The Wilds of Mars
|The Wilds of Mars|
|A simple little photo safari game.|
|Players:||2 - 4|
|Trios per color:||2|
|Number of colors:||5|
|- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -|
|A deck of playing cards|
|Setup time:||5 min|
|Playing time:|| 30 min|
0.5 Hr- 60 min
|Game mechanics:||Movement, Hand management|
|Status: Complete (v3.0), Year released: 2011|
|This game is based on "Safari Jack" by Cheapass Games. Released June 2011|
- 3.0: (April 22, 2012) New pyramid rules.
- 2.0: (September 11th, 2011) Out of playtesting, right for normal play.
- 1.2: (June 30th, 2011) Adjusted bump/jump rules. Created the teleporter.
- 1.1: (June 28st, 2011) Correct errors in original listing. Posted on icehousegames.org
- 1.0: (June 21st, 2011) Finish Alpha version of game, ready for playtesting.
The object of the Wilds of Mars is to travel to "the grounds" where animals native to the red planet are bound to be and photograph them.
Setup: Each player selects one of the colors from the sets. Two cards are placed face-down next to each other in the middle of the table; these are the homes. Each player places one of their small pyramids on one of the two base camps pointed straight up. In addition, each player gets an initial hand of 6 cards.
Order of Play: Each turn a player takes, in order, the following actions:
The player draws a new card.
The player may chose to resize their piece at the cost of one card from their hand. To go from a small piece to a large piece, the player will need to discard two cards from their hand. If the player wishes to go from large to small, the player will need to discard two cards from their hand.
The player plays one of his cards from his hand. This may be movement, land, home or "the grounds."
These are special cards which affect movement. The 2, 3 and 4 cards regardless of suit in the deck allow players to move 2, 3 and 4 spaces rather than the regular 1. Aces and jokers act as a teleporter, allowing a player to teleport any pyramid not on the grounds to any other card on the board that is not the grounds. Teleporters also allows the player to reorient their pyramid. These cards are discarded after use.
Each of the suits in the deck depict a different terrain. They must be played either adjacent to a base camp or adjacent to the same terrain.
Face cards depict one of the three prime areas to find animals in each of the terrains. The jack scores 1 point. The queen scores 2 points. The king scores 3 points. They must be played adjacent to the same terrain (but not next to a home).
Any card may be placed as home by flipping it upside down and playing it to the board. The clear advantage of playing as home is that you can then connect up other types of terrain.
If a player played an ace or joker, their move is over. Otherwise, he or she may now move one space on the map (or 2-4 if he played a movement card), to an adjacent card. There's one exception: a player can't move on to a card he just played. The player must move in the direction that their pyramid is pointing. A player may reorient their pyramid at the cost of one movement space.
Bumping an Opponent
If a player ends up on the same space as an opponent, she or he may bump that player's pyramid to any space on the board.
Scoring at "The Grounds"
In order to score on the grounds, the player must be the first player on the grounds with the correct size piece. To score on a Jack, a player must have a small piece pointed up on the Jack. To score on a Queen, a player must have a medium piece pointed up on the Queen. To score on a King, a player must have a large piece pointed up on the King. They keep their pyramid in that space and earn the number of points shown. They place another of their pyramids (any size they wish) on that card, pointing up.
Winning the Game
The game ends when one player has scored at least 7 points of the grounds. That player is the winner.
Credits and Copyright
Thanks to brilk for his playtesting and advice.