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Lost Cities: The Board Game
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Store:  Strategy Games
Series:  Lost Cities
Theme:  Archaeology / Paleontology
Genre:  Set Collection
Format:  Board Games

Lost Cities: The Board Game

English language edition of Keltis

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-60 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Publisher(s): Rio Grande Games, Kosmos

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Product Description

Each player leads a five-member group of four adventurers and a researcher on the search for lost cities. To reach each city, the players must travel a separate path nine steps long. On a player's turn, he plays a card and moves one of his adventurers or his researcher. The color of the card played determines which path the figure moves on. The player should try to play a card of low value, because when the player wants to move this adventurer again, he must play a card of equal or higher value. Each player must send his adventurers on different paths -- no two from the same player on the same path. A player may send all his adventurers to search, but need not.

The goal is it to get one's adventurers as far as possible along the paths they travel since the first steps of a path score minus points. Only the later steps on a path score positive points. At the end of the game, the winner is the player who earned the most points. Artifacts, which adventurers can collect along the way, also earn the players points toward a possible victory. Also, the researcher (the larger figure) is more valuable than the adventurers: during the scoring at the end, the player doubles its points, making it imperative to move it as far along its path as possible.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Nominee, 2010
Deutscher Spiele Preis
8th place, 2008
Spiel des Jahres
Game of the Year, 2008

Product Information


  • 1 game board
  • 110 cards
  • 25 event tiles
  • 20 wood figures
  • 64 victory point chips
  • 27 artefact chips
  • rules

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.2 in 2 reviews

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Lost Cities is one of our favorite board games
December 07, 2015

All members of our family enjoy this game and that's saying something. Usually there's one, at least, who doesn't enjoy something about a game but we all keep coming back to this one again and again.

Here's a review I posted on my game blog:

Five different destinations are beautifully illustrated on the game board, some of them modeled after real ancient ruins. The goal of all players is to mount an expedition to one or all of these lost cities, but the first few steps of your journey will be in the red. (Expeditions are expensive, don't you know?) You advance along the track to your destination by playing cards in the appropriate color, and each card has to be higher than the last. Along the way, you can gain bonuses and highly sought-after artifacts.

It's a simple concept and easy to learn, but managing the expeditions is challenge enough to bring you back often. Also adding to replayability is the changeable game board--the artifacts, bonuses and ladders are randomly moved to different places every time you play. Interaction is on the low side because there's not much you can do to affect the play of other adventurers except get to the artifacts first, which makes for a non-confrontational-- just plain fun--game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Early Review, Plan to Play Again, Quick Game, Too Much Luck
September 24, 2009

Okay, let me state this is an early review and the game was played only once, but since there are no reviews I thought I'd post one. I may add more detail or change the review in upcoming plays. The game board is well made, colorful and overall a nice looking game. You are an explorer searching for artifacts, points, and the final destination, You have five explorers (one is the researcher who get double), there are five paths and you can only have one explorer per path. Be careful, since an explorer who does not make it far loses points and the game moves fast especially when three explorers cross the bridge. Since you can only move one explorer at a time unless you have a slide move, movement becomes crucial and artifacts go to the first person there.

Overall I did not mind this aspect, but there is pretty much no way to prevent or block other players, so in some ways you are almost playing independently of each other except for the limited amount of artifact gathering.

My biggest problem with the game is that you use colored number cards to move. Five colors with numbers from 0 to 10. If you don't have the correct color your are screwed, if you don't have the right number, you are screwed, since cards are drawn eight at random, and replenished at random, the luck factor is too strong. My friends rarely discard good cards, so you are stuck playing your hand. You must play colors accordingly with numbers ranging from low to high so that your explorer may move. Once a card is played, no going back, no salvation, so you can literally be stuck moving an explorer which really makes the game bog down and boring.

Well, this is an early review, but overall I can't recommend the game for older players or serious strategy moguls. Still a quick play and cute for simply play or younger gamers. Thank you, JDM

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