Land of Lost Luggage (2007)

Ron Hale-Evans

Players: 1
Length: 20 minutes
Challenge: 3/5


Both Ron and I grew up watching Saturday morning network television. The same as now, most of the shows from the 1960s and 1970s were little more than entertaining fluff. But there have been a few programs with more substance. One such favorite, Land of the Lost, might today be classified as an operatic science fiction series for older kids. It was a show that emphasized working together for survival in desperate circumstances. One of the recurring scenes in the series involved the main characters attempting to return home through the use of dimensional portals controlled by tables of crystals.

Those fascinating control tables inspired Ron to create Land of Lost Luggage as a solitaire game. You won't be stranded in an alternate reality by failing to complete the puzzle. But you might lose your luggage!

Clark Rodeffer

What You Need

An Entropy set will take care of everything but the dice, and is an amazing game besides.


Beginning with a random arrangement of colored stones, swap pairs of stones according to their colors until all stones in each color are part of a connected group. After each swap, roll three dice. If you can group all stones before all three dice show the same number, you win.

The Story

You, dear player, are Gene Eneg, balding scion of a once-proud race of insect-lizard men, and sole living traffic controller for the dimensional doorway system in that Land full of dinosaurs, ape-folk, and hapless families out on routine expeditions, now known as the Land of Lost Luggage.

The network of golden obelisks forming the traffic control system collapsed eons ago (or is it eons from now? What lizard Leonardo thought a finite unbounded spacetime would be a good idea as corporate headquarters?). In its heyday, you could have shunted a doorway from R'lyeh to Narnia with a scaly handful of the cheap New Age crystals they sell on Earths 2,349,658 through '677. Now you can't even shunt Eneg Jr. to school in the morning.

The Land used to be a magnificent multiversal hub through which all dimensional traffic was routed, a cosmic Newark. Now it's a cosmic roach trap – creatures fall in, but they can't escape. And they keep losing their luggage.

Your mission, Eneg Sr., is to reunite these holidaymakers with their luggage and send them home via the shattered transport network, before the three mysterious moons of the Land of Lost Luggage align in the sky and scatter them even farther – forever.

Gene Eneg, Sr. (right) plays Land of Lost Luggage with a friend

Preparing to Play

Draw the 49 crystals one by one and place them randomly in a 7x7 square. The result should be a jumble of colors representing a control matrix that displays the travelers and their lost luggage. Set the dice aside. They represent the three moons of the Land.

How to Play

The object is to arrange all crystals in orthogonally contiguous groups. That is, each color must form a single unbroken group in which the pieces are connected horizontally or vertically.

On each turn you must take two actions:

1. Swap any two crystals of adjacent colors as shown in Diagram A. Thus, a yellow piece may be swapped with either an orange or a green piece, a green with a yellow or blue, and so on. The pieces need not be adjacent on the board, only on the color wheel.

Note: In the pocket universe of the Land of Lost Luggage, the color spectrum is a cycle, so you may swap black crystals (infrared/ultraviolet) with either red or violet.

Diagram A: The crystal color wheel

2. Roll the three six-sided dice and check whether the moons are in alignment.

Ending & Winning

If, after rolling the dice, all three show the same number but you have not yet sorted the crystals, then the three moons of the Land align, the game is over, and you lose. However, if you are able to sort the crystals before you roll a triplet on the dice, you win.

Diagram B shows how the board looked after one successful game. Bars between crystals show connected groups, and letters stand for colors: R=red, O=orange, Y=yellow, G=green, B=blue, V=violet, K=black.

Diagram B: A completed game of Land of Lost Luggage


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