Everything Except Air


Example of an Ability card, an Item card, and an Event card.

A story game of solo exploration on the surface of Mars.

This game won three categories in the 2014 Solitaire Print and Play Contest:

  • Best Large Game
  • Best Thematic Game
  • Best Greyscale Printed Game

You are investigating alien ruins on Mars. Just as you are getting ready to take all the artifacts back to your ship, disaster strikes! A meteor storm sweeps across the planet! Your equipment is damaged! Your oxygen is running low! And to top it off the dust kicked up by the meteors has obscured the location of your ship!


Example of the tiles the player explores, showing the important spaceship, a branching path, and a dead-end.

What had been days worth of air is now only a few scant hours. You have to make it back to your spaceship – but what about all the artifacts you have already found? Decide what to take and what to leave, but remember, if you take too much, you run out of oxygen faster!

The goal of the game is to make it back to your ship, with at least one alien artifact.  You start with three random spacesuit abilities, one random artifact which doesn’t count towards your total weight, and 9 hours of air.  Each time you move to explore, you lose air.  Some of the random events also cause you to lose air – though others give you air.

While the game can be too random to use any particularly strategy, it is the journey that matters, not the destination.  While reaching your ship is important, having your air run out after being trapped in a sudden rockfall can be just as fun.

The free print-and-play rules are located here.

The free print-and-play cards are located here.

The free print-and-play tiles are located here.