Olaf Slomp
Netherlands
Moerkapelle
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Even though long extensive reviews seem te be the most popular reviews on BGG, I myself just don't have the time or the patience to read those.
I prefer quick overviews where I can get some insights into why this game may or may not be attractive to me.
My reviews are targeted at a similar audience, and just consist of my pros and cons coming from:
1) First impressions (before playing my first game)
2) Impressions after the first game
3) Current feelings (after at least 10 plays)

First impressions:
+ I like co-op games, and this sounded like an interesting new game in that genre
+ Besides the co-op rules, it also has seperate rules for solo and competitive play, which potentially gives it lots of opportunities to hit the table
+ I like the “Tintin-styled” artwork, mainly because I hadn’t seen it used in board/cardgames before
+ I like the theme, and think the rules fit well with the theme

Impressions after the first game:
+ The rules are straight forward and setup is quick; I tried the solo rules first and got my first game going in no time
+ That was quite challenging; of the nine cards on the path to the lost city of Z, I didn’t make it past the third card
- It didn’t feel as puzzely as expected, though

Current feelings (10 plays into it):
- My first eight plays were all co-op and solo. It took a couple of tries to get the hang of it, but after a couple of plays I got my first win (on Normal difficulty). A few more plays left me with the feeling that I had nothing left to learn; it’s pretty easy to figure out what your options are and how to make the best use of them, after that, all that is left is luck of the draw.
- Controlling three characters in solo mode is fine by me, and so is each person taking control of one character in a three player game. But controlling three characters with two players felt awkward. This is unfortunate, as most of my co-op plays are just me and my wife playing.
- After winning it a couple of times in my first eight plays, beating the game didn’t feel very rewarding anymore
+ I was about to give up on it, but then figured I should give the competitive mode one shot least, and was pleasantly surprised. In a competive game, it becomes a variant on an “I split, you choose” type of game, in which you and your oponent each take a different path after you build two paths together. You try to either make them equally hard or try to make one much easier, depending on who gets to choose which path each of you will be taking this turn. That’s a mechanism I hadn’t seen before, and I quite liked.
+ In this competitive game, there was much less luck of the draw involved. Sure, drawing a lot of bad cards or a lot of good cards can still make the difference in whether you make it to the city of Z, but making it to the city is not the objective anymore. The objective now is to make it further than your oponent, and that is decided by smart play - much more than lucky or unlucky draws.
- Thematically, the competitive mode doesn’t make a lot of sense, though... after the first round players have each taken a different path, and players can be on different places in the jungle, yet each subsequent turn they both choose from the two newly available paths again, as if they were both standing on the same intersection deciding who goes left and who goes right.

End conclusion (well, for now):
Solo and co-op were fun for a couple of plays, but the game has no staying power as such for me.
I do like the competitive variant, but my wife was luke warm to it.
Taking all this into account, chances of this game seeing many more plays in our house are slim, and I will probably end up trading it away.
I find it hard to rate, though, as there is a big difference to me based on the variant played, but I ended up rating it a 6, averaging a 7 for competitive play and a 5 for co-op and solo play.
One could argue against this... if it hadn’t had rules for co-op or solo, I would have rated it higher... but at least this way it gets judged on all that it claims to be.




If you'd like to read more of my reviews, check out Still fun after ten plays? - All reviews
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Thank you, great review! Love the shorter format as well.
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Jack Reilly
United States
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Before I comment further, what do you mean by controlling two characters? I too played this my wife and we played it as a team of explorers, not we each control a character.

On to the review, I think you nailed it well. I don't know that I'll drag this out every weekend, but I think it's good for a fun quick co-op romp through the jungle. I've only had one play of it so far, but I'm okay with luck of the draw, maybe why I like Talisman so much

Second, you may be interested in picking up the expansion releasing here in a couple weeks. It adds some new characters, a new path mechanic, and some more content cards that may give you more choice and strategy. And it's only $20 MSRP to boot!

https://ospreypublishing.com/the-lost-expedition-the-fountai...
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Olaf Slomp
Netherlands
Moerkapelle
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I didn’t. Ention controlling TWO characters.
You either control the team of three, or give every person 1 character if you are with three players.
I like controlling the team by myself, I’m ok with three players each having one character, but the committee aproach of together controlling the team (as you played with your wife) is not something I like.

Not anxious to drop more money for a game that I’m not a big fan of to begin with, so probably will pass on the expansion.
 
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Poland
Warsaw
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Good write up, I don't get the problem with 2 players / 3 characters, maybe because I never thought that I am one of the explorer, just that this is a team, or even a group of resources.
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Holger Doessing
Denmark
Odense
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Always nice to see some negative reviews - readers can then decide if anything sounds like a deal-breaker.

I too quickly realized that there wasn't much here to keep me interested. However, my 8 and 10 year old nephews love to play solo (with an adult supervisor on the side) and experience the story that unfolds in this game.
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Jack Reilly
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Olafslomp wrote:
I didn’t. Ention controlling TWO characters.
You either control the team of three, or give every person 1 character if you are with three players.
I like controlling the team by myself, I’m ok with three players each having one character, but the committee aproach of together controlling the team (as you played with your wife) is not something I like.

Not anxious to drop more money for a game that I’m not a big fan of to begin with, so probably will pass on the expansion.
That's fair, although too bad, as initial reviews seem positive for the expansion in that it ups the difficulty but also adds more choices in terms of strategy. I don't know that I agree with your overall score. I think taking this game at its face value for what it is it's fun, even if it's not extremely choice heavy or gets played a ton, but I'm satisfied with it for a $20 game.
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Betsy & Chuck Berry
United States
State College
Pennsylvania
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Thank you for your balanced review ... we don't mind being left on the fence. This will increase the chance we look for a chance to play somebody else's copy.
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Lukas Wernig
Austria
Villach
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Ha, just bought this game yesterday on the spot as i saw it on the shelf plus expansion because i remembered zee mention it from time to time. Now i am not so thrilled i got both in an instant. Well lets see how it plays out und what i will think about it 😂
Thats what you get when you dont do a more extensive research for once 🙈😂

Good review though, thanks
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