As a big fan of the super-simple, devious-deduction game, Love Letter (review here), I had high hopes for its most recent successor, Lost Legacy (not to be confused with the indie CCG of the same name). All the way from Japan, to one of my boardgaming-buddy's game room - I finally got to try my luck at Lost Legacy.
|Image credit: TricTrac|
Just like in Love Letter, each player (up to four players are supported with the base game) is dealt a card. On their turn, players take a card and then play one of the two they now have in their hand. The job for the each player is to either eliminate other players or (and here's our first major difference from Love Letter) to deduce where the lost legacy card resides once the draw pile is exhausted - by then it's either in a players hand or in a pile known as the ruins (which starts with one face-down card when we set up each game). It's all very straightforward in essence.
The Deeper Stuff
The main complexity in Lost Legacy comes from player interaction. If you have figured out where the lost legacy card is, you need to be able to bluff other players into sending guesses in the wrong directions - and of course, you need to be able to read other players' bluffs!
There's a decent variety of unique card effects from the 16-card deck. These effects range from guessing other players' cards and thus forcing elimination, to checking out the card in the ruins, adding new cards to the ruins, swapping hands with other players and so on. Most cards are straightforward enough, though some have unclear instructions. This may be fixed in the English edition of the game (I was playing the Japanese-English edition).
Thematically, I have no idea what was going on in Lost Legacy. It all looked like some weird Japanese fantasy stuff, but maybe I'm just being culturally ignorant.
|Image credit: TricTrac|
How it Plays Out
Gameplay is generally quite quick with most players throwing caution to the wind, unless they have a powerful card or the lost legacy card itself. This can mean that luck plays an important factor - you may just continually draw weak cards, or a powerful card with no real informed way to use it.
In game, there are some interesting decisions to be made - most notably if you should use a powerful card to try and eliminate another player, or hold on to it for the end-game. Once the draw pile is empty, players can guess where the lost legacy card is in order of their card number - and the first to guess wins - so you want a low-numbered card (typically these are powerful ones) for this stage of the game.
Lost Legacy is a card game only - no tokens or dice. The cards are of an adequate quality. The artwork on the cards varies from colour painting to black and white woodcuts, but remains engaging and clear. I really liked the card design which is clear and straightforward. The cards are all kept in a nice tuck-box, which holds them all even when they have been sleeved (which you must do! There is a lot of shuffling and marked cards would give the game away).
No issues to mention. Colour is not used in Lost Legacy.
Lost Legacy is an enjoyable microgame, somewhat deeper than Love Letter, but still in the same vein of simplicity and deduction. It's very cool of the publisher to include the expansion with the base set of Lost Legacy, allowing for more variety and up to six players, but between the two games, I still think Love Letter wins out - it has more thematic charm, simplicity and allows for greater chances of bluffing and mind-games between players.