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Lost Adventures

Tho' it doesn't explicitly refer to Indiana Jones, Lost Adventures from Belltower Games comes about as close to the Indiana Jones movies as you can without actually impinging on the IP. In this game, the 2-4 players are adventuring archaeologists competing to find a lost temple and nab the precious chalice within...

Designers Jeff Warrender and Steve Sisk have put together a game of two halves. The set up uses cards to randomise the location of the temple, the exit, the perils within and how to distinguish the real chalice from the fakes. In the first ('Map Phase') part of the game, players each have five turns to travel to city locations to collect cards that should qualify them to peek at the cards that give them information to help them in the next 'Temple Phase'. In both phases, an enemy agent will be in pursuit and you suffer a penalty when the agent catches up with you.

If you don't manage to access all possible information in the Map Phase - and you won't - it'll handicap your progress in the Temple Phase but won't put you out of the game. For example, if you don't get to peek at both location cards you won't know where to find the temple. This doesn't eliminate you from the Temple Phase but it does mean you start further back on the Temple Place track.

Rather than damage, you take 'hubris' to pay for any shortfall when tackling perils but you'll have to purge all hubris to avoid being eliminated at the end of the game. You purge hubris by drawing up to four cards and counting the fedora hat symbols, so when you take hubris you're taking a push-your-luck risk that could ultimately lose you the game regardless of how well you've otherwise done in finding the chalice. This adds creative uncertainty to the end game, as no-one can be quite sure who the winner will be until everyone has tried to purge their hubris.

Lost Adventures is a game with a strong story arc, driven by both its two distinct phases and the way in which it builds tension. The possibility that you could lose the game through hubris means you are forced to make meaty choices over how best to respond when, for example, the enemy agent pawn catches up with you in the Map Phase. Do you give up one of the clues you've collected that turn or do you elect to sacrifice one of your character cards? There are hand management choices over which of the 10 character cards to play from your hand to your tableau...

Shown here on Board's Eye View is a preview prototype of Lost Adventures before the game launches on Kickstarter on 19 June. We'll add a link to the campaign when it goes live.

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