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Subject: Unique adventure with a variety of game modes to keep you engaged rss

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Rian Van Der Merwe
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If you’ve spent any time on a board game forum over the past month, you’ll know about The Lost Expedition. It’s the hottest of hotness in our little universe right now. So when I saw one copy left at my LFGS I kind of didn’t have a choice. I had to get it. A friend and I happened to be meeting up for a quick lunchtime game, so we tore into it and played it immediately (we lost). I’ve since played it about a dozen times solo (I’ve lost every time), and I have to say, I like this game a lot.

Before I even get to my thoughts on the game, it’s worth noting a detail that makes this a really versatile gaming experience. It has three modes:
* Single player
* Co-operative (2–5 players)
* Head-to-head (2 players)

The fact that the game can be played in a variety of ways makes it just so much more appealing. But let’s get to the details.



The easiest way to describe The Lost Expedition is by referencing other games. Take the theme (and difficulty level) of Friday (explorers on an island/in a jungle), the game mechanic of Elder Sign (perform various tasks/skill tests each round), and the harshness of The Grizzled (things can be going quite ok one moment and the next moment you’re dead), smoosh it all together, and you get The Lost Expedition.

The game takes your explorers on a path to El Dorado, and to get there you have to journey through a ludicrously dangerous jungle. Along the way the explorers fulfill tasks related to their expertise. They scavenge for food, they get bitten by snakes (and leeches, and many other things), and generally have to deal with a bunch of very unpleasant happenings.



Each round of the game has two stages: Morning and Evening. Cards are drawn and placed in a row to indicate the tasks you have to perform to get make progress. The trick is to try to order the cards in such a way that you have enough health and supplied left by the end of the round to make it through another day.

The thing that makes The Lost Expedition a unique co-op experience is that it’s not completely abstract. In most co-op games all information is always available to all players. But in The Lost Expedition you don’t know what cards are in the other players’ hands, and they’re not allowed to tell you. So you’re left to try to figure out how to make the best decision as a team, without everyone knowing exactly what cards are going to come up. This makes for an interesting dynamic as you try to hold certain cards back until you’re able to know more about what’s happening in that particular round.



I want to talk about the cards for a moment. Two things stand out: they’re giant (well, much larger than normal-sized cards), and the artwork is fantastic. In fact, the entire packaging is beautiful, and integrated with the exploration theme in a way that makes it all just fit so well together.

I have one gripe with The Lost Expedition, and that is the actual path you travel on to get to the lost city. It’s just a row of cards that you move your character forward on. As far as I can tell the order of the cards make no difference to the game, and it’s exactly the same every time. An Onitama-style rollup mat would have been perfect for a game like this. Maybe future expansions will take advantage of the path cards? Who knows. For now, it’s the only weak part of the game.



I know the hype is big on this one, but it really is a fantastic game. It’s difficult, but it feels like your choices make a difference. It’s a game you can get better at the more you play it.

I often feel like luck has too much of a role to play in co-op games. The Lost Expedition seems to require a level of skill that I don’t have yet, but will be able to acquire with enough play.

It’s also different enough from similar story-based and co-op adventures to keep it interesting for quite a while. I will certainly play keep playing it, at least until I beat it. And then I’ll probably switch to head-to-head mode, which looks really fun as well.

***

For more reviews like this, check out https://boardgamerealm.com!
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Adam L
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Thanks for this helpful review. I've only played solo so far (0 / 5).

I'm not sure I would compare it to Elder Sign, as there are no dice (dice are huge in ES). But agree about Friday n Grizzled.

My only gripe with the cards is that they shuffle and handle poorly unless sleeved, but sleeved they are a huge deck to try to shuffle! Needed to be poker size, or linen finish at least.

Game seems very hard solo. But fun. And love the art.
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Jonan Jello
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♫ As the masters rot on walls ♫ And the angels eat their grapes ♫ I watched Picasso Visit The Planet Of The Apes ♫
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I need to put The Grizzled back on my radar especially considering the expansion allows for solo play.

Quote:
I have one gripe with The Lost Expedition, and that is the actual path you travel on to get to the lost city. It’s just a row of cards that you move your character forward on. As far as I can tell the order of the cards make no difference to the game, and it’s exactly the same every time.
I've only read up to the solo rules, so I may be missing some scoring or head-to-head feature, but is there even a purpose for the expedition cards to be numbered on the back?

Nice review, Rian Van Der Merwe.
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Rian Van Der Merwe
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madad07 wrote:
I'm not sure I would compare it to Elder Sign, as there are no dice (dice are huge in ES).


Yeah, the part that reminds me of Elder Sign is that you "complete" each card by performing the tasks on them in a certain order.
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Rian Van Der Merwe
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Hex_Enduction_Hour wrote:

Quote:
I have one gripe with The Lost Expedition, and that is the actual path you travel on to get to the lost city. It’s just a row of cards that you move your character forward on. As far as I can tell the order of the cards make no difference to the game, and it’s exactly the same every time.
I've only read up to the solo rules, so I may be missing some scoring or head-to-head feature, but is there even a purpose for the expedition cards to be numbered on the back?


The cards do connect to each other when you line them up to form a sort-of actual path, so that's probably why they're numbered
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Dan Conley
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Just scored a copy of this. Can't wait to die...erm, play.
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Tim Tix
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rianvdm wrote:
Hex_Enduction_Hour wrote:
(...) but is there even a purpose for the expedition cards to be numbered on the back?


The cards do connect to each other when you line them up to form a sort-of actual path, so that's probably why they're numbered


Yes, the form a continuous picture. And I think they'll also form one for each of the recommended numbers of cards (difficulty levels). That's why the Lost City is on card 6 and not 9 (I think).
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Curt Frantz
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What size card sleeves would be required for this?
 
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Jeremy ZJ
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tribefan07 wrote:
What size card sleeves would be required for this?


Dixit / Mysterium 80x120mm size
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Rian Van Der Merwe
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tribefan07 wrote:
What size card sleeves would be required for this?


This might be a controversial opinion, but I wouldn't sleeve these cards. They have a really nice feel to them!
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Doug Adams
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rianvdm wrote:
tribefan07 wrote:
What size card sleeves would be required for this?


This might be a controversial opinion, but I wouldn't sleeve these cards. They have a really nice feel to them!


I agree! They are large and thick, but I found them okay to table riffle shuffle. They feel a bit tacky when dealing though.
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Jen-Yi Wuu
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Quote:
An Onitama-style rollup mat would have been perfect for a game like this.


A cloth map would fit the theme so well!
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Ben Shero

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Definitely a cloth map! Dread Pirate has one and it fits the theme so well!
 
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Paulo Segundo
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rubberbands wrote:
tribefan07 wrote:
What size card sleeves would be required for this?


Dixit / Mysterium 80x120mm size


I read other reviews saying it was tarot size. Which is correct?
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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paulsecond wrote:
rubberbands wrote:
tribefan07 wrote:
What size card sleeves would be required for this?


Dixit / Mysterium 80x120mm size


I read other reviews saying it was tarot size. Which is correct?


Dixit sized 80 x 120 mm is correct.
 
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