Published in English under the name "Summer Camp", the new deck building game by successful author Phil Walker-Harding was released in German-speaking countries under the name "Wanderlust". This caused a bit of confusion, because at the same time a game called "Wanderlust" by Pektis Studio was also launched on Kickstarter. In this article, however, we cover the game from Swiss publisher Game Factory, subtitled “Summer Camp Adventures!”. You can find out in this review whether we liked the detour to the summer camp.

In Wanderlust – Summer Camp Adventures! we experience various adventures and fight for badges in the categories: endurance, water sports, activities, handwork, friendship, cooking and group games. In classic deck builder fashion, the motto here is: Whoever builds their deck the most skillfully has the best chance of progressing at summer camp and snagging the badges first. Whoever manages to collect the most points at the end wins!

well-known mechanisms

Wanderlust is quickly explained. All players start with a deck of 10 fixed cards and draw 5 of them into their hand. The players try to get the best out of these in their turn. The cards either have special effects that advance you in your project or grant the currency energy. If you don't use the effect of a card, it also grants 1 energy. With the energy collected, any number of cards in the display can be bought at the end of the turn and added to your own discard pile. Finally you discard your unused cards and the remaining energy and draw 5 new cards for the next turn. If your own deck is empty, you shuffle all the cards from the discard pile and form a new deck. Through this loop, you improve your deck step by step and can unfold ever more powerful combinations.

Wanderlust blends deck building elements with some sort of racing and looks great doing it.

Wanderlust blends deck building elements with some sort of racing and looks great doing it. Photo: Sven Karsten

Veterans in particular will quickly become familiar with the mechanics of Wanderlust. Wanderlust uses classic deck builder elements that have been seen a lot in other games of the likes of Dominion, Star Realms, Harry Potter - The Battle of Hogwarts etc. Merely the peaceful theme brings a breath of fresh air to the rather battle-heavy genre. In Wanderlust we play to win badges in three categories of the summer camp and collect the most points. To do this, we build our deck as far as possible in such a way that we can progress well on the paths of all three categories. The respective paths also give us different bonuses, depending on how far we have moved so far. We can either immediately draw an additional card from our deck, move a character forward one space, or we receive an energy bar that can grant us additional energy to buy new cards at any time.

Well-known, with a nice theme

The theme and its various categories brings a lot of variety to the drab genre of pure deck builder games. Because we're fighting for badges in three categories, we have to make sure our deck is as balanced as possible. Additionally, you should be careful not to stuff your deck too full with unnecessary cards, because the more cards there are in the deck, the lower the chances of drawing important cards. With the three categories, Wanderlust involves a little more consideration when purchasing tickets. Here you have to constantly monitor how far opposing players have progressed on the paths and where you may still need new cards. Sometimes it's even better not to buy any cards at all in a round. If you buy cards carelessly, especially in this game, you can stuff your deck with too many cards, since there are no options to remove cards from your deck.


In Wanderlust, our goal is to get as many high-scoring badges as possible. If we cross a bridge first, we get the most points.

In Wanderlust, our goal is to get as many high-scoring badges as possible. If we cross a bridge first, we get the most points. Photo: Sven Karsten

Since only 3 of 7 categories are used per game, Wanderlust provides a comparatively high level of replayability. Each category has a different focus and changes the gameplay a bit. In the "Friendship" category, for example, the opponents also receive certain bonuses when a card is played. In the group games category, on the other hand, we can do a little harm to our fellow combatants. The advantage of the different categories is that they can be put together as you wish and mechanisms that you don't like can simply be left out. Once you know all the categories and combinations, however, the replay appeal can be greatly reduced, since the basic principle is always the same.

A role model for others

In terms of packaging, many games can learn from Wanderlust. The game got to us with hardly any plastic. The cards are sorted into categories and are all packed in small paper packs and the box has only been sealed with small dots of adhesive. There is also an inlay made of cardboard, which keeps all components in place. So we would like to get games presented more often. In addition, the game material is of high quality and simply looks cute.

However, the game relies on a lot of text, which is typical of the genre. This can be a hurdle, especially for younger players, as it can be exhausting over time. However, the rules are pretty simple and therefore understandable for children younger than 10 years.

Information about Wanderlust - adventure in the summer camp!

Number of players: 2 – 4
Age: from 10 years
Playing time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Long-term motivation: medium
Classification: Deck Builder

Author: Phil Walker-Harding
Illustrations: Adam Grason
Publisher: Game Factory
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2023
Language: German
Cost: 34,99 Euro


Wanderlust - adventure in the summer camp! offers a nice introduction to the deck building genre, especially for families and casual gamers. It brings the mechanism closer with a nice theme and offers enough variety for a few relaxed games. Those who play a lot, who already know the genre well, will find their way in quickly and will certainly find a lot of fun. However, they could lose interest in the game particularly quickly, since Wanderlust ultimately offers too few new things. Still, Wanderlust is by no means a bad game! We had a lot of fun and see the potential for the game to get more people excited about the mechanics.

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Last updated on 25.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API