★★★★☆ Lost Cities: the Board Game; discover ancient civilizations by collecting playing cards -just like real archaeologists.

Check out this game if: you are looking for a simple, unique, and fun game for four players (great small-family game).

This game stands out because: it feels like a classic game, but it’s unlike anything you’ve played before. The gameplay is simple, quick, and great with 4 players, but it’s also unique.

1. Easy to teach and quick to learn.
2. Slow at first, this game gains momentum very quick.
3. The theme may seem abstract, but it fits really well -especially for kids.
4. A little luck makes this game accessible for anyone (but experience and forethought makes a difference too).
5. Very convenient to play either a short or long game.
6. Randomness of cards and tokens gives this game re-playability.
7. A couple rule variants make this game even more interesting.

1. A little bad luck and the game can run away from you (especially in the short game).
2. There is potential for some indirect conflict (but I’ve never seen it get contentious).

Brief Overview:
This game is similar to the game Lost Cities, so if you know that game, this one will be a breeze.

If you have never played Lost Cities, you’re not far behind -as long as you can count to ten.

In this game, you are trying to get your explorers from the center of the board to the 5 lost cities on the outskirts. To get your explorers to the lost cities, you need to play cards. One card will move your explorer one space of the same color, but you can only play cards of a higher number than your last card of the same color. So, it’s becomes clear, quickly, that you want to play low numbers early in the game, but you may not have low numbers. If you want, you can discard a card into a discard pile, but once a card is in a discard pile, anyone can pick up that card.  

Number of Players 2-4
Age 8+
Time 30-60 mins
Friendly ★★★★☆
Teachable ★★★★★
Replayability ★★★☆☆
Creative Freedom ★★★★☆
Inclusive (no elimination) ★★★☆☆
Interaction ★★★☆☆

There is a card game version (which came first and is also great) but no expansion.

Teaching Advice:
The best way to teach this game is to set up the board before hand (players don’t need to know why you put certain tiles in certain areas).

With the board set up, explain that every player has 5 explorers they are trying to get to the lost cities. The way you get an explorer to a lost city is by playing cards of the same color path they are on, but the cards must constantly get higher. It’s unlikely that anyone will get all of their explorers into positive point positions (so try to focus on just a couple colors of cards.

Link to Video Tutorial.

Link to Lost Cities – The Board Game on Amazon.

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