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Side Effects Card Game

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Drug use, personal demons, wild episodes, and more. Side Effects is a "take that" card game where players race to treat all the diseases in their psyche with medication and therapy. 

Players start with four disease cards dealt face up in front of them (their "psyche") and then four cards in a concealed hand. Players take turns picking up cards from the deck and trying to find the right drugs to treat their diseases. A drug card will treat a disease but also leave the player open to receiving new diseases (of that drug's list of side effects) from other players.

Each disease card has a unique punishment written on it and episode cards will trigger these punishments. Play an episode card on another player to hinder them or help yourself.

The game is over when one player treats all of the diseases in their psyche.

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About The Game

How to Play Side Effects

You start the game with unique disorders. As you treat these disorders with drugs, the drugs leave you vulnerable to getting additional disorders from other players. You win by treating yourself completely before anyone else.


  • Pay attention to the punishments in your Psyche: this is absolutely essential to strategic gameplay. Read the punishments listed on the Disorders in your Psyche. Know what you’re vulnerable to. Play accordingly.

  • Beware of Madness: the punishment for Madness makes you discard all the Drugs on your Psyche. This can be devastating, especially if you’re close to winning. If you have an open Madness Disorder on your Psyche, wait until you can treat it, but don’t wait too long. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and start putting down Drugs so that you’re not too far behind other players.

  • Hoarding Drugs is not always best: there are many punishments that will make you give up cards. Refer back to strategy rule number 1. You may think that waiting to treat yourself is a good idea, but it really all depends on the Disorders in your Psyche.

  • Deprive others of what they desire: maybe that Gambling Addiction Drug doesn’t mean anything to you, but it’s the only card your opponent needs to win. Hang on to it.

  • Read up on the punishments of Disorders you’re vulnerable to: you may not have Impotence now, but it’s a side effect of a Drug you’re currently taking. Might be a good idea to see what kind of punishment it comes with.

  • Bargain: you’re allowed to make deals with others. Make someone an offer they can’t refuse.

Side Effects Card Game
Side Effects Card Game

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