The Works-logo

Logo for "The Works"

"Girl Genius: The Works" is a strategic card game originally published in 2001 by James Ernest Games and Studio Foglio, with assistance from Cheapass Games. In the game, two or more players try to fix a "machine" and pop out pieces until one player wins by accumulating enough points, as awarded by a number assigned to each card. There are 108 cards in the deck, and 12 are played on a "board" at one time. The game is designed for ages 10 and up. The rules are available online as a PDF file.

The art is credited to Phil Foglio and James Ernest, and all the characters and devices depicted are from Agatha's world[1] — some of which have not been encountered yet in the canon so far.

People are characterized as "Hero", "Villain", "Construct" and other categories; Baron Klaus Wulfenbach's card was one of the first sure confirmations that he was indeed a construct. Mimmoths and dingbots are described as "Pests". Airships and submarines have descriptives such as "Cute" and "Perky". Each card as popped invokes a special power which effects game-play in some fashion.

As in the canon itself, historical characters are depicted in sepia-tone instead of full color. Characters who appeared in The Works long before appearing in the strip include The Master of Paris, his daughter Colette, and British spy Trelawney Thorpe. Some of the as-yet-unrevealed and tantalizing characters are Hilde the librarian (who is also described as a Queen), Spad Buckforth, General Cannonhat (though we have briefly seen the remains of "those cannon-hat guys" ), and a few Skifandran-looking women.

This original version of "The Works" is long out of print and can be considered a collectors item.

In 2018, it was announced that a new and completely overhauled edition of the game will be produced by Cheapass Games. The Kickstarter campaign launched to fund the project quickly met and surpassed the requested $30,000. There will be four different sets of cards, each covering a different segment of the plot up through The Siege of Mechanicsburg, along with various extras for Kickstarter funders, such as a "Jager Poker Deck".


  1. Indirect WoG: At Phil Foglio's Guest of Honor speech,… He also revealed that he has over a hundred characters planned for the Girl Genius storyline and that every character in the Girl Genius The Works game will appear in the story. This now seems like something of an underestimate.