★★★★½ Lost Cities (card); imagine you’ve just found the lost city of Atlantis, and then you sit down to play a card game.

Check out this game if: you are looking for a 2 player game that is simple to teach but offers hours of wonderful intensity. This game stands out because: you want to keep both good and bad cards in your hand, causing you to weigh your options quickly (and often wrong). The rules do not convey the intense feeling you get while playing this game, it’s great (but the archaeology theme is not really strong).

1. Game is easy to teach (everyone knows who to count from 2 to 10)
2. The strategy/dilemma of card-play becomes obvious quickly.
3. The randomness of the deck makes each game unique with high replayability.
4. Teaches kids how to plan ahead by playing and withholding at the correct time.
5. Play time can vary because you can play one quick game, or a series of three.
6. Cards are nice and big (which helps make the game feel better).

1. Indirect conflicts and one player will lose (some kids may not cope well).
2. The intensity of the game can cause some players to take a long time to make decisions.
3. The game art/design is lacking, but it’s an abstract game, so it’s not a big deal.

Brief Overview:
Each player gets 8 cards in their hand and on their turn they must lay a card down and pick up a card. The goal is to create piles of cards according to color and sequence. Yellow cards must be played in the yellow pile (etc.), and higher numbers must be played on lower numbers (in order). Cards can also be played into a draw pile where you and your opponent can draw from.

You score points at the end of the game and your score is the summation of all you cards in a pile, minus 20 per pile (if you don’t create a pile for a certain color, you do not lose the 20 points). Additionally, any investment cards you lay down before numbers will multiply your score by 2, 3, or 4.

Number of Players 2
Age 8+
Time 30 mins
Friendly ★★★☆☆
Teachable ★★★★★
Replayability ★★★★☆
Creative Freedom ★★★★☆
Inclusive (no elimination) ★★★★★
Interaction ★★★★★

There is a board game that will play up to 4 players. It’s similar, but not the same game (worth looking into if you enjoy the 2 player version).

Teaching Advice:
Explain the most basic rule first, cards must be played in order (you cannot play a 2 on top of a 5) and with their corresponding color pile.

Explain the end game scoring and then the multiplier. It may help to lay a few cards down and add them up together -scoring in this game is important from the very beginning, so it’s important everyone understands before laying down the first card.

Link to Video Tutorial.

Link to Lost Cities on Amazon.


2 thoughts on “★★★★½ Lost Cities (card); imagine you’ve just found the lost city of Atlantis, and then you sit down to play a card game.

  1. tpbosco, yes, they are both great games (thanks for the endorsement).
    I want to get more plays of the board game in before I review it (perhaps I should have reviewed them at the same time?).


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