Up and down, down and up. The elevator moves, as do the people. Watch closely and wait for the next guest. Will it be the Beautiful Lady, with curly locks of gold? Or maybe it's the maid, carrying her vacuum? Or maybe the Socialite, with his charming smile and random guest he talks to. Here one moment, gone the next, the Paternoster vanished, and came right back.
GAME DESCRIPTION: Vanished! is a tile game published by BePuzzled, now known as University Games. Players attempt to match characters in their hand with the characters on the elevator, or Paternoster.
SET-UP: Players begin by taking a whole set of Character cards, identified by their teal background, and place them in their hand. The Elevator cards, which are smaller and on cardboard, are shuffled and placed face down into 2 rows, leaving 1 middle spot open on the right. The Pawn is placed next to the empty space.
MOVEMENT: The first player rolls the die, and moves the pawn clockwise around the pile. Each player then places the character card they believe matches the Elevator card face-down from either their hand, or their discard pile. Once every player has chosen a card, flip over the cards and the Elevator card. Any matching cards are discarded, and all non-matching cards are placed back in the players hand, including previously discarded cards. Finally, flip the Elevator card face-down, and place it in the empty spot not next to the Pawn. The game ends when 1 player has discarded all of their cards.
TEMPO: If a player matches a tile with a card from their discard pile, they gain a Tempo Chip. If a player spends a Tempo Chip, they may move the pawn 1 space either clockwise or counter-clockwise. Tempo Chips may only be played after the die has been rolled, and a player may spend as many Tempo Chips as they have to keep moving the pawn.
CONCLUSION: This is probably one of the hardest games to master, even though it is one of the simplest games to learn. This game is all about memorization, predicting, and planning. This isn't the easiest game to get a group of friends into, but if your group enjoys puzzles, then Vanished might just be the game for you.
AFTERTHOUGHTS: So, not long after I started this, I found that Vanished is no longer in print. However, there is an updated version called Paternoster, which apparently plays the exact same.