Unstable Universe

The only boardgame where you're allowed to cut the paper into pieces, especially when you are losing. A One Paper Game for 2–8 players.

Ages: everyone | Complexity: Low | Playtime: 30-45 minutes

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What's the idea?

You are exploring and conquering a (randomly generated) ice planet!

What can I do?

Starting from the edge of the board, everyone takes the same action each turn: move to a new node.

  • Some nodes have special actions, such as teleportation or battling an alien monster.
  • Most nodes, however, trigger a cutting action when entered.

Cutting the board?!

Yes, you must cut into the game board following certain rules!

If a piece of paper comes loose, it drifts away and is out of the game, including all people on it.

When do I win?

Be the first to fulfill your personal mission and step on the center node!

Remarks

Don't like cutting? The rules explain a variant in which you don't have to cut the paper, if you want to re-use the same board (or don't trust other people with scissors ...). I also made the board use as little ink as possible.

Want more? There are four expansions that add exciting elements to the game! "Extreme Expeditions", for example, adds secret expeditions that trigger whenever you cut loose a piece of paper. You can join such expeditions ... but at your own risk.

What do I need?

Just a few simple steps:

  • Generate a random board below and print it.
  • Read the rules (one page).
  • Grab some pens, scissors and friends.

Voila, you can play!

The rules for the base game are one page (including images and examples). The other pages explain what all the different nodes and expansions do.

Tip for Teaching: only explain the first page, then immediately start playing! Simply place the node lists (Mission Nodes and Regular Nodes) on the table, so players can look up their action whilst playing.

Tip for Cleanup: when the game is done, you should have a bunch of puzzle pieces ( = all pieces of paper you cut off). Here's the challenge: try to fit them back together to recreate the original paper! Sounds easier than it is :)

Reviews

“What a cutting-edge game!”

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“The second game about rocks, papers and scissors — and already a classic”

★ ★ ★ ★

“This game cuts right through the crowd with its innovative mechanics and makes the efforts of its competition look paper-thin”

★ ★ ★ ★

Obviously, these are not real reviews. I was having too much fun with cutting-related puns. If you have one yourself, let me know.

Board Generation

Input the right settings below. The "seed" can be any string of text (like your name, your current city, or your favourite animal)!

If this is your first game, or a new group of players, enable the "First Game" option.

Click "Generate Board", save the image, and print it. You're ready to go!

What's a secret board? The "Expeditions" expansion adds nodes that trigger whenever their piece of paper comes loose. If you are able to print double-sided, these nodes will be placed on the backside of the paper. This means the paper actually has secret treasures and traps that will only be revealed during the game!

The same seed (max. 20 characters) will always produce exactly the same board. Everyone gets the exact same Mission Node, to simplify learning and teaching the game. Removes many decorational elements and turns the board black-and-white.

Expansions

Show Quest