In the Lost Ruins of Arnak players find themselves on an unchartered island where signs have been found of an ancient civilization. The goal is to unveil the secrets of this island by battling monsters, discovering temples, deciphering runes etc.
The games core mechanisms are workerplacement and deck building. On your turn you get to execute one main action. A big part of the game revolves around you playing cards and building your deck in order to get to do more cool stuff. You can play a card in multiple ways. Firstly, you can use a card to guide your worker to a spot on the board in order to take that specific action, secondly you can play a cards action and lastly, IF a card has a lightning bolt symbol on it, you may use its action for 'free', in most cases giving you a coin or a compass token.
Throughout the game you will gain resources, progress on the research track, encounter monsters to get more resources and score a lot of victory points while doing all of that. After 5 rounds the game ends and the player with the most points wins the game.
Does this game lives up to its hype for me? Yes, it does!! My favourite mechanisms all time are deck building and workerplacement, and this is one of the first games I have played combining the two together. I really like that the cards can be used in multiple ways. It works so really well and gives you some interesting choices to break your head over.
I have already heard of some cases of analysis paralysis when it comes to the Lost Ruins of Arnak, but personally this wasn't the case for me. I love having so many options and being able to pursuit different strategies every game. A big plus for making this game so rich in options!
The theme is pleasantly present in this game. Each time I've played it I got some strong Indiana Jones vibes, battling monsters and working my way up that research track. Almost everything you do feels rewarding. Also there are some lovely combinations possible. You gain this, which makes you buy that, which enables you to unlock this and so on and on.
I have yet to try the solo mode, if I do I will write a separate review about this. I have heard some great things about this solo mode!
I'm super excited about this game. If you like deck building, workerplacement and an Indiana Jones theme, you will not be dissapointed by this game!BGG