Today I wanted to do a belated review of a game I’ve had in my pocket for a while now, and had a lovely time almost every time we’ve played. I personally love cloth-felt-portable games, like Love Letter, Cypher, and after getting a bag to stuff it into, 100 Swords as well.
However, above them all is my personal favorite, Lost Legacy, and two of three modules I’ve played (I’ve never played The Flying Garden, so that one is being ignored for this review. Also, research for this post has upturned that there are four more modules I had never known existed, and have since been added to my wishlist.)
In a nutshell, players are trying to find the titular Lost Legacy. Depending on which module you’re playing with, this can range from a very passive to a very interactive card that players want to both obtain, but also avoid tipping other players of as to where it is.
Players proceed with the Love Letter style of drawing a card and playing a card each turn with one card in-hand, but at the end of the game, players have to guess, in order of card rank, where the Legacy is; success means instant victory. The game also contains player elimination, and the Legacy itself is rank 5, so it’s possible to bluff well and just hang on to the card until you can name yourself and secure a win.
Each of the modules is both a complete single game, suitable for 2-3 players per module, but can also be swapped in with cards from other modules, or just mash modules together to make a much longer and more interesting play experience. I’ll touch on why I love this aspect so much in a moment.
In a word, the game is fun. It feels like a game of Love Letter, but as the game progresses it feels more and more like the love child of Clue and Battleships as you try and suss out what cards are held by what players, and avoid getting yourself eliminated.
The investigation part can be a great come-from-behind aspect of the game, as it means apart from being eliminated earlier, no one player is a clear winner and everyone has a shot at victory. Cards played during the game can make the end-game guessing more difficult or easier, adding cards face-down as possible Legacies, but
The one module I definitely would leave out, though, is Whitegold Spire. The mechanics change from a guessing mechanic, to a scoring one. Admittedly, barring a very few special combinations to reinforce an Aladdin-style thematic narrative (I think?), whoever finds the Legacy almost assuredly wins, but it feels very tonally dissonant from the style and theme of the other modules. The Vorpal Sword matches much better with the original The Starship module, and from what I’ve read and heard, those two also mesh well with the Flying Garden module as well.
One other nice aspect is the player scaling with further packs; a module will play two players comfortably, and so just two or three modules can turn this small game into something a half-dozen people can play and enjoy without feeling strained. One thing to note is that with larger numbers of cards and fewer players, player elimination very heavily trends towards being the most common way the game ends, with the last player standing. However, it’s a fast enough gameplay that you can squeeze probably a dozen games into a single hour, and it’s perfect for lunch breaks or while setting up or preparing for a larger game or RPG session.
Overall, gameplay is dead simple. Each of the ranks follows a general theme, which is great as it allows for similar expectations with different modules without necessarily having to memorize cards.
In my experience, the ranks generally do the following:
- Offers some large penalty, typically elimination, to temper being the first card to guess
- Offers some way of trading cards with the deck or significantly affecting the board state
- Offers a way to ‘shortcut’ to a win condition, dependent on luck and/or strategy
- Offers some sort of player interaction, typically a powerful/safe one
- The legacy. Depending on the legacy in question, it could do a lot or very little
- Widespread game-state change, like adding cards to search through or manipulating all player hands
- Player interaction or searching cards
- Player interaction or searching cards
There’s also rank X, which doesn’t guess during the investigation, but offers powerful defensive or game-state manipulation abilities.
If you need a fun filler game, I heartily recommend this. It’s fast, easy to learn, and plays quick as could be, but has enough meat on its bones that it won’t feel repetitive or simple. Lost Legacy probably won’t be replacing your go-to full boxed game, but for those in-between times or while traveling or on a time budget, it’s a great choice.
So have you had a chance to play Lost Legacy? If so, what did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!