Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lost Adventures playtest report

I received the files for Jeff Warrender and Steve Sisk’s Indiana Jones themed Lost Adventures last week, and I’d been excited to play it. So Friday evening and Saturday morning I printed, cut, and cobbled together all the pieces so that Sunday morning we could play. Tyler and Aric came over yesterday and we worked our way through a 3 player game.

In Lost Adventures, players play adventurers a la Indiana Jones, visiting Theme cards (such as Sallah, Henry Jones Sr, and the Grail Diary) to gather information on 3 hidden Relics, the Lost Temple and how to navigate it, and the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, a relentless enemy is searching for the Temple as well (“Nazis… I hate these guys.”)! The more information the players get, the more Enemies are added to the board and the faster they approach the Temple. Once the Temple is found (either by a player or by the Enemy), the game moves to the Temple phase where players navigate the Lost Temple in search of the Grail Room (to find the Holy Grail), and then a font to test the Grail in. Again, the Enemy is also searching for the grail, and the game ends as soon as either a player tests the True Grail in a font, or the enemy finds the Grail. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins. Points are earned by finding and delivering the Relics, finding the Temple and the Grail Room, testing the True Grail in a font, and beating up the most Nazis.

I have been excited about this game ever since it was described to me on the BGDF a few years ago. The way the game handles hidden information is very clever. The game "knows" the location of the hidden items and some other information, and by visiting the Theme cards and then looking up clues you learn that information. The more Theme cards you visit before looking up a clue, the better the information you receive. There is a time pressure from the Enemy's relentless search for the Temple and then the Grail, and as the players gain information, the Enemy (game clock) accelerates toward its goal. Every part of the game is highly thematic, as it feels just like the Indiana Jones movies.

I've got a long list of playtest comments (I played again tonight with Ben and John) which I'll be sharing with Jeff and Steve. I hope they continue to tune this game as I'd love to see it someday published!

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