Lost Cities is based on a board game of the same name by a leading name in the board game industry, one Reiner Knizia. I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of him either but after a little research I found that unbeknownst to me I had played one of his games before, a board game based on The Lord of the Rings.
I’d enjoyed that game many times and another good thing going for this iPhone app was the fact that it’s made by TheCodingMonkeys that made one of my favorite iOS games, Carcassonne. With that said, Lost Cities has a lot to live up to for me.
Lost Cities is part board game, part card game where you play either against a computer or GameCenter opponent to score as many points as you can by discarding your cards along 5 color coded lanes.
You start with 8 cards of various colors and you can place any of them down on a corresponding colored lane and then it’s your opponents turn to do the same on their side of the table. On your next turn you can either add to your existing card or start a new lane.
You earn points for every card you play based on it’s face value but before you start any lane you can play a coin card which will double the value of any cards that you play after it. The dilemma though is that starting each lane reduces your score by 20 points and playing a coin card on it will double that 20 point deduction to 40 points. You can do this up to 3 times on any lane and so the decision to be made is do you have the cards to make up for the negative points.
Make sense? It’s ok if it doesn’t as there is an in game tutorial where one of the AI opponents will talk you through the rules and gameplay. But once you get the basics whether you are playing against the AI, a friend or a random GameCenter opponent the challenge keeps on coming and it’s easy to play multiple games at once as you are notified both in game and via the iPhone Notification Center whenever it’s your next turn.
I was initially concerned due to the fact that my color blindness caused problems when attempting to differentiate between the five sets of cards, however the latest update took care of this and now High Contrast Mode can be enabled from the settings menu to make the cards more distinctive for people like me.
The controls are straightforward and intuitive and there are plenty of stats to keep track of your progress, from leveling up my completing certain achievements to the Game Center integration that includes Leaderboards and a little under 100 achievements.
If you are a card game fan then Lost Cities is a must have title for you iPhone, and if you love quality games too then that’s another reason to grab it. At $3.99 it’s not the cheapest card in the App Store but quality sometimes cost money and in the case of Lost Cities it’s worth every penny.
What we like
- Fast switching between games
- Challenging card game
- Almost 100 achievements
What to know
- Not everyone loves card games