Hidden Gems - Lost Explorers by Cédrick Chaboussit

Hey all!  This week’s Hidden Gem is an exploration adventure in a box in Lost Explorers!  What mysteries await? Let's find out!

Lost Explorers recreates the style of exploration audiences are familiar with from the adventures of Indiana Jones and Carmen Sandiago.  But not the tomb raiding, boulder rolling parts so much as the red line tracing its way across a map, following our adventurers around the globe. Lost Explorers is an abstract exploration game, and the style and iconography reflect this.  If you’re expecting a full featured adventure game in the style of The Lost Ruins of Arnak, then this may not be the game for you.  If you enjoy light puzzles and unlocking rewards, then Lost Explorers is the X on the map you’ve been searching for.

The first thing you’ll notice when you open Lost Explorers is the hinged magnetic-lid design with the game board printed on the inside, while the box itself serves as an easy access storage tray and points tracker.  This approach to a combined play area and storage solution is innovative, though not necessarily without issues of its own. The tokens do tend to slip down as the number of them reduces throughout the game, however this is a minor niggle in an otherwise slick design. The imagery is reminiscent of a cartographer’s hand drawn style, which perfectly encapsulates the feel this game is going for as, much like the maps of old, Lost Explorers is an interpretation of exploration. 

Players take turns exploring locations on a map using tokens drawn from the two channels in the game box.  These tokens can be used as either a transport token on one side, or a mission on the other.  As players place their workers and travel the world they will eventually complete missions and draw new tokens to use for further exploration and gain more points.  As players advance up the points tracker, they will gradually collect clue tiles.  When a player has collected all four clue tokens they combine them and add up the value, then using the QR codes printed on the back of the rule book, they scan the corresponding code to reveal a surprise.  

The component quality is solid, the tokens and point tracker board are made from very thick sturdy card stock and the wooden meeples and score trackers are cute and thematic, being shaped like little explorers. The game supports 2-4 players and takes only about 30-40 minutes to play, so while it may not be the focus of a game evening, it could provide a fun distraction between games or for some small box family fun!

Thanks for joining me for another Hidden Gem!  If you have any suggestions for games we could feature here, by all means, let me know at brian@gamekings.co.nz or leave a comment below.  Until next time, have fun and take care.

Hidden gems