Quick 2 Player Games: Lost Cities Card Game Overview

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Learn how to play Lost Cities, a two player card game by Thames & Kosmos.

Through our gameplay, we show you how the game is played and offer strategy tips along the way as well.

If you are looking for fun two player games, we absolutely recommend this one. It's great for couples as well as one-on-one time with your kid.

It's also a great gateway game option for playing with a non-gamer.

How to Play Lost Cities Card Game

One round of this game can be played in about 10-15 minutes. You can choose how many rounds you want to play, but the average is three rounds.

The person with the highest total score at the end wins the game.

In Lost Cities the card game, you are playing as an adventurer running profitable archaeological expeditions.

There are 5 different locations and a set of cards for each of those 5 locations.

Each expedition site has 3 handshake cards (which represent investors) and numbered cards 2 through 10.

This is a set collection and hand management game, which means you will need to balance risks, which cards you play and which you try to keep away from your opponent.

You start out with 8 cards each and alternate taking turns until the deck runs out of cards.

On each turn you will take a card from your hand and either play it on an expedition or discard it on the board.

Then you will either draw a card from the facedown deck or pick up the top card from one of the expedition sites on the board.

All cards must be played in ascending order. So once you lay down the Green 5, you cannot play the Green handshakes or 2-4. You can play any green number higher than 5.

Using the handshake investment cards multiples your points for that expedition. This is a great reward if you collect enough of the cards for that site, but it is also a risk if you do not.

Your expeditions start with a value of -20. There is no penalty if you do not play cards to a site.

However, in order to have profitable expeditions, the cards collected must have a total sum of at least 20.

Understanding how the scoring works is important for knowing your strategy throughout the game, but we love the FREE scoring app called Assistant Lost Cities.

It makes it easier to score quickly and keeps track of the rounds.

You may also enjoy these games:

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7 Board Games for Couples

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We are a family of gamers. Mom (Darcy/Syrana) and Dad (Brian/Sideshow) have been gaming for as long as they can remember back when you only had a joystick to use and saved your games to cassette tapes.

They've been gaming together since they met in 2002. Sometime after 2006, they both started playing World of Warcraft and did that for many years. They started this blog, originally called Sideshow & Syrana which has now transitioned to the new Stay-At-Home Gamers site, while keeping all of the original content.

Starting in 2010, two more gamers came along (now known as Princess Boo and Mr. X) and they are now old enough where they both enjoy playing games and watching others play games. They are both excited to have others to watch them play their favorite games. Come along with us and let's enjoy these games together!