Lost Cities (iPhone/iPod touch) by The Coding Monkeys is another masterpiece from the mind of Reiner Knizia, a math filled strategic card game. One thing is for sure: the game translates seamlessly from table to tablet, another fantastic example of a difficult physical game made easy through the digital world.
For new players, a helpful tutorial will walk them through the first part of the game by either voice or text boxes. In short, Lost Cities is a card game where each players has five color-coded rows, representing exotic lands. The goal is to score points by placing cards in each row, ‘searching’ these lost lands, and building towards a positive score.
Without getting too far into the game mechanics, Lost Cities is a game of math and strategy, analyzing an opponent’s map to figure out their strategy and counter it. With four different AI opponents and asynchronous multiplayer, there are a plethora of different opponents to play against. And while the game is rather simple, the open design of the game allows for a lot of different strategies, with just a touch of luck thrown in there to make it addictive.
What’s really impressive is how the game was reimagined for the touch screen. The virtual rows are designed to look like little scroll-creating machines, advancing a colorful scroll with each move. Not only is a great visual representation of the game’s action, but the subtle animations and bright colors really set off the game’s package, making it feel much more engaging than a vanilla deck of cards and uninspired UI.
Lost Cities isn’t just a card game for hardcore strategy fans or those who like in-depth, lengthy games. This is a great purchase for any fan of card or board games, casual or otherwise.