OWL Magazine Korea

Board Game “Da Vinci Code (Algo)”

Known as “Da Vinci Code” in Korea, the original name of this board game is “Algo.” Developed by Gatchen in Japan in 2002, it was introduced to Korea under the name “Da Vinci Code” through “Korea Board Games.”

Numeric Deduction Board Game: Da Vinci Code

This game, played with number tiles, is a deductive brain game where the goal is to figure out what numbers the opponent possesses.

Playable with 2 to 4 players at a time, the duration of a single game is approximately 5 to 15 minutes.

Game Components:

The game consists of blocks with numbers. It comprises 13 white blocks and 13 black blocks, each numbered from 0 to 11. Additionally, there’s a joker with a (-) sign.

Numbers are written on one side of the blocks, hidden from view on the opposite side.


  • After shuffling all the blocks, each player takes 4 blocks for a 2/3 player game or 3 blocks for a 4-player game. Starting blocks should not contain a joker, although this rule can be adjusted in consultation with other players. If someone draws a joker, they put it back, draw a different block, and shuffle again. Players arrange their blocks according to the rules but in a way that conceals the numbers from others. The player should align themself so that the left side has smaller numbers and the right side has larger numbers. In case of a tie between black and white numbers, the black one is placed on the left, although players may decide individually.
  • Determine the order by any random method like rock-paper-scissors.
  • On their turn, players pick a flipped block and place it into their set following the rules. If the block picked is a joker, the player can place it wherever they want.
  • During their turn, the player must choose any block from another player, call out a number, and try to guess it. If the stated number is correct, the opponent must reveal and lay down that block. If incorrect, the player who called the number must lay down one of their blocks. If the player guesses incorrectly and reveals one of their blocks, the turn ends, and the next player goes. However, if they guess correctly, they have two options.
  • The player can choose to challenge another block or pass the turn. To challenge, they must call out the number on an unrevealed block belonging to another player. If they’re correct, the process continues indefinitely. If wrong, it’s similar to step 4. Alternatively, the player can stop guessing and pass the turn, avoiding the risk of exposing their starting blocks. This right belongs to the winner who correctly guessed one or more blocks. They can stop at any point in a streak of correct guesses and pass the turn.
  • The person with all numbers revealed loses. The last person remaining is the winner.