Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Keltis / Lost Cities boardgame

5 Feb 2009. Carcasean boardgame cafe. While waiting for Han to arrive, Chong Sean and I played Keltis. This is the boardgame version of Reiner Knizia's Lost Cities, but rethemed. Keltis is the version released in Germany. In most other countries the game is released as Lost Cities: the boardgame. Keltis is Reiner Knizia's first game to win the prestigious Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year in Germany) award, after having had so many nominations in the past. I have read the rules to the game, and I did not have much expectations, because it seemed to be quite similar to the card game it is based on. I just wanted to try it.

To my surprise, I quite liked it. There are some additional quirks which make it different from the card game, and these additions make the game interesting for me. It is not a very deep or complex game. It is light, but there are enough interesting decisions. There is a race element to pick up the wishing stones. You also need to watch out for both the game ending conditions and time your game play accordingly. I suspect having the game end when 5 pawns the game-end area is what will usually happen. I find it hard to imagine running out of cards. We tended to not discard many cards. Well, maybe it was because we played one rule wrong. For 2-player games we were supposed to have removed 30 cards randomly before we started.

This is a game that I now have a dilemma of whether to buy or not. It's light and fun and I do enjoy it, but I'm not sure whether I will be playing it a lot. It may be one of those games that I do like playing, but there are other games that I will tend to play more. Thankfully Chong Sean doesn't stock it yet, so I couldn't buy it. That allowed me to put off buying the game, at least for now. I read about the upcoming expansions to the game, and they sound interesting to me.

I prefer the Keltis version of the game and not the Lost Cities the boardgame version. At first when I saw photos of Keltis I thought I'd prefer the Lost Cities themed version, but later when I saw the photos of Lost Cities the boardgame, I didn't like the graphics. I find it rather busy and not as user-friendly.

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