The nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh…was built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults.
— H. P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu” (1928)
In the card game Lost in R’lyeh, from Atlas Games, players are stuck in H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional lost city of R’lyeh. To escape, all you need to do is empty your hand, as well as playing your six “Escape” cards. Sound easy? Well, it’s not.
At the end of your turn, you replenish your hand until the draw pile is gone. If you can’t play, or choose not to, you pick up the entire stack of cards that have been played before you. This isn’t entirely a bad thing, however, as you can play cards of the same number as a set. Most cards have a number of effects, and the bigger the set you play, the more powerful the effect that you can access.
The group I played this with had several rules questions, and debates, because we jumped the gun. Read the FULL rulebook before you start trying to figure out the minutiae of what the rules actually say. This seems like common sense, but apparently it’s not, especially with eager gamers who have enough experience to want to dive right into a game with seemingly familiar mechanics, hoping to figure out specifics as they go. Read the book first. Seriously.
The art on these oversized cards is great. Kelly Hensing does a beautiful job evoking the strange, dark world that Lovecraft gave us almost 90 years ago. Once my group got playing, we had a ton of fun with this one. I look forward to playing again.
Originality: 3 / 5
Visual Appeal: 4 / 5
Ease of Play: 3.5 / 5
Strategic Challenge: 4 / 5
Total expressed as a percentage of the Ultimate Question: 34.5%