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122 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive Fun
My wife and I purchased this game 1 month ago and can't stop playing it. Lost Cities is a great mix of strategy, ease of game play, and just random luck. The game takes less than 10 minutes to learn, and after a few games about 15 minutes to play. You will find yourself constantly saying, "Let's play just one more time." Ultimately, that is the best statement one can...
Published on July 29, 2005 by Wisconsin Dad

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, but not addictive, 2-player card game
There are some games out there that once I play them I can't wait to play again (e.g., "Settlers of Catan," "Ticket to Ride," etc.), but this didn't fall into that category (at least at our house). We ordered a copy of this game for Christmas 2006, played it during the holidays, and it has, with a few sporadic exceptions, rested comfortably on our shelf ever since. That...
Published on January 29, 2008 by ARH


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122 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive Fun, July 29, 2005
By 
Wisconsin Dad (Wisconsin United States) - See all my reviews
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
My wife and I purchased this game 1 month ago and can't stop playing it. Lost Cities is a great mix of strategy, ease of game play, and just random luck. The game takes less than 10 minutes to learn, and after a few games about 15 minutes to play. You will find yourself constantly saying, "Let's play just one more time." Ultimately, that is the best statement one can make about any game.

Gameplay consists of playing from a hand of 8 cards, and trying to accumulate more points than your opponent. While there is strategy involved, generally you are playing as much against yourself as you are your opponent. If you get to aggresive in trying to build up only one of the 5 available locations, you might just get greedy for points and run out of time. We do this all the time, and love it! Generally, when my wife and I lose a game, it can be said that it's just as much our fault as it is our opponents ability to score points and beat us.

Try it, you won't regret it. (...)you won't find a more addictively fun game. "Let's play again!" For 1 to 2 players, or if you buy 2 sets of the game, 4 can play.
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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to pick up and hard to put down, January 7, 2007
By 
Atomicwasteland (Rockville, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
This game is a great way to pass twenty to thirty minutes. It is very easy to learn and does not have any pieces to lose, or money to count. The strategies, however, are numerous, and there is an equal amount of luck as skill involved in good gameplay.

I really liked how the game could ONLY be played with two people, as I was tired of games that COULD be played with two, but which were really meant to be enjoyed by three or more...

Game Contents: 1 deck of game cards, and one small board. Note: If you want to make this game really portable you don't even need to bring the board. It is just a place to put discarded cards and a way to help organize your cards. As long as you have a pencil and paper for scoring at the end of the game, you can play it everywhere that you have a table. (I figure you need as much space to lay down your cards as the size of a typical Monopoly board).

Playing Note: One thing that was initially a little confusing to us when we were reading the instructions, was that the instructions do not explain that you are to place your cards on the opposite side of the board as your opponent. You can each play all 5 expeditions, in a head to head manner. We were sitting on a couch at a coffee table, and we had turned the board horizontally to face us (instead of vertically) and the instructions were confusing until we moved the board 90 degrees. The game designers assumed that you would play the game as one would play a game of checkers, sitting across from one another, but you don't actually have to play this way, even though you DO need to turn your board for the same effect.

This game is really fun and I would highly recommend other games from the same manufacturer (Rio Grande Games). They really have a knack for publishing great strategy games. They even release expansion sets to their popular games, and they credit the players who gave them the ideas for the expansion cards. Pretty neat!
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Husband - Wife Game, February 24, 2007
By 
This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
Everyone who plays this game says the same thing: It is a masterpiece, it is intriguing, and it is fun. There's a palatable depth to the game, too, that opens up after a few sittings. And it's quick and simple to setup - you can turn off the TV and play a round before bed.

If you were to be critical of the game, two things stand out. The playing cards are not laminated, which could be taken as a lack of quality in construction. And the exploration theme of the game is mostly irrelevant. Players could just as well be building skyscrapers. Neither my wife nor I found these (2) items to be an issue.

