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Time to explorer “Lost Cities”

After playing No Thanks I find myself increasingly thirsty for quick and dirty games.  Once again I took to my local board game store I came home with “Lost Cities”.  From what I was told it’s a two player card game from 1999, to my surprise it also came with a board.  Since purchasing, I have played this numerous times with several people.  Checkout my full review to see if you should be exploring Lost Cities!!!

Within the Lost Cities players use cards to set out on archaeological expeditions.  The single deck of cards consist of 5 different colours, each colour represents a different archaeological expeditionTia Le .  Each colour is made up of numbered cards 2 to 10 and 3 handshake cards.

Throughout the game players will set out on expeditions by collecting and playing similarly coloured cards in sequence. For example first playing a blue coloured 2 and then on their next turn a blue 4 etc.  The game has a push your luck element because you only have until the end of the deck of cards to complete your expeditions.  At the end of a round the player will count up all cards in each expedition and then subtract 20 from them.  This will leave them with either a positive value (successful expedition) or a negative value (unsuccessful expedition).  Handshake cards must be the first cards played when starting out on an expedition and act as a multiplier in final scoring.  For example if you had 1 handshake card and a total expedition value of 23 the score would be (23 -20) = 3 * 2(handshake card multiplier). So the final score for that particular expedition would be 6.

Basically if you set out on an expedition you generally want to at least reach 20 points so you break even on it.  If not it could cost you a lot of negative points.

Each game you play will consist of a number of rounds decided at the beginning of the game.

What I liked:

  • I like that when you want to make the game end more quickly you can push the other player buy pulling card from the common pile every round
  • Easy to learn how to play and instructions are good
  • Like that’s it’s a two player game that doesn’t take too long
  • I like the fact that it has a push your luck mechanic because once you place a card down you have committed to the expedition.
  • I liked the board that goes in between the players although it is bigger than it needs to be.
What I disliked:
  • Part of the appeal of a two player game I think is its portability.  I like the art and the board but I think the cards and board should be smaller.
  • Well this is not a big deal but having to count up values at the end of round can be a bit of a pain.  It’s best to add a piece of paper and pen to the box to keep score.  Or use your smart phone while playing to keep score.

Overall I think this is an decent game.  I must admit the first few rounds didn’t seem that fun but after I started getting into it and thinking strategy it got a lot better.  My overall strategy is to have at least enough of one colour to get past value 20 before starting out on expeditions.  I guess this is a rather conservative way of playing but I found others stretch themselves too thin and it ends up costing them.

If you know of any other 2 player games please email me as my wife and I are still searching for more!!!

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