Each turn in Pick a Pen: Crypten, the active player rolls the five colored pencils, then chooses one and marks spaces on their individual player sheet. Each other player in turn drafts a pencil and uses it. Pencils show symbols on their different sides, and the symbols on top of the chosen pencil determine what players do on their sheets.
In this game, you want to fill in as many rows and columns as possible in an ancient crypt. You must progress in a row from left to right. When you fill a row, you can color in a symbol of your choice — and if you color a bold-framed symbol with the correct color, you can color another symbol as a bonus. Fill three spaces in a row or column with the same color, and you get a 3-point bonus; place every color in a row or column, and you score 5 bonus points instead.
When one player has filled all of their symbols, the game ends, and whoever has the most points wins.
Pick a Pen: Crypten includes three difficulty levels of player sheets, with different bonuses and effects on these sheets.