Update #7 A True Story from Turkey

Hello Travellers - here’s a true story for you!

The Route East IRL adventure actually started in London - a journey that wound its way through Europe and into Istanbul, before the adventures through Asia began. So why did we start Route East in Turkey, and not the UK?

Good question! Well firstly, purely from a practical point of view. Europe’s countries are pretty small and it would have been hard to do them proper justice from a design perspective. Secondly, wrapping even more of a map around a circle - well that would also have been difficult. But, more importantly, the real adventure truly started in Turkey.

It was Jonny and George’s second night in Turkey. After losing a wing mirror in Istanbul (this has made it to our Ignition Cards) they decided to try their luck wild camping in the countryside.

It was a moonless night and brisk wind made the landscape pretty uninviting, but after a few hours driving, the guys came across a spot that seemed perfect. Note:wild camping is not allowed in Route East,unless you have a ‘You’ve got a tent’ Action Card.

After setting up for the evening by the side of a quiet country road, they stirred up some instant noodles on a small stove and started to wind down. Out of absolutely nowhere, three cars, beaming their headlines through an eerie mist, skidded up to the back of Judith (their car). 11 men jumped out of the cars holding crow bars, baseball bats, and crude DIY tools. They were speaking loud, and very fast, in every direction both to them (Jonny and George didn’t understand a thing) and to each other.

While Jonny and George couldn’t understand a word, they could certainly tell they weren’t welcome. The men tugged at their tent, pointed to the car and herded them and all of their things back into Judith. Somehow they managed to fit a fully erected (but now slightly broken) tent onto the back seats!

The men moved their cars to surround them and chaperoned them back down the road they’d come from. They were petrified - literally for their lives. Although they’d both been in some hairy situations before, this was an entirely new level of uncomfortable.

10 minutes later, they arrived at a fork in the road. The car in front stopped, and the men got out. They knocked on Judith’s window and indicated for them to get out, whilst pointing over to a dodgy dirt track towards disused farm in the distance. Judith’s brakes were pretty sharp, having been newly fitted just a few weeks before. With the guys on high alert, they’d stopped short and left around half a car length between their bonnet and the car ahead. So, they took their opportunity. Full lock to the left and foot on the gas - they legged it!!!!

The next day, they booked a small AirBnB. It was just a small private room in a family home in Tbilisi. It was a stark contrast to the night before, and they reflected on the events with their new friend Emir who showed them some Turkish games and shared his alcohol collection. In between the noodles and the men arriving, Jonny and Goerge had started to film a video diary. It was mainly for their mums back home, but also for a record of their travels. They realised that they’d left it recording for the whole evening, and the full events of the night had been captured - well at least the sound.

Emir was listening in as they looked over the footage (it was mostly darkness apart from shooting lights as the camera got bashed around). He was laughing. In fact, more than laughing, he was in hysterics.

“You silly British people. You camped in a cemetery!’. You should have seen their faces.

Jonny and George asked Emir to listen to the whole thing. Turns out, the Turkish guys themselves were scared because they didn't know who Jonny & George were (hence the makeshift weaponry). Their loud shouting, well that was just standard Turkish dialogue, as they decided between them who had would accommodate Jonny and George on their land instead . And, as they set off, they weren’t following them to impending death, instead, to soft safe ground to camp on with probably a Turkish breakfast in the morning!

Never judge a book by its cover - even if it’s shouting at you!

Jonny, George, Petra, and the Route East Team

Instagram: @LostVentureGames
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lostventurehq
BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/349071/route-east [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Update #6 Making decisions & planning

Hello Travellers,
We’ve less than three weeks to go now! With our print & play version ready for the end of our Kickstarter campaign, we’re actually under seven weeks away from you getting your hands on the game!

Our community has recently expanded by more than 300 new subscribers (HELLO!) so we thought we’d do a quick overview of the key bits that make Route East the action-packed gateaway game you will want to play time and time again.

While Route East is a take on your classic racer, there’s a lot more strategy involved than meets the eye! We’ve been refining this delicate balance for 15 months now, and over the last few weeks, we’ve had some great feedback from our playtesters.

Your Route

George (one of our founders) worked out that there is something like 700,000 different route variations you can take. Will you head north and cross the Caspian Sea by boat? Do you go South through Iran? Do you head through Uzbekistan where there’s no fuel, or take the longer route through the mountains of Tajikistan?
The two or three attractions you’re dealt at the start of the game will determine the specific locations you’ll need to pass through, but how you get there is down to you.


Fuel plays a big part in the game. You’ll need a Fuel Token for every border you cross (unless you have a specific Action Card in place of it). To get fuel just pass through a fuel station. However, there isn’t one in every country so plan ahead.

On top of that, you’ll need to plan for some level of foul play too. One of the best ways to slow other players down is by stealing their Fuel Tokens with an Action Card - do this just as they get to a border (a favourite play of Jonny’s), and they’re royally screwed. That’ll put them back a few days and if they’re in a country with no fuel, well, that could be a deal-breaker for their race.


