Hertzog van Heerden
Lost in Cardboard
My friend and I recently acquired Lexio on a trip to Korea, and couldn't wait to try it out. Even though we went through the rules with the help of his girlfriend (thanks So Young!), it is advisable to download the English rules here on BGG.
We decided to get the black version, which seems to be the more popular.
The tiles are fantastic~ these components are worth the price of the game alone. In fact, it was worth lugging them back to Africa in hand luggage ;-) The plastic scoring chips, on the other hand, are really cheap. Also, the player aids are useful to a point with logical diagrams, but is written exclusively in Korean.
Luckily the rules are quite straight-forward.
Lexio emulates older Chinese card games where the object is to 'play out' and get rid of all your tiles. It resembles Zhen Shangyou or the 5-10-K series of games discussed on pagat.com
The first player to play out receives payment from the other players based on how many tiles they have left. If anyone is left stuck with a '2', which is the highest rank in this game, his penalty is doubled for each one remaining.
After 5 rounds, scores are added and determine the winner. The game also abruptly ends if someone goes bankrupt. This is rare, as every player starts with 149 points in the bank.
After playing this game roughly 3 times, an appreciation for its subtler strategies are already emerging. For a game this simple, it certainly has some agonizing decision-making.
We certainly will aim to replace the plastic chips with more substantial scoring aids, but the beautiful tiles, with their satisfying clacks, and the surprisingly strategic gameplay will keep us interested for many years to come.
Initial rating : 7/10
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar
Also, the player aids are useful to a point with logical diagrams, but is written exclusively in Korean.
However, if you can read Korean characters you will be amused to discover that the "Korean" words on the player aids are actually pronounced like the English words for each set of tiles (for example: Straight, Flush, Full House, etc.).