Lost Cities: An Adventure In Archaeology

If there’s one thing the movies don’t tell you, it’s that it isn’t cheap to be an archaeologist. Setting off on a grand expedition may sound like a fun-filled adventure, but you better come back with something of value! Lost Cities casts you as the adventurer who’s got to play their cards right if they want to make the most profit from their expedition. You’ll have a blast laying down the cards in this creative archaeology-themed card game that’ll have you pushing your luck.

Mounting Your Expedition

The goal of Lost Cities is to earn as many points as possible by mounting profitable archaeological expeditions. This card game takes the fun of adventuring and exploration and turns it into a strictly money-making business. After all, someone has to front the cost of your expedition and fund all of that gallivanting around!

In Lost Cities you’ll draw a card and play a card each turn, choosing from your hand to decide which expedition you want to play your card on. The cards come in different colors that rank from 2-10, with each expedition consisting only of cards from one color. You also have to lay the cards down in ascending order, which means that once you’ve played that blue 5, you can only play blue cards of rank 6 or higher for the rest of that expedition.

You’ll start out drawing from the deck, pulling cards at random to add to your hand and possibly use as part of your expedition. However, you don’t always have to play a card in one of your expeditions, as you have the option to discard one of your cards instead. You’ll have separate discard piles for each color, which gives you the option to draw a card from the top of one of those piles instead of from the deck if you so choose.

Adding Up Your Score

Lost Cities ends once all of the cards in the deck have been drawn. Once the last card is drawn, you discard the rest of the cards in your hand and begin to tally up the points of each expedition. Each expedition starts off with a value of negative 20, which means that you can end an expedition with negative points if you don’t have enough cards to offset it.

The thing that can either jettison you forward into the lead or cut you down is the powerful Handshake card, which represents an investment into your expedition. There are three Handshake cards in the deck, which can be played at the beginning of your expedition. These act as multipliers, with one Handshake doubling the value of your expedition, two Handshakes tripling it, and three Handshakes quadrupling it. 

But before you go getting all crazy with the Handshake cards, know that these will multiply the value of your expedition regardless if it’s negative or positive. That means if you stack up one of your expeditions with three Handshake cards but then end up with a value of -10, then you’re hammering yourself with a whopping -40 points. Be sure to plan smartly in order to make sure your expeditions don’t come back to bite you!

Lost Cities Sequels

Lost Cities has been a popular card game since 1999, but it has since been transformed into a board game as well. Lost Cities: The Board Game uses similar rules to the original Lost Cities, but also uses a board that sets you off down winding jungle paths to find the places with the highest point bonuses. Lost Cities: To Go puts this card game into a portable format that uses tiles instead of cards, allowing you to easily play a couple of rounds on a road trip or on the go.

Explore the Lost Cities

Lost Cities is a 2-person card game, so it’s definitely best for one-on-one competition. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, which means adults and kids can face off against each other. Playing time lasts around 30 minutes, but you’ll be hankering to play another round due to the addictive nature of the game. Buy Lost Cities today and enjoy the thrill of being an explorer from the comfort of your own home!


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