You’ll get $450 when you start the game. This will NOT be enough. You might scrape by just with a single visit to an ATM, but picking up Bank Cards blind could either line your wallet, or be a pointless trip. You could dash ahead and skip the ATMs to give yourself some space, but then find yourself in a pickle, or, go to too many out of fear of bankruptcy, and get left behind.

Action Cards

Our playtesters who have enjoyed Route East the most have done so when they’ve realised the true value of Action Cards. From Freight Trains taking you 8 places within a single country, to cards to steal money and fuel off competitors, these are your secret weapon to success. Fast and furious doesn’t always win the race! Sometimes slow and cunning gets you further.

That concludes our short recap! We hope you found it useful.
As mentioned, we’re under 3 weeks to go. Tell your friends, your grandparents, your neighbours and your social acquaintances! We’ve got a realistic goal in place and with your help, we’re going to smash it!

Honestly, we can’t wait for guys to play Route East.

Don't forget to sign up for notifications from Kickstarter.

Update #5 PointsandPlays Review

Hi Traveller!

Hope you're keeping well. We've been busy here juggling around our prototypes and getting as much feedback as we can. We have less than 4 weeks now until launch and it's all getting very exciting!

We recently shipped a copy of the game over to the lovely Lauren and Jasmine. They took it for a test spin along with their gorgeous little dog. Here’s what they thought!

⛽️ This isn’t just a race of who can get from A to B the quickest. During a turn players either move or pull Action cards; these are where the strategy comes in! They could get you free fuel, extra turns or incite a bit of foul-play and steal money from another player. Money and fuel are also tight so you need to plan wisely as you travel through the map, picking up resources where you can and crucially before you run out (often my downfall!).

🏯 The game is a delight to look at. The map and attraction cards are all hand-drawn, they’re bright and colourful and they showcase the wonders these countries have to offer perfectly.

⭐️ This game is pure racing fun! Even as fairly experienced gamers we had a great time with it but it would make the perfect gateway game. Player interaction in Route East is high and the fun comes from those moments of foul-play, I’ve still not forgiven Jasmine for stealing the freight train ticket that I was saving to get across China with!

Check out PointsandPlays over on Instagram.

Press Release: Board game set to promote lesser-known regions of the world launching on Kickstarter in March

March 8th 2022: LostVenture Games, an indie UK publisher, launches a travel-based board game set to inspire its players to discover some of the world’s most off-the-beaten destinations. From the mountain ranges of Iran to the deserts of Mongolia, Route East takes players on a Silk Road journey into the unknown in a unique format that engages both older and young players.

Completely hand-drawn and based on a true adventure by founders Jonny & George, the game has been designed to mix classic tabletop fun with a real opportunity to highlight countries that don’t get the coverage they deserve. 

“From 5,000 metre high valleys in Tajikistan, to the shimmering mosques of Uzbekistan - this area of the world doesn’t get enough attention. We’ve made a game that is super fun, highly competitive, and a race right up to the last move. But, more than that - we’ve created something that inspires exploration”, says Jonny Hale, one of LostVenture Games’ founders. 

In Route East, players race from Istanbul to Shanghai across 16 regions, visiting some of the stunning 30 attractions along the way. The key to winning is to not only choose the quickest route via their assigned attractions, but to also manage their money, resources and deal with unexpected situations they might run into along the way - very much as on a real road trip! 

With its core mechanics based on real-life experiences, Route East is designed to give a taste of what a road adventure across the region can be like. George and Jonny experienced 8 flat tyres during the 10,000 mile trip, so only a very few lucky players will avoid similar mishaps. 

“Borders always proved difficult when it came to paperwork, and Route East is no exception. Some players will cross with a hefty $50 fee, others won’t pass at all, and some may even squeeze through with a biscuit based bribe”, said Jonny, who’s only actually managed to win the game 6 times out of 60+ playtests so far. 

LostVenture Games is part of the board game industry that has doubled in the last 5 years, to what is now a $8.12 billion dollar industry. That, coupled with COVID restrictions, has  left us all pining for adventure, whilst many will be counting the days to their Costa del sol beach break, others are planning their next journey further off the beaten track.

“There are board games popping up all the time, but they tend to be a step away from reality and don’t leave players much to think about after. Route East has been hand-drawn - even to the level of detail of specific landscape contours and geographical features. 30 attractions and world heritage sites have also been lovingly hand illustrated. This combined with some really fun yet frustrating competitive game mechanics, have made it something special - and more than just a board game”.

Route East will be launching on Kickstarter on March 8th, and hopes to hit a £10,500 funding goal to kickstart the project.

“Everything about this game makes me want to pack my bags, pick up my passport and head off on an adventure.” Jim Gamer (https://www.instagram.com/jim.gamer/)

To find out more about Route East and get notified of the game’s launch, visit www.lostventuregames.com 

The team are also looking to reach out to any Tourism boards interested in being involved in the game’s launch.

Media Assets: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Nua9-LYnUA4MR40HDnsBhIElic5ldLaT?usp=sharing

Media Enquiries/Interviews:
[email protected]

LostVenture Games