields as written on the card. When a player lands on an amber field, another player draws the top card and asks them the question. If wrong, the player does nothing and their turn ends. Afterwards, the card is put at the bottom of the pile. 

Transport Choices

As players progress, they will have to make choices about which mode of transport to take (bus, car, cycle, walk).

Pedestrian Paths, Bus Lanes and Cycle Lanes: These are sustainable choices and there is no limit on how many players can be on one field.

Roads: Only one player can be on a field at any one time. Players cannot jump over other players to move forward, generating traffic jams. Only if instructed to move forward by an amber card, the player is allowed to bypass the traffic jam.

End of the Game

The game ends when the time runs out similarly to our current race against preventing catastrophic climate change. It is symbolic of reminding citizens, decision-makers and politicians to act now!  

There are several possible endings: All players may be winners if they retrofitted in time; Some players are winners and others lose the game; Alternatively, all players lose the game if they have not managed to adapt their properties in the given time; this could be due to lack of collaboration.


Climate Change

Climate Change Mitigation

Climate Change Adaptation

1.5 degrees

1.5 degrees

Greenhouse gases


Passive house

Heat Pump

Net zero

For a building’s construction, the net zero definition provided is “when the amount of carbon emissions associated with a building’s product and construction stages up to practical completion is zero or negative, through the use of offsets or the net export of on-site renewable energy.”

Useful Resources


PARTICIPOLOGY is a resource that can help you engage people in a participative process leading to a plan or strategy. Using a board-game format, it’s a resource that comes with guidance and templates that you can tailor to your needs.

About Town Planning

Planning has a significant influence over health, the environment, the economy, safer streets, and housing just to mention a few. This site is dedicated to the extraordinary work town planners do.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme – UN Habitat

UN-Habitat works with international climate bodies and global city networks to influence climate policy and action, promoting the role of cities and human settlements in mitigation and adaptation. At the national level, UN-Habitat brings together all levels of climate action (national, regional, local) towards achieving common climate related goals. Multi-level governance from city to country level helps bring different actors to agree on plans, policies, strategies and implementation to address climate change challenges, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience. UN-Habitat also works with networks of urban and regional planning professionals to help develop climate-proof planning practices, and communities to address the multiple effects of climate change in strategies and actions for low income and informal settlements. 

Climate Emergency Retrofit Guide

LETI’s Climate Emergency Retrofit Guide shows how we can retrofit our homes to make them fit for the future and support the UK’s Net Zero targets.  We used the guide in our work on Climania and referenced its findings in the game itself.  

The guide is useful for architects, engineers, Local Authorities, social landlords, energy professionals, contractors and clients looking for guidance about best practice retrofit.


RetroFirst is an Architects Journal campaign to prioritise retrofit over demolition and rebuild. More than 200 architecture practices, organisations and individuals have declared their support for the campaign. #RetroFirst

Architects Climate Action Network

ACAN is a network of individuals within architecture and related built environment professions taking action to address the twin crises of climate and ecological breakdown. 

Video: Introduction to Climate and the Built Environment by RIBA LEA

“Your actions matter. No action or voice is too small to make a difference.”

Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan Climate Activist, COP26, Glasgow 2021

CLIMANIA by Simeon Shtebunaev and Claudia Carter at Birmingham City University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License based on the work published at

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