A Unique Cyber security Card-Game 


 <I/O> is a unique educational and fun game about ethical hacking and cybersecurity. It’s designed for ages 12 and up and can be played just for fun, or as a game to learn from.  

Helios vs Selene

The two opposing forces are part of Greek mythology, representing the moon and the sun, good and bad if you will. They’re the  leaders of the two teams of the game. They don’t participate in the game, but both lead a team of experts: the bad (hackers) and the good (defenders). It falls to you to choose your side. Each side has its own unique strategies and a different set of points allocated, so no experience playing the game is the same. Once in a while, teammates need to cooperate to reach the goal, so as a team leader it’s up to you to make it work! Become Helios or Selene in this challenge for victory by hacking systems and stealing information or protecting information and exposing the hackers.

Design and gameplay 

The game is designed around 8 characters each round, 4 hackers (red) and 4 defenders (blue). The goal is to be the first to complete an attack or defend strategy. However alternative gameplay and options to win exist.  For example, a team can aim for most points. The ultimate victory is to complete a strategy  without the opposing team ever finding out. More information available in-game.

Many, many sketches.....of which only 8 final designs were selected (bottom left a prototype edition).
Many, many sketches…..of which only 8 final designs were selected (bottom left a prototype edition).

*mix dutch and english version is displayed (ENG and NLD available)

The gameplay is unique given each card is 2-sided. This was done to reflect the real world where hackers and defenders often know about each other’s vulnerabilities. This is a game where it is encouraged to try to peek at each other’s cards to gain an advantage.

There are 2 card designs available :one is more life-like while the other is anime-themed It’s up to you to choose what style you prefer.

How it works

Preparation before the game starts: choose your team and  choose your strategy.

You shuffle all cards and give each player 5 cards. Put the rest on a pile to be used during the game. Every turn starts with the active player taking a new card after which this player has the option to play a card by putting it face-up  on the table. The player can choose not to play a card, but is only permitted to hold a maximum of 5 cards at any time. The player must have a minimum of <5> cards in his hand at all times as well! 

Round 1: strategy
Work on your strategy and choose which cards you play wisely. It is possible to win in the first round but this is very difficult to achieve.

Round 2: tactical round.

When all cards have been used and are on the discard pile, the round 2 cards are added and all are shuffled and piled up for this final round.

This is the round where action cards can be used, strategies can be blocked or completed!

In the play-test sessions, we saw players keeping score over multiple rounds of games. Several chose to pit winners against other winners. It’s possible to only play one round or multiple, depending on the players.

Incident and actions in round 2
Incident and actions in round 2


The average play time is between 20 and 45 mins, depending on how long each player thinks about their strategy.

Fun, learn or education

The game is designed in such a way that you could just play it for fun. Go for points and win the game.

For those who want to learn more about cybersecurity and its real threats, you can read the card descriptions or go online to the platform for more information. There is information available per strategy and per domain (the title of the card).

The educational component is sold separately as it is intended for educational institutions, schools, and teachers. The edu-package will be released for school year 2019-2020 on July 4th 2019, consisting of a teacher’s handbook, exercises, and student books. (Samples are available on the website).

The origin

My name is Sebastiaan Passtoors, I am a security and forensics certified information security officer who worked in this area of expertise for many years in different organizations. Teaching and gaming have always been passions of mine, so designing this game was the ultimate experience. As I know none of us to have much time, and learning isn’t always fun, I hope this game can make a difference for students and teachers alike. Knowledge of cybersecurity is needed for all users of technology: it comes down on how well you can protect your information and privacy. <I/O> Helios vs Selene the game; Play it, win it, learn from it!

All designs [these may change a little]


The playing cards are printed on a special 330 gr/sqm triplex paper of casino quality, assuring zero transparency. Easy to shuffle and resistant to worn-out.

 and in more details the different teams

Hackers team - Life-like edition
Hackers team – Life-like edition
Defenders - Life-like edition
Defenders – Life-like edition
Hackers team - Anime themed
Hackers team – Anime themed
Defenders - Anime themed
Defenders – Anime themed