When you’re trying to decide between different things, it helps to get recommendations from people already familiar with it. For over a decade, we’ve been sharing details about how various products fit into our family. We’ve been told many times how much it has helped people decide whether or not to purchase something. When it comes to our game overviews, we’re kind of all over the place with the types that we play. There have been some that we loved that other people hated and many that we are hits with other people while being total misses with us. In addition to providing feedback here, I am happy to be a part of a couple awards committees (such as the American Tabletop Awards) offering other opportunities to get the word out about awesome games. But by far the most influential awards program for this industry is the Spiel des Jahres. Walking away with a win from that committee is one of the biggest honors a game designer can receive. A nomination by itself is pretty spectacular. As I was trying to decide on a game recently, the 2021 announcements rolled out and Lost Ruins of Arnak from Czech Games Edition received a nomination for Kennerspiel des Jahres. That kind of made my decision on what to play a lot easier.
Normally at this point in my article, I would provide some details on the setup of a game. Yeah, that isn’t happening here because the article would be really long. Eliminating that from our article isn’t a reflection of the difficulty in setting it up. It’s very detailed, but the instructions leave little room for confusion. There is the main board, populated with a couple various card types, tiles and resources. Each player has their own board and starting deck as well as starting resources.
The goal of Lost Ruins of Arnak is discover the secrets of lost civilization. You’ll equip yourself with useful items in order to explore the jungles of an uncharted island and unearth artifacts at archaeological sites. But be prepared for the unexpected as there are guardians protecting those sites! Points are earned for accomplishments and in the end, that will determine who led the most successful expedition.
Over the course of five rounds, you’ll take turns choosing actions that lead you across the island. You’ll begin your turn by drawing up to a hand of five cards. Then you’ll take turns taking one main action and an unlimited number of free actions. As an alternative, you may pass your turn thus signaling that you are done for the round. After all players have passed, you’ll set up both your deck and the board for the next round.
Each card reflects both a travel value and and effect. While you may want to have your cake and eat it too, you cannot. You must choose how you will utilize the card by selecting only one of the two options. There have been a number of games that implement this game mechanic. It may be frustrating for some players, but it really allows you to pivot your plan when another player claims a spot or completes a task you were planning. As a main action, you may dig at a site, discover a new site, overcome a guardian, buy a card, play a card or research.
In order to visit or discover a new site, you’ll need to pay the travel cost. These spaces provide resources such as coins, compasses, tablets, arrowheads and jewels. Resources are required in order to overcome guardians or purchase items and artifacts. Those cards are used to improve your deck, making it more powerful in future turns.
In addition to those other options, you may opt to do research. The research track is a way to earn bonus tiles and take advantage of various effects. Once you reach the top of the research track, it means you’ll have discovered the lost temple and will be able to begin exploring it! Pay the noted resources in order to claim temple tiles of various point values.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to progress through the Lost Ruins of Arnak and various ways to earn points. You can play this game with 2-4 players using the main ruleset, or employ the solo variant to go it alone. If you’re ready to take on this expedition, check with your local game store or grab a copy on Amazon. Continue your exploration over to Czech Games Edition website we’re you’ll find information about new releases can even download a couple of solo campaigns that were recently released! Catch all their latest adventures by following along with them on Facebook and Twitter!
Have you ever visited any ruins or been to a real temple?