Horror Vacui

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Horror Vacui is a two player, card-based abstract strategy board game based on the antiquated notion that "Nature abhors a vacuum." It's my first original game design and first attempt at game programming.


Each player is assigned an element, Water or Earth. Players takes turns placing cards representing their element until the board (called the Vacuum) is full.

Each card can have one of three temperatures chosen at random: Normal (green border) or one of two extremes, Hot (orange border) or Cold (blue border). When placed on the board a card's temperature is transferred to any adjacent cards.

  • A normal card has no effect on adjacent cards
  • Opposite extremes cancel each other out and normalize the temperature of both cards
  • Identical extremes result in the removal of the adjacent card and normalization of the incoming card
  • Adjacent normal cards assume the temperature of the incoming card, normalizing the incoming card
  • If there are no adjacent cards then there is no change to the incoming card's temperature (eg. a Hot card stays hot)

A player may sacrifice an extreme card to normalize an opposing extreme already on the board.

Players may also randomly draw an Ice Age or Inferno Event Card. The player drawing an Event Card loses their turn and the entire board is affected by the extreme temperature change as if they were adjacent to an incoming card of the event's temperature.

The game is over when the board is full. The player with the most Normal cards on the filled board wins. In the event of a tie, the player with the most cards overall wins.



  • Player 1 is Water
  • CPU is Earth


  • Player 1 is Water
  • Player 2 is Earth


Note: Wiimote is held sideways like an NES controller.

Wiimote1.svg WiiMote2.svg Action
Wiimote D-Pad Move cursor
Wiimote 1 Button or Wiimote 2 Button Confirm selection/Place card
Wiimote + Button Back to title after complete
Wiimote HOME Button Quit game


V0.01 2009-01-13

  • Initial Release

Known Issues/Todo

  • It's 8-bit, get over it
  • Occasionally soft crashes on exit (press Reset button the Wii to return to the Homebrew Channel)
  • The source is a tangle
  • Animate CPU cursor
  • Add an in-game explanation of rules/tutorial mode
  • Refine sound effects
  • Add separate title screen and main game music plus fanfare for win/loss/tie

Special thanks to

  • devkitPro for obvious reasons
  • teknecal for the excellent tutorials on CodeMii.com that got the ball rolling
  • NoNameNo for GRRLib and providing said ball with a steep incline
  • Korg DS-10 which was used to create all in-game audio
  • Hermes for A/SNDLib and OggPlayer
  • The rest of the WiiBrew community for sharing their knowledge