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How To Play Men At Work

Designed by Rita Modl and produced by Pretzel Games, Men at Work will test your dexterity and have you building to dizzying heights.

Get to Work

Men at Work setup is simple, the youngest player sets up the building site. The sites foundation is made up of 3 support pieces and a girder or each colour. Girders may not touch the playing surface. A worker is then placed on a girder of their choice.

After this, the instruction cards are shuffled, and the Rita Boss card is placed in the upper half of the deck. Each player takes 3 safety certificates. The youngest player playing Men at Work then receives the rescue hook. This hook helps with clean ups, measures heights and shows who’s currently playing.

Make sure all pieces are in easy reach and you are good to go!

The Basics of Building

In Men at Work the youngest player begins the game and draws a double-sided instruction card. On one side it shows a picture of a girder or hard hat and on the other 2 instructions. The pictures show what a player must add to the site and the instructions tell them how to add these items. When a player reveals a card, they must look at the top of the deck to see what they are placing and then read the revealed instruction to know how.

To make things complicated you may only place a girder or worker on one of the chosen colours shown on the top deck card. Players then follow the instructions and place their girder or worker onto the site.

When placing items in Men at Work, you must do so with one hand. You can test where you want to place it first before committing but if you cause anything to fall it counts as an accident. If nothing falls, then you can try your placement multiple times until you’re happy.

Additionally, when adding girders to the site these cannot be placed on worker helmets or fully on top of another girder. Workers must also have 2 feet on a girder. If you run out of cards, reshuffle them and create a new draw deck. If you run out of a coloured girder you may use a different colour instead.

After a player has completed their instruction, they pass on the rescue hook, and it is the next players turn.

The Boss is Onsite

About a quarter of the way through Men at Work, Rita will be revealed. Once the Rita card has been drawn, worker of the month awards come into play. A player can earn an award if they place their item at the structures highest point. The handy rescue hook also doubles as a ruler to check if your piece is higher than others.

Players who reach the required number of awards will be declared the winner. This number is dependent on the number of players:

2 players: 5 awards

3-4 players: 4 awards

5 players: 3 awards

Health and Safety Precautions

Over the course of the game Men at Work there will be many accidents. Accidents happen when a player places an item, and something falls from the building site onto the playable surface. When a player causes an accident, they immediately finish their turn and relinquish a safety certificate.

The next player will then use the rescue hook to remove any debris from the site before continuing their turn. If they cause an accident during clean up, they will also give up a safety certificate and miss their go.

If a player loses all 3 of their safety certificates they are out of the game.

The Winning Worker

There are 3 different ways to win in Men at Work.

- The traditional way to win is if a player collects the required number of worker of the month awards.

- For a dangerous building site, a player may win if they are the only one who has not been eliminated.

- Finally, if players have used all the building materials in the box, building will cease. The player with the most awards and certificates wins.

Mixing Up Your Builds

If you’re ready to mix it up, there are other ways to play Men at Work:

Foreman – In this version of the game, players are dealt 2 instruction cards during setup. Players use these cards if they do not want to carry out an instruction card they’ve drawn. As an extra rule, players must also place any workers on the highest girder of the chosen colour.

Crane – This variant follows all the same rules as the base game. The only difference is you have a crane in the middle of your building site. The crane acts as an extra support and players can use it to rest unsteady girders. In this version, you can build higher which is always fun.

Skyscraper – For those who want more challenge and more height you can play this variant. Instead of using supports, players will build the foundations of the site in the game box. The only thing that supports your girders is the edge of the box and the interior insert. Thankfully, even though clean-up is the same, if a worker, beam or brick falls into the insert you do not have to remove them.

To make things even crazier you can combine all 3 of these variants if you want a much more chaotic experience.

And there you have it! You are all set to start building. Grab you hard hat and complete the health and safety checks because there are bound to be some accidents in Men at Work.