| April 4th 2016 |Thanks for checking out my blog. I have a new, much better looking version of this review here: http://www.boardgamebarker.com/blog/2015/8/22/lost-cities
Occasionally I get asked why I don't write more negative reviews, I guess the answer I should have been giving was that I hadn't had a chance to play Lost Cities. Since I do a fair amount of 2 player gaming with the Mrs I figured why not pick up this "classic" renown as a "couples game" or just a generally fantastic game for 2 players I thought what could possibly go wrong. Now don't get me wrong, this will not be an entirely "negative review" because I do see the attraction, I mean playing the game is pretty fun, you have to make some tough choices and the mechanics are good, even your goal seems feasible, so where does Lost Cities go wrong? I can share the sour taste in my mouth by quoting one sentence from the rule book "Thus, an expedition's value is between -80 and 156." In a round, you can have up to 5 expeditions and you must find the total value, rarely do you actually have 5 but you can see how scoring can be a little hard to keep track of. My main issue is that the scoring feels like it is too much work for the actual game you just played, even if you do it quickly with a calculator or pad of paper it is still a chore.
To have the highest total expedition value when the draw deck runs out of cards.
Shuffle the deck and deal each player 8 cards.
You have 2 options on your turn, discard or play an expedition card, after either action you must draw a new card.
Playing an Expedition Card:
You simply place an expedition card of a higher value than the current expedition card on your side of the board where the corresponding expedition is located. You may never go back and add a lower value card, and Investment cards must be played before any numerical expedition cards have been placed.
Discarding an Expedition Card:
Each Expedition has it's own discard pile, when you discard a card simply place it in the matching discard pile on top of any previously discarded cards..
|Each expedition has a matching discard pile located |
between the two sides of the game board.
Drawing a Card:
You have two choices, technically 6 choices as to where you can draw your card from. You can draw from the draw deck or the top card of any expedition's discard pile. Keep in mind that drawing from the draw deck causes the game to move closer to its end.
Game End / Scoring
This is where you need to get some scrap paper, a calculator and a Tylenol or two because shits about to get intense.
* First you add the numbered cards in an expedition together
* Then subtract 20 from the sum of the expedition
* Multiply the new value of the expedition by (1+# of Investment Cards)
Note: Expeditions that do not have any cards in them at the end of the game count for 0 points, they do not get the -20.
|The blue expedition would be worth -60 |
while the yellow would be worth 0.
I thought it was important to mention that the artwork on the cards is really cool. The numbers show an expedition in sequential order and each of the Investment cards feature the same people in front of a different ma. I felt that the artwork was very connected to the game thought they picked a good set of colours for the cards.
Why Didn't I enjoy Lost Cities?
As I mentioned above mostly the scoring, I felt that the game played good to okay but it wasn't "fun" for lack of a better word. I think my problem is it reminds me too much of standard card games, not to say that I don't enjoy Crazy Eights but when they start to get too serious I would rather play something with a board and bits.
Who Would Enjoy Lost Cities?
Casual Gamers: I do think some casuals will find love in Lost Cities, I think if you enjoy standard playing card games then you will really enjoy Lost Cities, if you do not, and consider yourself a casual gamer I would make sure to physically try this one before buying regardless of how great you think it sounds / looks.
Gamer Gamers: If you are considered an "alpha gamer" or any synonym for the term then I think you will find enjoyment in Lost Cities, unless of course you do not enjoy number crunching. There is lots of deep decision making and lots of replay value. When two people who are experienced with the game play it is totally different and way more intense, a game of wits, these are why I would recommend Lost Cities to a serious gamer.