a sneaky tile game with a bad sense of humor, by Ryan Hackel

Wanderlust, a game by Ryan Hackel I'm standing at the airport. I have no idea how I got here, or where I'm going next. My pockets are bulging with coal, I'm surrounded by ferrets, and I can't get that Jimmy Buffett song out of my head (yeah, *that* one). You know what this means.... I'm playing that sneaky tile game, Wanderlust

"We really enjoy this game a lot. Great design, Ryan!"
~ Julien Griffon, BGG

"It really is a great game - we have had a lot of fun with it in our game group as well."
~ Bob Menzel, BGG

"Have played twice with my kids...they really like it."
~ Hank Panethiere, BGG

"I like the two-sided tile mechanic in Wanderlust."
~ Tommy Nomad, BGG

"Wanderlust is different and interesting. I played it with my wife last night and we both liked it."
~ Brian Reichert, Looney Labs mailing list

In my experience as a game designer, I have some ideas like Ferrball's Mansion that take months to create a fully working prototype and years of playtesting to refine, and I have other ideas that leap into my head fully formed. Wanderlust is one of the latter. I was suddenly hit with a Eureka moment, then spent a few hours with Powerpoint making a prototype. Within a day I had a working prototype in front of my gaming group. At first we treated it like a clever experiment, but its gameplay grew on us, and we couldn't resist just one more round. I heard those magic words "let's play again", and I knew I had a solid design. I've only had to make cosmetic changes and minor text tweaks since then, and even when I play around with rules variants, the original still stands out as the best. If I hadn't been working on other game designs for the last 15 years, I'd say this was a very good case of beginner's luck.

To all those who helped get Wanderlust into reality, I owe you a hearty Thank You!

Sample Gameplay

Turn 1) My pawn starts on "Tile A" which allows me to move 2 in any diagonal direction. I start my turn by following the instructions of Tile A, and I do so, going to "Tile B". Tile B is arrow-side up at the moment I land on it, and points "1" in any orthogonal direction. But I don't follow Tile B's instructions this turn; I have already followed the instructions on Tile A. I leave my pawn on Tile B, and end my turn by flipping Tile A over, revealing the command side which reads "Destroy all Things". Again, I do not follow Tile A's instructions at this time, as my turn is now ending.

Turn 1A) My opponent does something.

Turn 2) I start my turn on Tile B, which points "1" in an orthogonal direction. I follow Tile B's instructions, and move to Tile C. Tile C reads "Get a Ferret"; I have no idea what the other side of the tile is. I land my pawn on Tile C, and end my turn by flipping Tile B to the command side, which reads "Water: If you have a Horse, you win!". (even if I had a Horse right now, I won't win. Remember, revealing text doesn't trigger its occurrence.)

Turn 2A) My opponent does something.

Turn 3) Per Tile C's command, I get a Ferret. I sift through the pile of tokens for a Ferret, and put it in front of me, indicating that "This is my ferret. There are millions of ferrets like it, but this ferret is mine." I end my turn by flipping Tile C to the arrow side. It reads "Any" and points in one orthogonal direction.

Turn 3A) My opponent does something.

Turn 4) I'm still on Tile C, just like last turn, but this time it is arrow-side up. I get to move "any" in the direction indicated, so I choose to move 4 squares that-a-away, landing on Tile D. I end my turn by flipping Tile C back to the "Get a Ferret" side.

Turn 4A) My opponent does something.


Q: When switching or moving of tiles, is the player allowed to reorient the tile (so that the arrow show another direction)?
A: You may reorient tiles when you flip them over, but not when you move them somewhere else.

Q: Does "Destroy all things" put all things owned by all players back into the bank?
A: Yes. Everyone loses all their Things.

Q: Does "Switch places with any player" make the players exchange seats or just the positions for their pawns?
A: The players' pawns switch places. But I like the idea of switching seats!

Q; Does reversing the turn order in a two player game have no effect or should the activating player play twice?
A: "Reverse the turn order" has no effect in a two player game.

This game is still a work in progress; I reserve the right to change these documents as I see fit. But don't worry. You can keep with the game's development by revisiting this website. If you do download a copy of the game, please leave the filename as is. This will help you know if your copy is the latest version.

Got a question? Contact me!

Wanderlust is listed on BoardGameGeek.

Last Updated: 17 June 2010

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