If you're looking for a unique and challenging game to play with your husband or wife, then Lost Cities is worth your money.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, but not addictive, 2-player card game, January 29, 2008
By 
ARH (The Shadow of the Tetons) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
There are some games out there that once I play them I can't wait to play again (e.g., "Settlers of Catan," "Ticket to Ride," etc.), but this didn't fall into that category (at least at our house). We ordered a copy of this game for Christmas 2006, played it during the holidays, and it has, with a few sporadic exceptions, rested comfortably on our shelf ever since. That doesn't mean this is a bad game...far from it! This is a good, though perhaps not great, 2-player game.

If your copy of this game is like mine, you may be intruiged to find that the rules booklet that comes with it is printed in just about every Northern European language (Finnish, etc.), but not in English. There was a single photocopied page of rules in English inserted in with the game - no big deal, just different.

The game pits two players against each other as rival explorers. They must choose a strategy that will allow them to explore as many lost cities as possible, but do so in such a way that they acumulate enough points to cover the initial debt incurred for each expedition. There is a mechanism in the game by which players determine the amount of risk for each expedition they undertake. That allows them to double, triple, etc., the possible pay-off they receive or debt they incur.

You explore cities (indicated by different colors) by collecting and playing cards in increasing numerical order. If you do not collect enough card points to exceed the initial debt for a particular expedition you lose points, thus increasing your opponent's chances of winning.

When I first played "Lost Cities" I had a tendency to embark on as many expeditions as possible. That, however, was NOT the best strategy, because once all of the cards are drawn the game is over, and having too many expeditions running at once almost always means that you will lose points on one or more of them. I learned that a good strategy is to invest heavily in two or three expeditions at a time, thus increasing my chances of accumulating enough points to cover my debts.

Game play varies from round to round depending in how the cards turn up and how you choose to use them. There is, therefore, an element of chance and an element of strategy involved in the game.

This is a good 2-player game, at least comparable if not better than the 2-player "Catan Card Game."

3 stars for a good game, interesting, but not a chronic favorite, at least as our place.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars We didn't enjoy this game., December 14, 2008
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
My wife and I purchased this game after reading all the positive reviews. We play a lot of different types of board games (Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, etc.) and were looking for a fun, light, card game to play. This game felt more like a 2-player version of solitaire. Also, why buy this game? Basically, read the rules at Rio Grande Games (The link is posted in my comments, Amazon won't let me post it here).

Then, take a STANDARD deck of cards and:

1. Put each Ace in a row on the table, these are the 'Expeditions'.
2. The Kings, Queens, and Jacks are your 'Investment Cards'.
3. Play the game as normal.

In the Lost Cities card game you have 5 suits instead of 4. That's the only difference between buying the game and my version of using a standard deck.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CARD GAME FOR TWO PEOPLE, November 19, 2007
By 
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
LOST CITIES is a simple card game for two people. There is a deck of cards and a play mat (yes, that's all!). The goal is to gain the most points by playing expedition cards in the 5 expedition areas: the sands of Egypt, the watery depths of Atlantis, the icy wastes of Tibet, the jungles of the Amazon, and the volcanic mountains of ... mars? Mexico? Sicily? I'm not sure about the last one. Players take turns drawingfrom the deck and playing an expedition card. You keep 8 cards in your hand throughout the entire game. On your turn, you either play an expedition card (numbered 2-10), a funding card, or a card to a discard pile, and draw a card from either the deck or the top discard.

Each player plays on his/her own side of the playmat, so you do not interfere with each other's expeditions. You cannot play a lower expedition card than the top one in your pile (you've already passed it by), so there's some tension in whether to hold, discard, or play. Funding cards must be played before any expedition cards, and they have a multiplicative effect on the points from that expedition; x2, x3, or x4, depending on how many funding cards you played (I keep thinking it is an exponential progression and not a geometric one, but a smarter man than me designed it).

