Stuart Dunn
United States
Alabama
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El Dorado is the famed city of gold. For centuries, people have been searching for this city, hoping to strike it rich! Peer Sylvester took this idea, combined it with some history, and made the game The Lost Expedition. The Lost Expedition is a game for 1 to 5 players, age 14+. It takes between 30-50 minutes to play and retails for $30.

Setup
1. Take one Explorer card of each Expertise, putting them on the table to form your Team Area. There will always be exactly three Explorers in your team.
2. Place three Ammunition tokens and four Food tokens and place them in your Team Area.
3. Shuffle the Adventure cards, and deal four to every player. Place the remaining deck face-down. (Note: If playing with only two players, deal both players six.)
4. Decide the difficulty you want to play at - easy, normal, or hard. Use a certain number of Expedition cards and Health tokens on each Explorer depending on your difficulty level.
5. Place the Expedition cards in a row in the center of the table, ending with the Lost City card, placing a pawn on the first Expedition card.
6. Place the Morning/Evening token on Morning side and put the remaining tokens to the side to form the General Supply.
7. Choose a starting player and give them the Expedition Leader token.

Game Play - The aim of the game in to reach the Lost City card before all the Explorers die or you run out of time. There are two phases to each round:
1. Morning - Each player (starting with the leader and going clockwise) plays one card at a time face up into the middle of the table until each player has played two cards (three cards in a 2 player game). Once this is done, arrange the cards in numerical order and resolve each card one-by-one. Once the card is resolved, you either gain it for its Expertise or discard it. Once all cards are resolved, flip the Morning/Evening token from Morning to Evening and the team loses one additional Food token.
2. Evening - Evening is similar to Morning, except that the cards are not rearranged in numerical order. Once you go from Evening to Morning, you lose one additional Food token.

At the end of the round, pass the Leader token clockwise. Each player then draws back up to their hand size of four (six in a 2 player game). If the Adventure deck runs out, players lose one Food token. Shuffle the discard pile to form a new deck. If the deck runs out a second time, the game ends in a loss. Other ways to end the game include at least one Explorer making it to the Lost City and all three Explorers dying.

Review
Overall, I have mixed feelings about this game. For starters, I would like to talk about the components. The artwork on the cards is beautiful and makes it feel like a graphic adventure. The cards of also very high quality and large, to display all the beautiful art. The game box is in book format, which I could take or leave, but it seems fitting for Osprey since they are known for their historical books. As for the tokens, they are cardboard and a bit too tiny for my liking. They seem to be good quality cardboard though, so overall I would give the components a very good rating.

I have only played this game solo and with two players, so this is all I can comment on. The game play was very fun, and it felt like you were trying to solve a new puzzle each play through. There were plenty of difficult decisions to make with each game, and it was a struggle trying to balance food, health, and ammunition, mixed with difficult decisions of who was going to ultimately die for the greater good of the success of the party. Whereas this game was fun with one and two players, I can't imagine playing this with more players. It seems like instead of a civil discussion of the best course of action, it would instead turn into chaos trying to make a decision.

What I love best about this game is the historical nature of it. Peer Sylvester explains on the first page of the rulebook that this game was based on Percy Fawcett's final attempt to find the lost city of El Dorado. He took his son and son's friend with him (which is why you have a part of three in this game) and they were never seen again. I would have personally loved it if they used those three characters as the characters in the game, instead of people like Teddy Roosevelt, but there might have been legal issues with doing so, or it could have been too raw to have children dying in a game. At least all the characters are historical in nature, and you have the option to research them outside of the game and learn more about them.

In summary, the game is a fun little puzzle that I find best with one or two players. In ways, it reminds me a bit of The Grizzled, as it is a cooperative game where you can't share information about the cards in your hand. The biggest difference between the two (apart from theme) would be that you have the capability to play this one competitively as well. If you are looking for a survival game with adventure, perils, and strategy, check out The Lost Expedition!

This game was provided to me for free by Osprey Games in exchange for an honest review.
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R. L. Lloyd
United States
Rock Hill
South Carolina
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...as in my brain fails me at times.
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Thanks, this was a good review although I am curious as to why you say it plays best as a solo game or with only two players when you didn't try the game with any more than two. A three-player game, for example, plays out the same number of cards.
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Stuart Dunn
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Alabama
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Fair question. It wasn't really the number of cards it was the opinions. I noticed with two people there was some back and forth on what to do. I can only see it getting worse with more people.
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Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson
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Borås
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I've just played it once and with 4 players. I can agree that this must be best with 1-2 players, as the game is "exactly" the same with few or many players. The only difference is that you play out 2 cards each to form the "path". This will make a longer path, but we won already in the 2nd round. No special abilities as in most other coop.
It's just a nice little puzzle for 1-2 persons...
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