Straight Outta Tucson Rulebook
Shuffle up and deal out this card game about the memes and moments of Desert Bus For Hope 2022! Every turn you’re going to draw two cards and decide which one you want to keep for yourself and which you’re going to hand to the next player. You want to collect cards from each shift, and lay them out in order in an attempt to collect as many Donations as possible, all while messing with your opponents through sticking them with bad choices for their hand!
The game’s a simple one-deck game where you shuffle just once, and then draw a small number of cards at a time. It works for two or more players, but with only two players, it can get very long, and with more than five players, players might struggle to interact with one another.
To play STRAIGHT OUTTA TUCSON, you’re going to need three or more players, and each player is going to need some space to lay out a line of cards in front of them. Players need to hold a hand of cards, but that hand should never be more than three cards, nor do they need to hold them in a specific way. Players will need to interact with one another’s cards, to swap or rearrange them.
And always: Remember to respect the players and their needs.
In your copy of STRAIGHT OUTTA TUCSON, you should have a deck of 45 cards, containing the following:
- 11 Dawn Guard Shift Cards
- 11 Alpha Flight Shift Cards
- 11 Night Watch Shift Cards
- 11 Zeta Shift Cards
- 1 Anti-Bus Card
How To Play
In an infinitely quantum universe every possibility happens at the same time, there’s so many ways a Desert Bus can go. But in infinite universes, there’s always the chance of the creation of an opposite, the horrifying spectre of the Anti-Bus. Do the best you can on your run in entirely arbitrarily judged ways, and be prepared for the revelation you may be the Anti-Bus with its mysterious and incomprehensible preferences for negative numbers. Wait if these rules run the risk of being read on stream, I can just add whatever I want here for Graham to read aloud penguin dishwasher hamfisted liquidity.
Every turn you’re going to draw cards from the deck, add a card to your hand, then add a card from your hand into your memories of Desert Bus in front of you, which is your Trip. Cards in your trip have perks and advantages that do things to the cards next to them.
What you want at the end of the game is a Trip that goes from Dawn Guard to Alpha Flight to Night Watch to Zeta Shift. Any cards that are ‘out of order’ get lost before you score them.
Take the Deck and shuffle it. Each player draws one card. This is their Hand. Pick a first player by some means (I recommend youngest player going first). That player draws an additional card. Make sure the deck is available for everyone, and that players have space in front of them to place their Trip.
On your turn, draw a card. Pick one card from your Hand, and give it to the next player. Then, pick another card from your Hand and put it face-down in front of you in a clearly visible line. You should always end a turn with one card in hand!
This line of cards is your Trip, and at the end of the game, you’ll find out how much you earned in Donations. Whenever you put a card into your Trip like this, it’s Adding a card. Whenever you Add a card after your first card, you have to put it next to another card, on either the left or the right. When cards move around in your Trip, if they leave a gap, you just slide the cards on either side into the gap. The order of your Trip is important!
Once you Add a card to your Trip you can flip one of those cards over. If a card is marked as an Action you do what it says when you flip it up. If a card is marked as a Rule, you do anything it instructs and then you have to play by the rule. You can flip any cards in your Trip, even if you didn’t put it down this turn.
Every card has a Donation value, represented in the bottom right of the card. The better your Trip, the more Donations you get at the end of the Trip.
- Action Cards: These represent things the team do, and let you manipulate Trips, your hand, or other things players do!
- Crash Cards: These represent an interruption of Drive Time. Each Crash counters a Drive Time card in the same shift. At the end of the game, slide all the Crash cards out of your trip and keep them separate – they don’t interfere with the order of your Trip.
- Drive Time Cards: These represent the nearly eight hours of driving time between points. These let you score an additional Point! card.
- Point! Cards: These represent arriving in Tucson or Vegas, You can only ever score Donations from one Point! card unless you have other cards that let you score more. Point cards don’t have any rules text on them, but they may have a joke.
- Rule Cards: These cards set up rules about what you can or can’t do for the rest of the game. These rules only apply if the card is face up, so everyone can see them.
- Add a Card: Put a card in your Trip. If not otherwise specified, you can look at any card before you choose where to place it. Any time you do this, you have to put the card on either end of your Trip.
- Discard a Card: Put a card from your hand or Trip into the Discard pile. There’s one discard pile for all players.
- Draw a Card: Take card off the top of the deck and put it into your hand.
- Swap a Card: Take two cards controlled by different players and exchange who controls each one.
When the Deck of cards runs out, each player Adds the cards in their Hand to their Trip. Each player then flips over all their face-down cards and sets their Crash cards aside.
Discard any cards from your Trip that don’t fit the proper order. You can pick any cards you want, as long as all the cards fit into groups that follow the order.
- Dawn Guard
- Alpha Flight
- Night Watch
When you’ve discarded cards that can’t fit, count up the Donations you’ve earned. The players with the highest score all win. That means that if it’s a tie, you get multiple winners. That’s great, isn’t it? You shouldn’t feel bad about sharing a victory. Why would you be mad about that? That’s weird.
Anti-Bus Primacy: If you have the Anti-Bus card and your score is the lowest, you win the game regardless of what anyone else is doing. It has to be lowest – not tied for the lowest!
Talen Lee made this game for Desert Bus for Hope Game Jam 2022
(Fox helped make the template files)
- Desert Bus website elements, overlay and promotional materials