Võlujooks

Party game of ridiculous characters competing in a magical relay race

What is Võlujooks?

In 2015, an Estonian sci-fi zine Reaktor announced a board game competition. Since I felt there was a lack of Estonian-language games that could easily be taught to pre-teens, I tried out several ways to complicate a roll-and-move game. By the end of the month I had settled on having players draft from several characters with special abilites, each more broken than the last.. 😅

6 months after sending in my handmade prototype, I got good news that I'd been chosen for small publishing deal with 2D6.ee. A few more months and all the art, layout, rules writing, box, etc were sent to printer and in 2016 I became a published board game author. Võlujooks is listed on Board Game Geek, and is in stock at board game stores!

Putting faces on 50 zany characters

The runners in each player's team are pretty much all various stereotypes, so the biggest challenge was maintaining a consistent artistic style. I got most of my inspiration from French artists at the time, especially those working at Ankama Studios, whose MMORPG Dofus I loved at the time.

Sketch of a female game character with an oversized swordGrid of 20 character cards

The backs of the character cards are used as the movement spaces on the track, so each game only sees a small number of characters in total. 4 per player, to balance out the variance in power. Lots of replayability.. 🙂

Partial view of game track from overhead

How to (not) sell the experience

In hindsight, I feel the sales results could've been improved by having a more inviting box. A single runner on an abstract background really doesn't give off the proper chaotic energy that I intended 😅

3D mockup of the game boxTop cover of the game boxPartially opened game boxBox bottom

Rules and layout

Aigar from 2D6.ee helped clean up any ambiguities in the rules; the layout, typography and illustrations I handled myself. Turned out quite readable, and I wish more board games would follow this basic structure:

Lede
introductory paragraph, often thematic
Setup
how can we begin playing
Play
rounds, actions, etc
Winner
how does the game end and who wins
Variations
often there is more than one way to play the game
Front side of the game rulesBack side of the game rules

Acknowledgments

I used the fantastic typefaces Ode by Martin Wenzel, and Mikado by Hannes von Döhren.

I thank Reaktor and the jury for appreciating my efforts, Aigar for taking the chance with publishing this, and of course a huge thanks to everybody who has bought and played the game 😍.