“Gold, Gold, Gold – A Ton of Gold”-the Seattle headline heard round the world announcing the discovery of great stores of gold in the Klondike. This was the beginning of an exodus of would-be prospectors dreaming of a better life; a chance to escape the toil caused by the financial recessions and bank failures of the 1890s. Gold Rush Hysteria was pulsing through the veins of the country and tens of thousands were willing to risk it all for the chance to “have it all.”
Lost Valley is a game about the Klondike stampede that rushed North. It’s about the grueling journey: traversing Steep Mountain passes with heavy loads, through severe weather, and ever-dwindling resources.
During the course of the game, players must explore the ever expanding lost valley, in hopes of discovering a gold vein in a mountain, a virgin forest to provide timber or a fishing spot along the river to provide food. The map will be different each time you play, so you never know what lurks around the corner.
As you set out from the outfitters with everything you own strapped to your back, you must balance carefully the resources that you need. Of course you will need tools, dynamite and timber to extract mountain gold, but you’ll need to make sure you have room for food, rifles and fishing poles to help you survive in the wilderness.
Grab your horse, your pack, and your whiskey because “The Gold Fever is Raging” in the Yukon. Hordes will go, many will turn back or die, but some will achieve their wildest dreams.
Tom Vasel - The Dice Tower
I really enjoy Lost Valley; it’s extremely fun, a tremendously theme-filled game, and the best exploration game I’ve played. It’s chock-full of high quality components, and game play is quick and fun. I recommend this game to everyone; it’s fun, fast, and offers various strategies to victories. If you haven’t explored this game yet, now is the time to do so.
It would probably be on your top 100 list too, the reason that it’s not is because it is very difficult to find.
"I literally don't have another game like this on my shelves"
"I love the fact that it feels like you never have enough. You never feel like you have enough space to hold everything. You have to balance your gold collection with your food. You have to balance having the timber that will let you build the mine, but you have to have food to use the mine... so you have to have a fishing rod to catch food in the river. It's this balancing act that you have to do each and every turn."
Neil Thomson - A Detailed Review
The ability to explore the Lost Valley and have that sense of the unknown is really cool. Every map will be quite different in its layout and will affect greatly how each player goes about their prospecting ventures. Based on how each map unfolds the players will need to think quite carefully about how they will extract all that valuable gold and gain an advantage over an opponent.
This really is something of a hidden gem and one that is worthy of a full English release. I am happy to have a copy in my collection and it is one of the few that my closest gaming mates also felt they had to have in their collection as well.
Matt Smith - A narrative Review
I hope [my review] conveyed the tight integration of theme and mechanics that this game provides, while giving a sense of game play. If you enjoy richly-themed euro games that include varied resource-optimization decisions and decent (but not overwhelming) luck, I highly recommend giving Lost Valley a try.
Lost Valley is an amazing board game that has been out of print for over 8 years, and even when it was in print, was never released in the United States. Over the years, the games designers have wanted to make a few tweaks to the games balance and to add some additional mechanics to the title to fix some small balance issues that existed.
The kickstarter is going to help us raise money for the printing, shipping and distribution costs of Lost Valley without your support this game will continue to be out of print and out of reach of players everywhere.
The new 2nd edition of Lost Valley is going to contain several tweaks to the existing base game. These are changes the designers have wanted to implement for years to address some concerns that they had with the base game and make sure that Lost Valley is the best game it can be.
5 and 6 player extension: Lost Valley will now include player boards, tokens and pawns enough to allow for 5 and 6 player games of Lost Valley. The more the merrier, but be careful, a crowded valley can mean less gold for you!
Gold Value rebalancing: There have been some tweaks to the amount of gold you receive for mining from the river and mountains. In the 1st edition river gold was worth 1 or 2 nuggets while mountain gold was worth 3 or 4. The designers felt the disparity of gaining a single river gold was too great and have adjusted the values for river gold to 2 or 3 nuggets each and the mountain gold to 4 and 5 nuggets each. This means that while mining for the harder to get mountain gold is still more valuable, it isn’t potentially 4x as valuable as river gold. Prices for goods in the store has been updated to reflect these changes.
Canal Building: This change is to allow players to more easily unearth gold located far away from the river. For a single action a player can now build two canals in adjacent tiles.
The Yukon Valley Expansion brings some exciting new twists and enhancements to the classic game of Lost Valley through the use of modules that can be added to the existing game. This new expansion will be included in every copy of the 2nd edition of Lost Valley.
Stake Your Claim: This module allows players to “claim” any single improvement that they build. Be it a fish trap, a gold mine or a mill for gathering wood. While it won’t prevent players from using your improvement, it will require that any player that uses the building to pay you a small fee of 1 good which you can collect when you return to the building.
The Experienced Prospector: This module grants players a single experience point every time a player constructs a building improvement that other players can use (gold mine, fish trap, etc). Players can on their turn use two experience points to learn a new ability for their prospector. These abilities can make or break your prospector’s chances at striking it rich. Such as the simmer that allows the player to cross the river, the adventurer who can look at event tiles before deciding to take on the event or the scout who is able to look at two land tiles and select which one to place when expanding the map.
The Treasure Hunter: This module adds a 3rd path to victory to the base games existing 2. This module replaces some of the event tokens with clues as to where the buried treasure is located. These “clues” correspond to one of the 4 types of terrain in the game. Water, Forest, Plain and Mountain. You find the treasure by using the clues that you have collected to search for an intersection that matches the clues in your hand. For example, if you had 2 river clues, 1 mountain clue and a forest clue you would need to find an intersection where these 4 terrain types come together. When you locate the treasure you will gain a bounty of gold nuggets.
At the 40,000 dollar reward level we will create a sturdy thick cardboard general store which will allow players to set out all of the goods that can be purchased on a central board that will serve as a store to sell goods to players. If you have ever played Puerto Rico, the central board in that game will give you a good idea of what to expect here.
At the 50,000 dollar funding level we will create a more thematic way for the end game to play out. The game typically ends once the river has been fully explored, and then a block of ice moves from the headwaters of the river downstream. Once it reaches the starting tile winter has set in the valley and the game is over. The game currently has you rolling a standard D6 die to determine if the ice flow moves or not, and the ice flow is represented by a wooden cylinder. We’re going to create a custom wooden dice. On 3 sides will be a sun (the ice doesn’t move downstream) and on 3 sides will be a snowflake (the iceflow moves). Additionally we are going to create a nice custom ice block out of wood to represent the change of winter.
At the 60,000 dollar level we will change the way hunting happens in the game. Instead of rolling a D6 twice (once for the animal and once for the hunter) we will be creating a new custom hunting die set out by the games designer to better manage the odds of a successful hunt and allow players to better manage the odds of a succesfull hunt. This custom wooden die will have hit and miss markers as well as stand and rifle markers on it (representing a successful hunt only if you are using a hunting stand and/or a rifle).
At the 70,000 dollar level we will be upgrading the standard pawns in the game with custom prospector meeples for all of the players. Additionally, we will include horsemeeples and canoemeeples. These will accompany a player around the board with them so that other players can easily see who can move quickly over land and/or water.
Pandasaurus Games is a start-up independent publisher of hobby board and card games based in Austin, TX. Our goal is to help great games make it to gamers tables. We believe board games are a great way to get together with friends and family and foster a sense of community that many forms of entertainment stifle.
Pandasaurus Games is pretty easy to get a hold of online. We're always on BGG when we should probably be working, and can be reached on our homepage, twitter and facebook.
- (38 days)