The game is over when the last card is drawn. Points are awarded in the following way: you get -20 for starting an expedition, then you sum the value of each expedition card (2-10) and apply the funding multiplier to the sum, then sum over all expeditions. I recommend using pen and paper. The funding cards make quite a difference; avoiding them yields a score in the single digits, while using them yields a score around 100. The risk multiplies with each funding card, though, since you multiply negative scores as well.

In my experience, you always draw out the deck faster than you think. There are 60 cards total, so with 2 players, you need to be wrapping up after your 15th draw or so. You can expect to nearly complete 1 expedition and dabble in two others, so high cards in your off suit is helpful. Drawing from the discard pile keeps the clock ticking longer, even if you don't want the cards. It's almost always worth starting an expedition if you have a 9&10, but 4,5,6 may not be good enough.

The best part of the game is the beautiful artwork on the cards, which goes the full length. The colors are vibrant and depict a running scene of the terrain being explored, with some kind of ruins on card 10. It plays quicklly, no more than 15 minutes per game, and the strategy is fairly simple. That makes it an ideal game for just before bed.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addicitive 2 Player Game, December 4, 2003
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
An amazingly addictive two player game from Reiner Knizia. Knizia is famous for his prolific talent for creating unique game designs. This is no exception. Even though I am not the biggest fan of card games, I found this game to be great fun!
The game is easy to learn (if you have played any card games before this will be cinch to pick up). The general reaction to playing this game is to want to play a second game, this is a good sign for a game....
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60 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another game that does nothing with a promising theme, July 14, 2007
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
Buyer beware, the promise of this games title and description are extremely misleading. The artwork on the cards is very pretty and depicts exotic locales, but that's as close to a sense of exploration as you're going to get with this game. Rather than a game of exploration and discovery, as is promised, what you get is a 2 player variant of solitaire.

Game play consists of arranging numbered cards (with pretty but game-irrelevant artwork on them) into sequential stacks. You essentially "wager" on how many of these stacks you can complete before the draw deck runs out. That's really all there is to it.

Prospective buyers are well advised to look around online and find the game rules before buying this. If it seems like something you want to play, that's fine, but the whole "expeditions to lost cities" motif is essentially a complete misrepresentation of the game play. Consider yourself warned.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun! Fun! Fun!, November 30, 2006
By 
This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
I'm a wife of a guy who LOVES games. I'm more into console and PC games, but rarely touch board/table top games. My husband on the other hand loves both equally.

We decided to try to spend more quality time together, trying out different things we each like to do and decided to compromise. I would play table-games more often if we could play them some of the time at a coffee shop (he HATES coffee! hehe)

He got this game, and I was addicted immediately! It was easy to learn, quick to play (20-40 mins a game), fun and exciting, and we were equally matched to win! (I've beaten him quite a few times, thank you very much!)

I've even taken this game out to meet some girlfriends and gotten them hooked on it, too. One friend even requests I bring it with me just in case we get a chance to play! Hurrah!! (The box is small enough to fit in my purse, too! haha)

Me and my husband also really enjoy Carcassonne: the Castle, if you care for another game suggestion. It also meets the requirements of easy to learn, fun to play, and we're both evenly matched to win.

Enjoy!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite 2-person card game!, July 6, 2003
By A Customer
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lost Cities (Toy)
Rio Grande Games publishes some of the best games bar none, and Lost Cities is one of their best. The game is designed by Reiner Knizia -- a great German game designer who also designed the great Lord of the Rings game.
In Lost Cities, the two players are competing in the realm of archeology (although the theme of the game is really quite thin). Players take turns playing cards and drawing replacements. The basic idea is that once you start an expedition, you can only play a higher card of that suit. There are five suits altogether. You must be very careful not to start TOO many expeditions, however. The game is easy to learn and great fun for two players. Highly recommended...
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Lost Cities
Lost Cities by Rio Grande Games
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